When you think of mega-rich country stars, which one immediately springs to mind? If you said "Taylor Swift," you'd certainly not be far off the mark. However, there's one country star who not only outearned Swift in recent months, he actually owns a piece of her earnings.
That would be Toby Keith, whom Forbes has just dubbed "Country's $500 Million Man" in reference to his total career fortune. The 51-year-old Oklahoman made more than $65 million in the last 12 months alone, the magazine estimates — putting him ahead of such top earners as Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez...and, yes, Swift (who "only" earned an estimated $55 million over the same period).
So, it's apparent that Keith has plenty of reasons to raise his infamous red solo cup — but, if you're wondering how exactly he amasses such cash, Forbes explains it's via various avenues. Besides his own prolific music/touring endeavors, Keith also makes money from his I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant chain, his own liquor brand, a lucrative endorsement deal with Ford...and, yes, Swift.
Okay, okay. So, just how does Keith profit from Swift's career? The answer is simple: The savvy businessman invested early in a stake of Big Machine Records — the label that would go on to sign Swift, as well as other country powerhouses such as Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw. Forbes estimates that Keith's holdings in the label amount to about 10%.
At any rate, Keith's making some pretty good coin from that forward-thinking deal. "Toby’s a really smart businessman,” Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta told Forbes. "I send him checks."
How big are those "Swift-generated checks," you may ask? "I know there’s an extra comma," Keith told Forbes, "If you added up all the money I've ever made.”
Keith appears on the July 15 cover of Forbes and is part of the publication's "Celeb 100: Musicians" list. To read the magazine's full feature on him (which includes a detailed breakdown of how he built his financial empire), visit here.