Ten million dollars in earnings last year separate the two highest earning country music acts in Forbes' annual list.
Fans of country/pop superstar Taylor Swift may have expected that with the record-setting sales of her album "Red", her sold-out tour performances and her many endorsement deals would have easily put her on the top of the Forbes list of top-earning country music acts. But this year, that spot was secured by "I Love This Bar" artist Toby Keith.
With $65 million in earnings from his diversified business portfolio consisting of his I Love This Bar Restaurant & Grill chain, Wild Shot mescal and Show Dog Records, Keith handily beat Swift to the No. 1 spot on the business magazine's highest earning country music acts list. For her part, Swift posted a total of $55 million, coming from her combined multi-platinum selling album, tour ticket sales and Diet Coke, Cover Girl and Sony endorsements.
Trailing Swift with just $2 million short of her total is Kenny Chesney with $53 million. He applies the same formula for success, that of music, concerts and endorsements capped off by his own Blue Chair Bay rum. Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood occupy the next two spots with $33 million and $31 million respectively, made mostly from his "Two Lanes of Freedom" LP and her "Blown Away" album respectively.
Filling in the sixth to ninth places of the Forbes Country Cash Kings List are Brad Paisley (No. 6, $30 million), Zac Brown Band (No. 7, $26 million), Rascal Flatts (No. 8, $25 million) and George Strait (No. 9, $18 million). Rounding up the list are Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, tied at tenth place with $17 million.