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The richest country music stars

  • The richest country music stars

    It’s easy to see why today's country music stars have become multimillionaires. Big names in the industry account for hundreds of millions of album sales, with heavyweight Garth Brooks selling more than 170 million albums (that’s more than Elvis Presley) while Dolly Parton has sold more than 160 million albums. The country music industry in 2016 represented about 10% of total sales across all genres, according to CMT, and 8.7% of all music consumption in 2018.

    But like any other group of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, many country music stars have diversified income portfolios. Ticket and album sales aren’t the only way that many of country music’s wealthiest stars have made their money. The other sources of their fortunes? Memoirs, television hosting, acting in films, and smart real estate investments—among other pursuits—have led to the riches of many of today’s country music singers with the highest net worths.

    With the CMA Awards coming up Nov. 13, Stacker used data from Celebrity Net Worth—which aggregates publicly available information like real estate holdings, announced salaries, royalties, record sales, and endorsements—to curate a gallery of today’s richest country music stars. Final net worth is created using a formula that eliminates expenses like manager and agent fees, estimated taxes paid, and other lifestyle expenses, boiling it down to a more accurate figure of a star’s total assets. Despite beginning her career in country music, Taylor Swift was excluded given that the last decade of her career and earnings have been centered around pop music.

    One thing is clear looking at the lives at those at the top of country music: High figures in a person’s bank account can’t protect against relationship issues and health problems. That said, many of the musicians featured in this gallery have used those harrowing experiences as fodder for their music, turning painful moments into gold.

    Keep reading to find out which "American Idol" star has already crossed the $85 million mark, and which country legend is worth half a billion dollars.

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  • #47. Brandy Clark (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Despite being relatively new to the country music scene, up and coming country music star Brandy Clark is already worth a hefty $10 million. One of Clark’s claims to fame? She is one of the first openly gay country music stars, following in the footsteps of talented musicians Cheryl Wright and k.d. lang.

  • #47. Tracy Byrd (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    One of country music veteran Tracy Byrd’s latest sources of revenue was a nationwide tour in 2019 celebrating his 25 years in the business. Byrd’s #1 track from a quarter-century ago was “Holdin’ Heaven,” released in 1993.

  • #47. Larry Gatlin (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Larry Gatlin has been around long enough to have experienced the highs and the lows of show business. The singer has said that despite being one of the biggest country music acts of the 1970s and 1980s, he experienced severe drug addiction that almost derailed his career.

  • #47. Paul Brandt (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Canadian star Paul Brandt’s career has taken him away from home and back again. A former nurse in Canada, Brandt made it big in Nashville as a country music singer before deciding to move back to Canada again and continue his career there.

  • #47. Gary Allan (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Gary Allan’s career has been as diverse as it has been long. Allan started singing in honky-tonk bars when he was 13 and became famous as a country music superstar. After his wife died from suicide in 2004, his music took a quieter and more contemplative turn.

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  • #47. Lee Greenwood (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    One of Lee Greenwood’s biggest hits is “God Bless the U.S.A.” so it might come as no surprise that the singer has performed at various presidential inaugurations including those for Ronald Reagan, both Bush presidents, and Donald Trump. The country music veteran, who got his start singing in church when he was just 7 years old, turned 77 on Oct. 27, 2019.

  • #47. Terri Clark (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Terri Clark has been in the country music business for decades and in recent years has begun speaking out on issues of age and gender. Clark has pointed out how difficult it is for women—and specifically older women—to succeed in an industry she said often favors men.

  • #47. Dave Haywood (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Dave Haywood is one-third of the beloved band Lady Antebellum, and one half of a serious Nashville power couple. The singer and his wife, Kelli, were friends for several years before getting engaged just one month after they announced becoming a couple. Haywood proposed at his house, which he had decorated as a winter wonderland. “Will you marry me?” was spelled out with strand lights on the front of the home.

  • #47. Steve Wariner (tie)

    - Estimated net worth: $10 million

    Steve Wariner has been in the country music industry long enough to have known a series of successes and failures. Despite being one of the most popular country music stars of the 1980s, Wariner’s popularity faded in the 1990s until his 1998 comeback track “What If I Said.”

  • #46. Hillary Scott

    - Estimated net worth: $11 million

    The lead singer of Lady Antebellum, Scott struggled with an intensely personal decision surrounding what would become a pivotal career moment. The singer has noted that she was hesitant to put her Christian faith into her music, fearing that it might alienate some fans. She wrote the album anyway, and fans went wild.

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