Garth Brooks Is Country Music’s Highest Paid Celebrity in 2015
Country music tours continue to generate big bucks, but according to Forbes, the real money is in the boxing ring. The financial publication’s latest list of world’s highest-paid celebrities is topped by the one-two punch of boxer Floyd Mayweather at Number One, pulling in $300 million for his May victory in Las Vegas over Manny Pacquiao, who has to console himself with second place on the list and a $160 million take for the year. The top musician on the list, at Number Three, is Katy Perry, whose Prismatic World Tour featured country darling Kacey Musgraves on several dates. Perry raked in a hefty $135 million for the year.
Thanks to his first concert tour in 13 years, Garth Brooks earned a Number Six berth on the survey, making him country music’s top earner. Grossing over $1 million at every stop on the trek, Brooks hauled in more than $90 million for the year, and will continue to tour throughout the summer, virtually ensuring the entertainer a spot on next year’s list as well. In 1999, the last time he was ranked, Brooks was Number 14 on the list.
Also placing high on the list are Taylor Swift in eighth place, with an $80 million take that ties her with Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr. Swift’s nearly completed transition to pop princess following the release of 1989 was no doubt a key to her Top 10 ranking. In 2014, she ranked 18th.
Country-rock pioneers the Eagles turned their $73.5 million take into a 14th place ranking on the list, placing them ahead of such fellow musicians as Calvin Harris (17), Justin Timberlake (19), Lady Gaga (25) and the Rolling Stones (26), and way ahead of the next country acts on the list: Toby Keith (32), Jason Aldean (47), Luke Bryan (48), Kenny Chesney (49), Tim McGraw (58) and Florida Georgia Line (61). The highest-ranking female country act on the list (other than Swift) is Miranda Lambert, who squeaked on to the survey in 95th place, tied with husband Blake Shelton (and four other celebrities). Individually, Lambert and Shelton earned $28.5 million for the year.
Forbes’ list tallies money earned from June 2014 through May 2015, with numbers based on data from Nielsen, Pollstar, Box Office Mojo and IMDB. The list was also influenced by the magazine’s interviews with many of the celebrities and their agents, managers and lawyers.