It pays to be a celebrity. Forbes recently compiled full earning info (before agent and lawyer cuts are considered) from June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018 to create their list of the Top 100 Highest-Paid Celebrities, and country music held its own on the illustrious list.
Sorting the Forbes list to show musician’s earnings put U2 and Coldplay on top, coming in at No. 6 and No. 7 overall, but these two bands were quickly followed by some of country music’s finest. The Eagles earned $56 million, putting them at No. 41 on the overall list and No. 13 when it comes to musicians. Luke Bryan follows close behind with a ranking of No. 45 overall for $52 million earned, and Garth Brooks slides in at No. 59 with $45.5 million. Kenny Chesney ranked No. 87 overall by pulling in $37 million, making him the 30th out of 32 musicians who made the highest paid celebrities list.
Although most no longer consider her a country artist, Taylor Swift’s ranking on the Celebrity 100 is still very noteworthy. She ranks No. 21 overall with an earning total of $80 million, putting her at No. 6 in the music ranking and No. 9 on the list of the youngest earners. When the list is sorted to show only female musicians, she comes in at No. 2 behind Katy Perry’s earnings at $83 million.
To get an idea of how staggeringly large the earning pool is for these major celebrities, topping the entire list of the world’s highest-paid celebs is athlete Floyd Mayweather, earning a whopping $285 million. Following Mayweather is actor George Clooney with $239M, personality Kylie Jenner with $166.5M and, perhaps surprisingly, Judge Judy Sheindlin with $147M.
Forbes writes that overall, the entertainers on the list have made a combined total of $6.3 billion pretax over the year. “Forbes figures are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, IMDB, SoundScan, NPD BookScan and ComScore, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves,” they explain.