Rascal Flatts (Associated Press photo)
Country stars Rascal Flatts, which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher, and Toby Keith have made the Forbes’ 10 top-earning musicians list.
Rascal Flatts, which also includes Ohio natives Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox, is listed at No. 6 after earning $60 million last year. The group is tied for sixth place with British band Coldplay and Australian rockers AC/DC, according to Forbes.com.
The country trio is the artist with the least experience on the list, having released its first album in 2000. Forbes.com praises the group as a relatively young act that has ”mastered the art and science of the modern superstar that is more brand than band. With a JCPenney clothing line in the works, significant crossover appeal and endorsement deals, they recognize how to capitalize on their popularity, unfettered by the economic threats to their industry and the economy.”
Forbes continues in its top 10 photo slideshow that Rascal Flatts has created “a cozy niche for themselves with crossover pop/country hits and a young fan base.” The group grossed $56 million on the road last year, and earned more through lucrative endorsement deals with JCPenney and Hershey’s.
The band’s latest band, “Unstoppable,”debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 when it came out in April.
Toby Keith (AP photo)
Keith, who was born in Clinton, raised in Moore and lives in Norman, came in at No. 10 on the list with $52 million.
The Forbes.com photo slideshow sums up his success like this: “A consistent name among musical top earners, Toby Keith has continued to expand his brand. He grossed $31 million on tour in 2008, and ‘That Don’t Make Me a Bad Guy,’ which has since sold over 500,000 copies. He also sees income from an endorsement deal with Ford, an eponymous chain of restaurants and as a prolific songwriter.”
Madonna topped the Forbes list. According to Forbes.com, the Material Girl’s annual earnings have hovered between $40 million and $50 million dollars since 2002. In the last year, a sold-out worldwide tour, impressive international sales of her latest album, “Hard Candy,” and lucrative endorsement deals put her earnings at walloping $110 million.
The top three artists on the list are all women: Celine Dion and Beyonce Knowles are sitting pretty in the No. 2 and 3 spots.
In the last 12 months, the top 10 musicians earned a combined $719 million, up from $500 million during the same period ending June 2008. According to Forbes.com, big shows with big ticket prices are main reason for the jump in stars’ income. Ten single shows grossed more than $10 million in 2008, Forbes reports, citing Pollstar. In 2007, only four shows reached that level.
Here is Forbes’ list of top-earning musicians:
1. Madonna, $110 million.
2. Celine Dion, $100 million.
3. Beyonce Knowles, $87 million.
4. Bruce Springsteen, $70 million.
5. Kenny Chesney, $65 million.
6. Rascal Flatts, $60 million.
6. Coldplay, $60 million.
6. AC/DC, $60 million.
9. Eagles, $55 million.
10. Toby Keith, $52 million.