There's new data out showing the richest country singers in the world and how they made all of their money. This is more interesting than the usual static list where everyone just earns more money due to investments and new businesses.
Anyone can breakthrough and become extremely wealthy as a country musician. But to reach the top and have the highest net worth means you'll need to break into Hollywood, start additional businesses, make smart investments, and control your expenses. Some of the artists on this list have been in country music for decades, while others are newer to the scene. Check them all out and their career highlights below.
1. Dolly Parton (NET WORTH: $500 MILLION)
The queen of country has had 25 RIAA-certified multi-platinum, platinum, and gold records out of her 63 studio albums. She's won all the music awards, is in all of the halls of fame, and even a handful from the film industry for her starring roles in a handful of movies. She even has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Her literacy program has donated over 100 million books to children across the planet. The Dollywood Company hosts the Dollywood theme park and the Splash Country water park, as well as the Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction, all in Pigeon Forge, TN.
2. Shania Twain (NET WORTH: $400 MILLION)
Shania absolutely owned the mid-to-late 90's in terms of country and country pop music. She's a 5 time Grammy winner, Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee, and has 27 BMI Songwriter Awards. She's the 6th best-selling female artist in the USA. She broke into TV as a judge on American Idol and ended up on all the music-related reality TV shows. She's had endorsements with Febreze, Coty for her perfume called "Shania," and even carried the Olympic Torch in 2010. Even her autobiography earns her income. She gives back to needy school children with her program "Shania Kids Can." She also made tons of money from her residency at The Colosseum at Caesar's Palace.
3. Toby Keith (NET WORTH: $365 MILLION)
Toby has been in the game since 1993 and has released 19 studio albums and 2 Christmas albums since, totaling over 40 million album sales and 61 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. He's broken into TV, like the others, but only with performances and not acting. He's really climbed the charts with his business ventures, including his restaurant franchise "I Love This Bar & Grill" across the nation and his clothing line "TK Steelman." He also introduced a new liquor called Wild Shot Silver Mezcal.
4. Garth Brooks (NET WORTH: $330 MILLION)
By bridging rock and roll with country music, Garth became one of the best-selling solo albums artist in the USA with 148 million sold, even ahead of Elvis Presley. He's only surpassed by The Beatles in total albums sold. He's the only musician in music history to have seven Diamond status records according to the RIAA. All of this is big bucks but he's capped that off with a 5 year residency at the Encore Theatre in Las Vegas. He's done the TV gigs like all musicians do when they can, but all of that pales to his other business ventures like GhostTunes, his online music store. He established his own record label called Pearl Records.
5. George Strait (NET WORTH: $300 MILLION)
The "King of Country" has been on the grind since 1970's and has since won all the wards, been inducted into all the halls of fame, and has been named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Awards and the Academy of Country Music many times over. He's one of the best-selling musicians ever, with 13 multi-platinum records, 33 platinums, and 38 gold albums. His other businesses include being a spokesperson for the Wrangler National Patriot program for wounded veterans and he even owns a Gulfstream G450 business jet company. He co-founded the Vaqueros Del Mar golf tournament and concert series. Of course, he's broken into television and film.
6. Kenny Rogers (Posthumous - NET WORTH: $250 MILLION)
What people don't know about Kenny is he tops the charts on more than just the country genre, which is how he became one of the best-sellers of all time. He's also a passionate photographer, releasing two photo books. He co-founded a chicken restaurant chain called "Kenny Rogers Roasters" with the former CEO of KFC. For some reason, comedians find this funny which has only broadened his income with free marketing. He's bridged into television and even the race car business.
7. Kenny Chesney (NET WORTH: $190 MILLION)
From Kenny's 20 studio albums, he's produced 40 Top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, received countless awards as the Entertainer of the Year and Top Male Vocalist. In 2015, Forbes estimated Kenny's income at $42 million per year. He didn't receive his first instrument until he graduated from high school. He named the guitar "The Terminator," and after learning to play, he promptly moved to Nashville. He's one of the most successful crossover country singers. His album sales have reached over 30 million sales worldwide.
8. Reba McEntire (NET WORTH: $98 MILLION)
Reba got her start singing with her siblings as the "Singing McEntires" at rodeos. Like her mom, an accomplished country vocalist, chose to be an elementary school teacher instead. She was heard singing the national anthem at another rodeo by Red Steagall and he helped her launch her career. She ultimately has produced 29 studio albums, 42 number one singles, and 16 number one albums. She became a film actress with the classic movie Tremors and eventually had her own award winning TV sitcom called Reba.
9. Alan Jackson (NET WORTH: $96 MILLION)
Alan's 80 million plus records sold come out of his 16 studio albums, 2 Christmas albums, and two gospel albums. The albums earned him a place in all the country-related halls of fame, and The Grand Ole Opry. He has 9 multi-platinum records, and tons of awards. He's branched out into other business deals, such as exclusive music and merchandise sales at the Cracker Barrel restaurants, an endorsement for Ford Trucks, and a sponsorship by NAPA Auto Parts, and headlining a tour by Fruit of the Loom.
10. Brad Paisley (NET WORTH: $95 MILLION)
Brad's 11 studio albums have produced 32 Top 10 singles and netted 11 million albums sold. He's accumulated 3 Grammys, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards, and 2 American Music Awards. His high school years and many after were spent opening for many legends like Ricky Skaggs on the Jamboree USA radio show. He's released two books, increasing his revenue streams. And he records his albums largely with his live band, The Drama Kings.
Photos: Getty Images