NEW YORK (Reuters) – Country music veteran Garth Brooks on Wednesday topped the annual Forbes list of the world’s highest paid country acts, raking in an estimated $90 million in earnings over the past year.
Brooks, 53, who resumed touring last year after 13 years off the road, also notched up the biggest pay day in a single year ever recorded by Forbes for a country music act.
The double Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been playing arenas across the United States to meet demand after his long hiatus from performing, selling more than 2.5 million tickets.
Toby Keith, best known for more pop-driven hits like “Red Solo Cup” and “How Do You Like Me Now?!,” ranked No. 2 on Forbes list with $53 million.
Jason Aldean, 38, came in at No. 3 with an estimated $43.5 million, much of it from his pyrotechnic “Burn it Down” nationwide tour that is more associated with rock and heavy metal than traditional country music fare.
Luke Bryan, who at 39 is also a relative newcomer, earned $42.5 million, while Kenny Chesney, 47, rounded out the Top 5 list with $42 million thanks mostly to his continuing “Big Revival” stadium tour and endorsement deals with beer and sunglass companies, Forbes said.
Forbes looked at estimated income from June 2014 to June 2015, including concert tickets, merchandise sales, recorded music and publishing, endorsement deals and other business ventures.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant)