(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.