When I saw the list of top grossing country acts, I looked over it quickly and thought ‘no surprises here’.
As you might expect, the list starts with Kenny Chesney. He sold more than one million tickets during his 2008 Poets and Pirates tour – more than any in North America, beating out Madonna, Celine Dion and even The Eagles. He was the highest grossing country artist on tour last year, with gross ticket sales of $72 million! Kenny’s estimated earnings were $65 million. That would keep me going for a year or two.
Rascal Flatts came in second, with an estimated $60 million in earnings. In addition to the $56 million they brought in touring, selling nearly 940,000 tickets, they also had a landmark sponsorship deal with JCPenney. These guys have had 10 number one hits and five number one albums. I got to see them a few years back at Freedom Hall in Johnson City when they were part of the CMT tour. Great show!
Toby Keith pulled in the number three spot on the list. He’s a singer, songwriter, restaurant owner…has a clothing line, is an actor, a screen writer, and owns his own record label. Toby’s Biggest and Baddest tour grossed $31 million in 2008, and his total estimated earnings were $53 million.
Taylor Swift has landed in the number four spot. Good for her! AT just 19 years old, Taylor was the biggest selling solo artist in 2008, with more than four million albums sold. She also made history as the only artist to have two albums in the year-end top 10. Her estimated earnings were $18 million.
Brooks and Dunn have been together since 1991. They both had successful solo acts that started in the 80s. In the last 18 years they have released 10 albums, had 20 number one records, and received 26 Academy of Country Music awards, 17 Country Mu sic Association awards, and two Grammy awards. Their Cowboy Town tour grossed about $12 million in 2008, and their estimated earnings is $16 million.
Tim McGraw is about to start filming his fourth movie, working alongside Sandra Bullock. In addition to singing, touring, and movie-making, Tim has a fragrance, and he published a children’s book called My Little Girl. Tim’s estimated earnings were $16 million. I wonder how Faith did? She didn’t make the list, but I’m sure she’s pretty high up there.
I better get out of here. Very busy day ahead of me. I hope all of you enjoy your Thursday. Don’t work too hard, and drop me a line when you get a chance.
And remember, noon on Saturday is the deadline to enter to win your copy of the new Rascal Flatts CD, “Unstoppable.” Just e-mail me your name and mailing address and tell me you would like to win a copy of the new CD. A winner will be selected in a random drawing.
Talk to you all soon!