Garth Brooks Tops “Forbes” Country Cash Kings List with $90 Million Payday

Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks tops this year’s Forbes Country Cash Kings: 2015: The Top 15 Earners list with an estimated $90 million in earnings, thanks in large part to his current World Tour. That total is the biggest single-year amount Forbes has ever recorded for a country act.

Toby Keith is second with $53 million coming in from his shows and various business interests. Jason Aldean is third with an estimated $43.5 million payday.

Forbes‘ Country Cash Kings list is compiled using data from Pollstar, Nielsen, industry insiders and artists themselves to estimate income from concert tickets, merchandise, publishing and other business interests. The amounts only cover income earned between June 2014 and June 2015.

Here is the complete Forbes Cash Kings 2015 List:

1) Garth Brooks, $90 million
2) Toby Keith, $53 million
3) Jason Aldean, $43.5 million
4) Luke Bryan, $42.5 million
5) Kenny Chesney, $42 million
6) Tim McGraw, $38 million
7) Florida Georgia Line, $36.5 million
8) Zac Brown Band, $32 million
9) Miranda Lambert, $28.5 million (tie)
9) Blake Shelton, $28.5 million (tie)
11) Keith Urban, $28 million
12) Eric Church, $26 million
13) Brad Paisley, $24 million
14) Rascal Flatts, $19.5 million
15) Lady Antebellum, $17 million

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Hunter Hayes Performs with ACM Lifting Lives Campers at Special Olympics World Games Event

Warner Music NashvilleHunter Hayes teamed up with 10 campers from the ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp Tuesday night to perform at a special event at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The performance took place at the Family’s Picnic in the Park at Grand Park LA, a private event for Special Olympics athletes and their families.

“It was an honor to support such a fantastic cause and get to perform for all of these athletes and their families,” Hunter says. “I had the opportunity to meet the ACM Lifting Lives music campers earlier this summer, and it reminded me how pure and powerful music can be. Being part of this event tonight and getting to perform with them again was an experience I won’t forget.”

The ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp offers musical enrichment opportunities for individuals with Williams Syndrome and is held each summer in Nashville.

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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhat is the title of Brantley Gilbert‘s first #1 hit as an artist? ANSWER: “Country Must Be Country Wide.”

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A Thousand Horses Guitarist Zach Brown Reveals the Tim McGraw Album That Turned Him on to Country

Republic NashvilleA Thousand Horses guitarist Zach Brown is heavily influenced by rock acts The Rolling Stones and The Smashing Pumpkins. He might not have found his way to country music if it weren’t for Tim McGraw‘s 1999 album, A Place in the Sun, which includes the hits “My Best Friend,” “Please Remember Me,”  “Something Like That,” and “My Next Thirty Years.”

“It was the first country album I ever bought,” Zach tells Country Aircheck. “I was in high school and I came late to country music, because I grew up with all my parents’ classic rock records. But all the girls in school listened to country music, so I figured I should get in on that. After I heard that album, I was hooked.”

A Thousand Horses is currently climbing the Country Airplay chart with “(This Ain’t No) Drunk Dial.” It’s the follow up to their #1 debut hit, “Smoke.” Both songs are included on A Thousand Horses’ debut album, Southernality, available now.

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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockJewel teamed up with Dolly Parton for the new song “My Father’s Daughter.” The track will appear on Jewel’s new album, Picking Up the Pieces, due out September 11.

Scotty McCreery shows off his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina on the CNN Travel Insider segment airing Thursday, July 30 during the 10 a.m. ET hour on CNN.

Alabama will release their new album, Southern Drawl, on September 18. The project marks the band’s first album of original material since 2001.

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Eric Church to Be Featured in New Country Music Hall of Fame Exhibit Opening Next Month

EB Media PREric Church will be featured in a new cameo exhibit opening at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on September 18. It’s called Eric Church: Inside the Outsider and will feature stage wear, guitars, song manuscripts and other items from Eric’s personal collection.

Eric Church: Inside the Outsider will be open through February 2016.

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Brantley Gilbert Opens Up About His Dad’s New Earrings

Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert is one of the more colorful country stars today, and it sounds like he’s cut from the same cloth as his father. Brantley recently had his dad move onto his farm in Alabama, and Brantley says the state is “rubbin’ off on him, slowly but surely.”

The move has caused Brantley’s dad to expand his views on guys wearing earrings, too.

“I thought he was gonna kill me when I got my ears pierced,” Brantley admits, “and he called me one night and he said, ‘You ain’t gonna believe this.’ I said, ‘I think you’re right, but go ahead, shoot.’ He said, ‘I’m just gonna send you a picture.’ I said, ‘All right.'”

Brantley was quite shocked when the picture of his dad came through.

Says Brantley, “He got his ears pierced, but they’re studs.”

Country stars like Brantley and Jason Aldean are known for wearing little hoop earrings, but studs are usually associated with rap acts. You shouldn’t have to worry about Brantley featuring his dad on a new song, though.

Brantley says with a laugh, “He’s not gonna break out mad beats or nothing.”

Next up, Brantley joins Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean for a show this Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium in St. Louis.  

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Miranda Lambert Shares Songs with Songwriter Friends and Karen Fairchild at Nashville Club Show

Sony Music NashvilleMiranda Lambert performed with her songwriter friends and her favorite up-and-coming female acts Tuesday night at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley. The sold-out show was set up as a songwriter round, which meant Miranda sat on the stage with her special guests throughout the night.

Miranda admitted she was nervous as the show got started with her performance of “Bathroom Sink,” a song about facing self-rejection from her latest album, Platinum.  She also mentioned that she had been writing a lot this past week with her fellow songwriters onstage, including Jessi Alexander, Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird and Jon Randall. That means you can expect to hear Miranda’s emotions following her divorce from Blake Shelton show up on her next album.

Speaking of Blake, his music was played over the speakers for a solid hour before the show started. When it came time for Miranda’s second song of the night, she admitted she was getting by on a lot of caffeine and sad songs these days. In keeping with that sad song theme, Miranda launched into the cheating song, “Dear Diamond,” which she recorded a few years back with Patty Loveless. Miranda wore a sparkly Patty Loveless tour T-shirt throughout the night.

Just another Sunday in the South. @mirandalambert and friends.

A video posted by Hunter Kelly (@nashvillehk) on

Little Big Town‘s Karen Fairchild made a special appearance to sing with Miranda on her latest single, “Smokin’ and Drinkin’.” Karen also sang “Pontoon” for the audience and returned to the stage at the end of the night to trade vocals with Miranda on “Girl Crush.”

The other writers onstage mostly sang hits they had written for other acts with Miranda singing backup. Jessi Alexander sang two hits she’d written for Blake — “Drink on It” and “Mine Would Be You.” Natalie Hemby sang lead vocals on the songs she’s written with or for Miranda, including “Baggage Claim,” “White Liar” and “Virginia Bluebell,” which is a song of hope Miranda says she’s been listening to a lot in the past week.

Newcomers RaeLynn, Clare Dunn and Courtney Cole all performed their new songs. Miranda will take all three of those acts on the road this fall.

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Rascal Flatts Chats with Dan Rather on “The Big Interview” Tonight

Big Machine RecordsRascal Flatts gives Dan Rather an in-depth look at their life on the road on The Big Interview Tuesday night at 8:00 ET on AXS TV. The chat took place earlier this year during the Flatts’ residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

Rascal Flatts guitar player Joe Don Rooney says, “To be able to offer such an esteemed reporter a look into our everyday life was an honor and I know we all really enjoyed talking with him and discussing things that are important to us as a band, as well as a little trip down memory lane, which is always fun.” 

Rascal Flatts is currently headlining the Riot Tour 2015. Go to to see where they’re playing next.

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Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert Lined Up for ACM Honors September 1 in Nashville

Academy of Country MusicJake Owen returns at the host of the Annual ACM Honors Tuesday, September 1 at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Jason Aldean, Randy Houser, Miranda Lambert, Roy Clark and Restless Heart are slated to perform, and Kelsea Ballerini and The Swon Brothers are among the presenters.

Look for more stars to be added to the 9th Annual ACM Honors lineup soon. The event recognizes the ACM Awards winners not presented on camera during the nationwide telecast in the spring. Tickets for the ACM Honors go on sale to the general public Friday, July 31 through Ticketmaster.

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