Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Lack of women in country music's big money makers

What was that song Hank Williams Jr. used to sing, A Country Boy Can Survive? Sure they can, on $65-million (U.S.) if you're Toby Keith or $44-million if you're Kenny Chesney.

Forbes has released its annual list of the top money makers in country music, and, as expected, there a lot of commas involved in the gross incomes. Also no surprise is the almost complete absence of traditional country artists. The troubadour George Strait – No. 9, at $26-million – is the lone true-to-the-roots voice on the roll call, but he's already announced his retirement.

But the real take-away from the list of outrageous earners is the lack of women. Only Taylor Swift (at No. 2) is among top 13 dollar-rakers. (She'll probably never ever spend the $64-million haul she made over the last year, mostly from touring and her endorsement arrangements.)

Story continues below advertisement

The other dozen artists on the Forbes survey are men, the dominant gender of "bro-country," a sub-genre of music made by men, for inked-up, party-hearty, young white North American males. Somewhere, then, the next Tammy Wynette is working on a new attitude: Stand by your bro.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct Licensing Options
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.