Country music is a lucrative business, with the genre's biggest stars filling arenas and stadiums around the country on tour, selling albums, nabbing endorsement deals and even opening bars.
On Tuesday, Forbes released its list of the highest-paid country music stars of 2018, and the names at the top of the chart aren't exactly a surprise. From newly-minted American Idol judge Luke Bryan to the legend himself, Garth Brooks, plenty of the genre's finest notched spots on this year's list.
Scroll through to see the ten richest stars in country music this year.
Byan earned $52 million in 2018, earning him the top spot on the list. After serving as a judge on the reboot of American Idol and releasing his album, What Makes You Country, in December 2017, the star was already likely to earn a major amount, but his current What Makes You Country Tour helped propel him to the lofty spot. The trek grossed seven figures nightly and is still going, cementing Bryan's position as one of country music's biggest acts.prevnext
Country music icon Brooks netted $45.5 million this year, giving him the second-highest spot. Brooks wrapped up his three-year World Tour with wife Trisha Yearwood in late 2017, and the trek became the best-selling North American tour of all time, with Brooks selling over six million tickets and breaking his own record. This year, he's headlined several festivals and shows no signs of slowing down.prevnext
Chesney is the third act on the list, taking home $37 million. The "Get Along" singer is currently on his Trip Around the Sun Tour, which is stopping at stadiums around the country to give Chesney the chance to perform for his No Shoes Nation. The 50-year-old also has endorsement deals with Corona and nabs earnings from his Blue Chair Bary Rum.prevnext
Zac Brown Band
Frontman Zac Brown and his band take the fourth spot, with the group earning $31 million. In May, the band released their seventh studio album, Welcome Home, following the project with their Down the Rabbit Hole Live tour. That trek allowed fans to see the band perform the Zac Brown Band songs they know and love along with plenty of covers, including tracks by Metallica, Billy Joel and more.prevnext
Shelton's $28 million in earnings come in large part from his coaching stint on The Voice, with Shelton having occupied his red chair since the show's first season in 2011. He also joined his fellow stars in opening a bar on Broadway, with the singer's Ole Red bringing in fans eager for good food, good drinks and a good time. Shelton's latest album, Texoma Shore, was also released in November 2017 and he promoted the project on the road in 2018 on his Country Music Freaks Tour. Endorsement deals with the likes of Macy's and Smithworks vodka also help pad his coffers.prevnext
Florida Georgia Line
One of the first acts to put their name on a downtown Nashville establishment, Florida Georgia Line earned $27 million thanks in part to their bar and entertainment venue, FGL House. They also scored a major smash with their duet with Bebe Rexha, "Meant to Be," put in some time on the road and kept up with their Old Camp Whiskey Line.prevnext
Aldean earned $23 million, thanks in part to his album Rearview Town, which dropped in April 2018 and became Aldean's fourth consecutive No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The singer is currently on his High Noon Neon Tour and recently opened his own bar in Nashville, Jason Aldean's Kitchen + Rooftop Bar.prevnext
Keith raked in $22 million this year, due in part to the fact that he was one of the first country music acts to put his name on a restaurant with his I Love This Bar And Grill restaurant chain, which now has five locations. In September 2017, he released his compilation album, The Bus Songs and his the road in April 2018 on his Should've Been A Cowboy Tour XXV. He also has lucrative endorsement deals, including one with Ford.prevnext
Paisley has been a mainstay on country's A-list for years and earned $20 million in 2018. He released his eleventh studio album, Love and War, in April 2017, following that release with his Weekend Warrior World Tour. The trek teamed him with Dustin Lynch, Lindsay Ell and Chase Bryant and brought the singer to Sweden, Norway, the United States and Canada, making for a total gross of just over $10 million.prevnext
Parton's Dollywood theme park in Tennessee keeps her on the list at spot number ten with earnings of $19 million. Decades after its opening, the park is still going strong, set to debut a $37 million expansion next year. In September 2017, Parton released a children's album, I Believe in You, and she also reportedly owns her own publishing and master recordings.
Photo Credit: Getty / Boston Globeprev