OFFSTAGE: If Toby Keith Was a Regular Guy

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

You’ve probably heard by now that Toby Keith made $50 million last year. And that makes him the top earner on Forbes’ list of country music’s highest-paid stars. But what if Keith approached his life and finances like, say, the man in his “Made in America” song? The one who can fix anything with WD-40 and a Craftsman wrench. If he got paid every other week, with an annual salary of $50 million, each one of his paychecks would be a little under $2 million. And since he’d be in the highest tax bracket the government has, at 35 percent, his take-home pay every other week would be around $1.25 million*. And if he used that old real estate formula that says you can afford a house that’s worth three times your annual income, that would mean Keith could live in a $150 million home. And if he was a religious man, his tithe would be $5 million a year, which would be good news for his place of worship. No matter how much you break it down, that is a lot of money. Which makes me think, I should’ve been a cowboy.

* Thanks to Drew Walker of WUSN (US99) in Chicago for helping me run the numbers.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.