(Left) Mindy Small / Contributor / Getty Images/(Right) Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty Images/(Bottom) Jason Kempin / Staff / Getty Images
Every year, Forbes publishes its list of the top-paid celebrities over the course of the past year. A few country stars typically make an appearance on this list, and fans are always curious to know who the highest-paid country singer is.
They finally got the answer to that question on Monday (July 16), when Forbes released its Highest-Paid Celebrities list for 2018. Shockingly, only three country artists earned enough to make the list.
You may have some guesses as to who those three artists could be. So go ahead and think of the three country artists you think earned the most this year…then prepare to be surprised when you hear who made the list.
Ranking in at the 87th spot on the list is Kenny Chesney, who earned $37 million over the past year. While Chesney’s touring schedule was much more low-key than other years, he probably raked in some dough thanks to hit singles “Get Along” and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” with David Lee Murphy.
To no surprise, Garth Brooks also found a spot on the list, ranking in at the 59th position. The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year brought in $45.5 million, with a large portion of those earnings likely coming from the end of his three-year World Tour, which wrapped up in 2017.
You may have thought that Brooks was the top-earning country star of the past year, but he wasn’t.
When you were thinking of which country artist earned the most money over the past year, Blake Shelton may have been the person you had in mind. After all, he’s had a bunch of hit singles and is a coach on The Voice.
But surprisingly, Shelton didn’t even earn a ranking on the list. Instead, another country star and singing competition judge earned the honors as country music’s top-earning artist…Luke Bryan.
Bryan comes in at the 45th spot on Forbes‘ list, having earned $52 million over the past year. A large portion of that came from Bryan’s paycheck as a judge on the rebooted season of American Idol, while the rest came from his new album What Makes You Country, its singles, and accompanying tour.
The “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” singer is poised to earn just as much, if not more next year, since his summer tour is still well underway and because he will be returning for a second season of Idol. Guess only time will tell if he’ll hold on to the top-earning spot in 2019!
What do y’all think of this news? Are you surprised to hear that Bryan is country music’s biggest money maker?