Toby Keith Has Earned $500 Million, Forbes Says

Earnings Come From Music, Restaurants, Investments

Toby Keith has earned a reported $500 million since his career began, according to a cover story in the latest issue of Forbes, a financial publication. The report indicates Keith has earned $65 million in the last 12 months — the most of any country artist.

Along with describing his various investments, the story notes Keith has never earned less than $48 million a year in the past five years. During the same five-year span, his total earnings reached $270 million. Much of his wealth comes from touring, songwriting and album sales, as well as restaurant franchises bearing his name and his own line of mezcal.

The story also reports Keith possesses an estimated 10 percent stake in Big Machine Records, which was launched as a co-venture with Keith’s Show Dog label in 2005. That label partnership ended in 2006, but Keith’s financial stake continues. Big Machine’s roster now includes Taylor Swift, The Band Perry and many other artists. Keith continues to record for Show Dog, which merged with Universal South in late 2009.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.