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Toby Keith Is Country Music’s Highest Paid Star, According to Forbes

Toby Keith
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Toby Keith may have been left off ballots for the upcoming CMA Awards in Nashville, but the ‘Made in America’ singer has plenty of reasons to still feel good about where his career is headed. More specifically, he has 50 million reasons to smile. That’s how much money Keith earned between May 2010 and May 2011, making him the highest paid country star in the world, according to Forbes Magazine.

Touring and album sales make up a large portion of the singer’s income, but so do his ventures into the restaurant and liquor business. The I Love This Bar and Grill chain keeps expanding, and his new Mezcal drink called Wild Shots has done quite well. Should all those endeavors fall short, however, he can still fall back on a very lucrative endorsement deal with Ford trucks.

Taylor Swift is second on the Forbes list, earning $45 million during the same time period. Brad Paisley is third at $40 million, followed by Tim McGraw ($35 million) and Rascal Flatts ($34 million). Stars who’ve been able to expand their empire beyond music tend to do the best. For example, McGraw makes a great deal of money from acting and Paisley earns a chunk of his income from endorsements and a music publishing company.

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