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Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw Named Top Country Earners of 2012

Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw
Jason Kempin (2), Getty Images

While the music industry is full of musicians who are still trying to ‘make it,’ Billboard has compiled a list of forty musicians who have been successful in 2012, at least according to their pocketbooks. Many fan-favorite country artists made the cut, an example of the popularity of country music today.

Kenny Chesney was the most successful country artist in the bunch, coming in at No. 5 overall after earning more than $19 million in 2012. Chesney’s Brothers of the Sun touring partner, Tim McGraw, ranked at No. 7 with an impressive $18 million for the year.

Jason Aldean claimed the No. 8 spot, with a yearly total of $18.5 million — certainly more than he was making in ‘1994’ — while trio Lady Antebellum ended up at No. 12 with just under $13 million. There was a tight race between the artists following them, as Brad Paisley took home $12.8 million, Taylor Swift landed the 15th spot with $12.7 million, and Carrie Underwood came in at No. 16, bringing in a hefty $11.9 million. We’re pretty ‘Blown Away’ by that.

Eric Church and Rascal Flatts were next, banking $11 million and $10.8 million respectively, and Toby Keith ended up at No. 23, with $9.8 million earned in 2013. Also on the list were husband and wife Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, with the ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ hitmaker landing at No. 27, and her heartthrob husband rounding out the list at No. 40. Squeezing in at No. 37 was Zac Brown Band, and with the added adrenaline of their recent Grammy win, we can expect many great things from them in the future.

The top three money makers of 2012 were a couple of household names: Madonna (who topped this list in 2008), Bruce Springsteen, and Roger Waters. Swift topped this list the previous year, earning $35.7 million.

We’re pretty proud of all the country artists who made this list, declaring that country music is here to stay. If you’d like to view the complete list, you can see it here.

Next: Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw Shirtless >>

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