Luke Bryan Overtakes Garth Brooks as Country Music’s Highest Paid Artist
Move over, Garth Brooks: According to a new ranking from Forbes, country superstar Luke Bryan is now the genre's highest-paid artist in 2018, edging Brooks out of his three-year run at the top of the list. Bryan brought home a remarkable $52 million over the past 12 months.
Bryan's extensive touring schedule, including his 2018 What Makes You Country Tour as well as his 2018 Farm Tour, garnered a large part of that income, but Bryan's total take-home pay was also significantly bolstered by his judging gig on American Idol as well as endorsement deals. Meanwhile, Brooks also pulled significant revenue from his world tour with his wife, country star Trisha Yearwood, but his hefty take-home total of $45.5 million still landed him $6.5 million short of the No. 1 spot.
In third place, longtime country favorite Kenny Chesney clocks in at $37 million. His total comes from massive ticket sales for his Trip Around the Sun Tour as well as from endorsements and his own line of Blue Chair rum.
While Bryan's new bar and restaurant, 32 Bridge Food + Drink, didn't open until July of 2018 -- making income from the establishment relatively negligible for the time period assessed -- his new business venture will, no doubt, impact his total income in the next year. Bryan is the latest of several country stars listed in the Top 10 of Forbes' list of the highest paid in the genre to open a bar on Nashville's Lower Broadway.
The group of high-ranking stars who recently opened bars also includes Florida Georgia Line, who came in sixth on the list with a take-home pay of $27 million; Jason Aldean, who came in seventh and raked in $23 million; and Blake Shelton, who clocked in at fifth with a total income of $28 million. While every artist listed had their massive live shows to thank for their spot on the list, Shelton -- like Bryan -- also earned income from a judging spot on a reality television show; in Shelton's case, this was The Voice, where he has served as a judge since the show's first season.
Country Stars Who Own Bars