The new data is out! You may not see huge shifts in the list of the top 10 richest country singers in the world due to some established giants, but we’ve dropped some artists out and added new ones.
This is more interesting than the usual static list where everyone just earns more money due to investments and new businesses.
And that’s one of the two big takeaways for upcoming country artists as you read through:
- Anyone can break through and become extremely wealthy as a country musician.
- To reach the top and have the highest net worth means you’ll need to break into Hollywood, start additional businesses, make smart investments, and control your expenses.
It’s a lifelong ordeal that’s not always about skill. A lot of these people don’t even write their own songs. Sometimes it’s about who you know, so start making connections as you practice your craft. If you make the right moves, you join the following list of the 10 richest country artists in the world…
#10 – Carrie Underwood
Net Worth: $140 Million
Carrie Underwood has become one of the most successful female country singers of all time. She competed in season 4 of “American Idol” and after winning the competition rose to instant success. She has received eight Grammy Awards and has sold over 70 million records.
Apart from her successful music career, Carrie is also an entrepreneur and has many successful ventures, including her own clothing line called CALIA by Carrie and a New York Times bestselling book.
Trivia: Time magazine listed Carrie Underwood as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014 and is often considered the most successful “American Idol” winner.
#9 – Alan Jackson
Net Worth: $160 Million
Change: +$10M &↑1 – Alan’s 80-million-plus records sold come out of his 18 studio albums, two Christmas albums, and two gospel albums, earning him a place in all the country-related halls of fame, Grand Ole Opry, nine multi-platinum records, and tons of awards.
He’s branched out into other business deals, such as exclusive music and merchandise sales at the Cracker Barrel restaurants, an endorsement for Ford Trucks, a sponsorship by NAPA Auto Parts, and headlining a tour sponsored by Fruit of the Loom.
In September 2021, Alan Jackson announced he had been battling for a decade an incurable neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. While this disease is usually not life-threatening, his fans have been concerned for his health and they have voiced continuous support for the country singer.
Trivia: Alan was raised in poverty, living in his grandfather’s expanded toolshed. His bed was in the hallway due to lack of space. His song “Where Were You” was parodied in the South Park episode “A Ladder to Heaven”. A five-mile stretch of Interstate 85 is named after him. He sold his 135-acre estate in Franklin, Tennessee, for $28 million in 2009.
#8 – Luke Bryan
Net Worth: $165 Million
Change: +$5M &↑1 – Luke Bryan is one of the bestselling country singers of all time. Born and raised in Georgia, Luke moved to Nashville, Tennessee — the capital of country music — to pursue his country-music dreams. Luke started as a songwriter for other country singers before signing with Capital Nashville to release his own album.
He soon gained immense popularity and success, and has sold over 80 million records worldwide. In addition to his musical career, Luke Bryan has also hosted numerous music awards ceremonies and has also been a judge on “American Idol”.
Trivia: The label 32 Bridge Entertainment was started by Luke Bryan under the Universal Music Group Nashville umbrella to scout and sign other country singers.
#7 – Kenny Chesney
Net Worth: $180 Million
Change: -$10M &↓1 – From Kenny’s 20 studio albums, he’s produced 40 top-10 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, received countless awards as the Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. In 2015, Forbes estimated Kenny’s income at $42 million a year.
He didn’t receive his first instrument until he graduated from high school. He named the guitar “The Terminator”, learned to play guitar, and promptly moved to Nashville. He’s one of the most successful crossover country singers. His album sales have reached over 30 million worldwide.
Trivia: Kenny and Tim McGraw were arrested when Kenny tried to ride a police horse at random. He married actress Renée Zellweger in 2005; the marriage was annulled within four months. He let many victims of Hurricane Irma stay in his U.S. Virgin Islands mansion during the crisis. In 1982, he won the Best Male Yodeler competition in Switzerland.
#6* – Faith Hill
Net Worth: $200 Million (*combined with Husband Tim Mcgraw)
Change: Faith Hill’s music journey began at the age of 16 when she started her own country band that played at various local fairs in Tennessee. Hill’s breakthrough moment came when she was spotted by a talent scout from a recording company, while singing as a backup in a popular Nashville bar.
Her debut album, Take Me As I Am, was released in 1993 to immediate success. The album’s first single, “Wild One”, reached No. 1 on the Billboard country music chart. Hill has five Grammy Awards to her name and has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. She is married to country superstar Tim McGraw.
Trivia: Hill did some acting in addition to her singing career. She starred in the television series “Touched by an Angel”. She made her feature film debut in “The Stepford Wives” (2004).
#6* – Tim McGraw
Net Worth: $200 Million (*combined with Wife Faith Hill)
Change: The Louisiana native has established himself as one of the most prominent country music singers of all time. He rose to popularity in the 1990s and the early 2000s. To date, McGraw has 16 studio albums to his name, with Not a Moment Too Soon becoming one of the bestselling country music albums of all time.
He married fellow country singer Faith Hill in 1996. McGraw and Hill went on tour together, which became one of the most successful tours in country music history. McGraw and his wife won a Grammy in 2001 for their duet “Let’s Make Love”.
Trivia: Although Tim McGraw has been married to Faith Hill for more than 25 years, he had to ask Hill several times before she agreed to marry him.
#5 – George Strait
Net Worth: $300 Million
The “King of Country” has been on the grind since 1970s and has since won all the awards, been inducted into all the halls of fame, and has been named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music many times over.
He’s one of the bestselling musicians ever, with 13 multi-platinum records, 33 platinums, and 38 gold albums. His other businesses include being a spokesperson for the Wrangler National Patriot program for wounded veterans and he even owns a Gulfstream G450 business jet company. He co-founded the Vaqueros Del Mar golf tournament and concert series. He has also broken into television and film.
Trivia: George used to compete in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association as a team roping competitor. He’s also cousin to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. He’s known for his 360-degree stages while on tour, which landed him $99 million in a three-year run. He holds the record for the largest indoor concert in North America.
#4 – Toby Keith
Net Worth: $370 Million
Toby has been in the game since 1993 and has released 19 studio albums and two Christmas albums, totaling over 40 million album sales and 61 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. He’s broken into TV, like the others, but only with performances and not acting.
He’s really climbed the charts with his business ventures, including his nationwide restaurant franchise I Love This Bar & Grill and his clothing line TK Steelman. He’s introduced a new adult beverage called Wild Shot to his restaurants and has even co-founded a record label. That’s how it’s done!
In June 2022, Toby Keith disclosed his battle with cancer, for which he is receiving treatment. We wish him all the best in this fight and look forward to seeing him back onstage.
To learn more about how Toby Keith amassed his extraordinary net worth, read this in-depth article!
Trivia: Toby is an outspoken political independent, leading to a feud with the Dixie Chicks and playing the presidential inauguration in 2017. He’s a big sports and wrestling fan. Toby supports our youth by providing financial support for those with cancer and is trying to restore music education in our more disadvantaged schools. Forbes says he makes a whopping $53 million a year and often even tops titans like Jay-Z (the richest rapper in the world) and Beyoncé.
#3 – Shania Twain
Net Worth: $410 Million
Change: +$10M & ↑1– Shania absolutely owned the mid-to-late ’90s in terms of country and country pop music. She’s a five-time Grammy winner, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, and has 27 BMI Songwriter Awards. She’s the sixth-bestselling female artist in the U.S. She broke into TV as a judge on “American Idol” and appeared on many music-related reality TV shows.
She’s had endorsements with Febreze, Coty for her Shania perfume, and carried the Olympic torch in 2010. Even her autobiography earns her a substantial income. She gives back to needy school children with her program “Shania Kids Can”. She made tons of money from her residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
We have written an in-depth post about Shania Twain’s net worth. You can read it here.
Trivia: Shania was born Eilleen Edwards and raised in Timmins, Ontario, Canada. In the 2000s she contracted Lyme disease and dysphonia, weakening her voice and putting her career on hiatus. She “live journaled” her recovery on an OWN TV miniseries called “Why Not? with Shania Twain” and is back on tour. She’s married to a Swiss Nestlé executive.
#2 – Garth Brooks
Net Worth: $430 Million
Change: +$30M – By bridging rock ‘n’ roll and country music, Garth has become the bestselling solo albums artist in the U.S. with 148 million sold, ahead of Elvis Presley. He’s only surpassed by the Beatles in total albums sold.
He’s the only musician in music history to have seven diamond status records, according to the RIAA. All of this is big bucks but he’s capped that off with a five-year residency at the Encore Theatre in Las Vegas. He’s done the TV gigs like all musicians do when they can, but all of that pales when compared to his other business ventures like GhostTunes, his online music store. He established his own record label called Pearl Records. Check our detailed article to understand better how Garth Brooks built his incredible net worth!
Trivia: Garth had a semi-successful run in Major League Baseball, playing in the off-season for several teams. He had an embarrassing run in 1999 as the alter ego artist Chris Gaines, supposedly an Australian movie star breaking into the emo music genre. Of course, everyone figured the publicity stunt out immediately and the album was a flop.
#1 – Dolly Parton
Net Worth: $675 Million
Change: +$150M & ↑2 – The queen of country has had 25 RIAA-certified multi-platinum, platinum, and gold records out of her 63 studio albums. She’s won all the music awards, is in all of the halls of fame, and even a handful from the film industry for her starring roles in a handful of movies.
She even has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Her literacy program has donated over 100 million books to children across the planet. The Dollywood Company hosts the Dollywood theme park and the Splash Country water park, as well as Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction, all in Pigeon Forge, TN.
Growing up in poverty in a one-room cabin as the fourth child of 12, she’s always made a point to give back extensively to children everywhere. Dolly is a true hero and was at some point close to popping into the 10 richest musicians in the world.
Trivia: Dolly learned to play guitar on a homemade guitar, playing it until her uncle bought her a real guitar when she was eight. She met Johnny Cash when she was 13 as he performed at the Grand Ole Opry. He encouraged her to follow her musical instincts. She graduated from high school and the next day moved to Nashville to pursue her career. She’s one of the most covered country artists, with “Jolene” becoming a hit again recently.
Who’s Dropped Out of the Top 10?
Not everyone maintains their spots on the list. Earning cash is one thing. Keeping it is a whole different story. At this point, we’ve only removed two, one due to not being in the country genre anymore and another for being a legend who has passed. Here’s our list of fallen friends.
Net Worth: $1.1 Billion
Change: +$240M – Taylor was recently removed from the top 10, because frankly she’s no longer a country singer and hasn’t been for quite some time, plus it’s just not fun having her in there messing up the rankings.
As one of the bestselling music artists of all time, her awards are endless, from the Nashville Songwriters Association, the Country Music Association Awards, and, of course, the Grammys. It’s notable that she’s the principal songwriter on most of her work, which isn’t common these days and nets her lots of extra money she’d otherwise not receive.
She’s broken into Hollywood, has countless product endorsements, and a small amount of expensive real estate. Despite these outside investments, the majority of her income is derived from her monstrous tours.
Trivia Fact: Taylor credits Shania Twain as her biggest musical influence, along with LeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton. “Nearly confirmed” rumors say that she’s ghostwritten songs for bands like Kings of Leon, for instance, completely uncredited. She holds an estimated $84 million in value in her eight homes across four states. Taylor wrote a 350-page novel at age 12 that unsurprisingly remains hidden from the public.
Net Worth: $120 Million
Brad’s 12 studio albums have produced 32 Top 10 singles and netted 11 million albums sold. He’s accumulated 3 Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards and 2 American Music Awards.
His high school years and many after were spent opening for many legends like Ricky Skaggs on the Jamboree USA radio show. He’s released two books, increasing his revenue streams. He records his albums largely with his live band, The Drama Kings.
Trivia: Brad wrote 4 songs for Pixar’s Cars films. He learned to play guitar at age 8. He’s an active Freemason and Shriner, supporting them through music recordings. As a fan of the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Dodgers, he’s performed the national anthem in their home stadiums including during the 2018 World Series Game.
Net Worth: $95 Million
Change: Reba got her start singing with her siblings as the “Singing McEntires” at rodeos. Her mom, an accomplished country vocalist, chose to be an elementary school teacher instead. She was heard singing the national anthem at another rodeo by Red Steagall and he helped her launch her career.
She ultimately has produced 29 studio albums, 42 number-one singles, and 16 number-one albums. She became a film actress with the classic movie Tremors and eventually had her own award-winning TV sitcom called Reba.
Trivia: Reba’s stepson is married to Kelly Clarkson. Her first Grand Ole Opry appearance was meant to be 3 songs but was cut down to 1 due to a surprise appearance by Dolly Parton. She was unable to attend her own induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame due to her father’s sudden illness.
Brooks and Dunn
Net Worth: $80 Million
Brooks and Dunn were initially solo country artists in the 80’s. But, their paths crossed when music executive Tim DuBois assembled them together to form a duo. Brooks, a native of Louisiana, and Dunn, an Oklahoma-born artist, combined their country roots to create a unique sound that revolutionized country music.
So far, the distinguished pair has created 12 studio albums, and 49 singles that have topped the charts. They have ventured outside of music and into acting, featuring in popular TV shows like “King of the Hill” and movie spin-offs.
Most don’t know, but after their 2010 retirement, they each embarked on separate solo careers before reuniting in 2015. Not to forget, they have a jaw-dropping 20-plus years residency alongside Reba McEntire in Las Vegas.
Trivia: They hold the record for most consecutive ACM Entertainer of the Year award wins, and are also the best-selling duo in country music history. Ronnie Dunn initially planned to study theology before entering the music industry. Kix Brooks was diverted to Nashville after working on an Alaskan pipeline.
Net Worth: $80 Million
Jason Aldean’s journey to fame started back in Macon, Georgia, playing his heart out at small spots like local VFW halls and school talent shows. His dad was a big guitar lover who worked at the town’s power company but made sure Jason knew his stuff on the strings. One serendipitous night, a scout from Warner-Chappell happened to catch him in an Atlanta club and the rest is, well, you know… Nashville glory!
To date, he has released nine studio albums, 21 number-one singles and three number-one albums. Apart from his successful singing career, Jason made his acting debut in the heartthrob movie Sweetwater and hosted the reality TV hunting show Buck Commander.
Trivia: Jason Aldean’s real name is Jason Aldine Williams. He missed receiving his own Entertainer of the Year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards due to his newborn son being in the hospital.
Kenny Rogers (Deceased)
Net Worth: $250 Million
What people don’t know about Kenny is he tops the charts on more than just the country genre, which is how he became one of the bestsellers of all time. He was also a passionate photographer, releasing two photo books.
He co-founded a chicken restaurant chain called “Kenny Rogers Roasters” with the former CEO of KFC. For some reason, comedians find this funny, which only broadened his income with free marketing. He bridged into television and even the race car business.
Kenny Rogers passed away on March 20, 2020.
Trivia: Kenny was the fourth of eight children. He started recording in the 1950s performing psychedelic rock and jazz, only switching to country in the ’70s. His farewell concert in 2017 featured many artists on this list, as well as others from many genres. He’s stuck with the band Bloodline as his backing band since 1976, rather than rotating them out like most singers do. Kenny has been married five times, producing five children.
Johnny Cash (Deceased)
Net Worth: $60 Million
Johnny Cash is another all-time bestseller and is inducted in the Country Music, Gospel Music, and Rock & Roll halls of fame. His influence can’t be exaggerated, and his passing in 2003 only increased his popularity.
His illustrious career included 67 studio, 14 tribute, 7 Christmas, 11 gospel, and 16 live albums. He appeared in eight movies and three times as many television shows. He’s a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was named the 21st Greatest Singer and 31st Greatest Artist of All Time by Rolling Stone.
In 2005, the movie Walk The Line was released based on Cash’s life. Unlike others on the list, his fortune was created exclusively from music. He married June Carter of the famous Carter Family band and had a son together. In his free time, he performed high-profile activism on behalf of Native Americans throughout his life.
Trivia: His real name is simply “J.R. Cash” but he had to use a full first name upon enlisting in the US Air Force in 1950. Early in his career he shared an apartment with Waylon Jennings. During a fishing trip, a fire at his camper spread and destroyed 508 acres of wilderness in California. He was sued by the government and lost $125,172 in the case. He has a species of tarantula named after him, called the Aphonopelma johnnycashi.
Who Will Claim a Richest Country Singer Spot Next?
Who else is getting close to being added to this list? Here are the closest tycoons at this point:
- Blake Shelton, at $90 million, thanks to his music, series of restaurant and entertainment complexes, and long-running reality TV show appearances.
- Keith Urban, at $75 million, in part to his album sales, reality TV appearances, and signature guitar line.
- Miranda Lambert, with an impressive net worth of $60 million, due to her award-winning music career, numerous tours, and ventures like her own line of clothing and accessories.
- Barbara Mandrell, at $50 million, thanks to her successful country music career, multiple television shows including her own, the “Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters” show, as well as several real estate investments.
- Zac Brown, boasting a net worth of $50 million, thanks to his hit music, touring success, and entrepreneurial ventures such as his own record label and line of wines.
- George Jones, who had a net worth of $35 million at the time of his passing, earned his fortune through his legendary country music career, live performances, and record sales.
- Kelsea Ballerini, with an estimated net worth of $6 million, owes her success to her chart-topping music, brand endorsements, and appearances on various TV shows and award events.
To reach this list, you have to either stay on tour and pump out successful albums non-stop, or you have to venture into all kinds of other businesses. You can do it, and when you do, remember us little guys!
The 10 Richest Country Singers in the World
|Tim McGraw & Faith Hill