Toby Keith Named Richest Man In Country Music By ‘Forbes’

Toby Keith has been named country music’s richest man — and he’s also one of the richest, most bankable musician of any kind working today.

The so-called cowboy capitalist Toby Keith was called “country music’s $500 million man” on the July 15 cover of Forbes magazine. Even if you listen to country music with the knob turned to OFF, if you like cold hard cash, you might be fascinated by Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s report on the soon-to-turn 52-year-old singer-songwriter and all-round licensing entrepreneur.

You’ll likely want to read the full story for yourself.

However, here’s a little taste:

“Keith pulled in $65 million over the last 12 months…easily outpacing masters of product extension like Jay-Z ($42 million), Beyoncé ($53 million) and Jennifer Lopez ($45 million)…

“Over the past five years, Forbes estimates, Keith has never earned less than $48 million in a year. His cumulative take over that period: $270 million. Over his entire career — Keith has written a No. 1 country hit every year for the past two decades — his total earnings surpass $500 million.”

Wow. It sounds like Beyoncé is going to have to play a whole lot more is-she-or-isn’t-she-pregnant games to capture the cash that Toby Keith catches with relatively few publicity stunts.

It sounds like the one-time oil-field worker from Moore, Oklahoma has parlayed his natural country shrewdness to become an entertainment mogul, not just another country singer.

An example of his smarts: He owns 10 percent of Big Machine record label, which numbers young country sensation Taylor Swift among its stars.

Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill restaurant business which is headlined by the Harrah’s Las Vegas location has been estimated by the Forbes number crunchers to pull in a cool $12 million a year. Folks, that’s a lot of fried bologna sandwiches.

I knew he was popular from the crowd of inebriated shrieking people always hanging around that area of Harrah’s but this popular? How about you? Did you know that Toby Keith was the richest man in country music?

[Toby Keith photo by s_bukley /]