Country music produced several big moneymaking superstars in 2015, but none of them were women. To wit: in December, Zack O’Malley Greenburg of Forbes published his annual list of the world’s highest-paid musicians. Of the 30 names on the list, seven were country stars, and, boy, did they make some serious bucks. Garth Brooks came out of retirement to earn $90 million, making him the third highest earning musician of 2015 in any genre. And he had plenty of company among the men of country:
|3||Garth Brooks||$90 million|
|16||Toby Keith||$53 million|
|19||Jason Aldean||$43.5 million|
|20||Luke Bryan||$42.5 million|
|21||Kenny Chesney||$42 million|
|24||Tim McGraw||$38 million|
|27||Florida Georgia Line||$36.5 million|
Those seven performers earned $345.5 million through extensive touring, a few new albums, product endorsements, and brand extensions. But where are the women superstars?
According to Billboard, country female artists are landing fewer charting singles and albums compared to men. Taylor Swift, the only female with country roots on the Forbes list, was the fourth highest earning musician in 2015, making $80 million. But her success came from touring as a cross-over artist with a pop album, 1989, which underscores the reality that women who stick to country are not dominating country music like men are. Similarly, country breakthrough star Kacey Musgraves was nowhere to be found at the 2015 CMA Festival, a big-time event hosted by the Country Music Association. She was playing the mainstream Bonnaroo Music Festival, supporting a perception that women in country need to find success elsewhere.
The Rise of Bro Country Continue reading