Blake Shelton was 2021’s top-earning country music star by a massive amount

Blake Shelton performing in concert
Blake Shelton performing in concert. Pic credit: ©

Blake Shelton spoke recently about knowing that his time on top of the country music world was growing shorter and he said he would step down when it was time.

However, if 2021 was any indication, that won’t be for a very long time.

The list of the top-earning country music artists of last year was finalized and Blake Shelton topped the list.

No one else came close.

Blake Shelton heads top-earning country music artists

Blake Shelton was the highest-paid country music artist of 2021.

The number includes both album sales, touring income, and all money made outside the music industry.

For Blake, that includes his income for coaching on The Voice.

The total that Blake made in 2021 was $83 million.

That was more than double the income from the second name on the list, Luke Bryan. Of course, Luke and Blake have something in common. Both work on a reality show, as Luke is one of the American Idol judges.

For Blake, more than $50 million of his income came from selling his music catalog.

Luke Bryan only made $40 million total and that included his American idol salary.

After those two, the rest of the list featured Dolly Parton ($30 million), Chris Stapleton ($26 million), Florida Georgia Line ($25 million), Garth Brooks ($20 million), Luke Combs ($19 million), Zac Brown Band ($17 million), Morgan Wallen ($16 million), Eric Church ($15 million).

The list measures “pretax earnings for calendar 2021 before deducting expenses for agents, managers, and lawyers” and brings in information from Pollstar and Luminate.

Blake Shelton matches big-money earners in other genres

Both 2020 and 2021 were tough for all musical artists. Almost all concerts were canceled in 2020 and several were canceled in 2021 as well.

Despite this, some musical artists were able to make a lot of money based on a smaller output of live shows.

According to the numbers, Blake matched up with rock artists like Motley Crue and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What helped push these numbers higher than others, especially with the lack of concerts, was that all of them sold their music catalog in 2021.

Luke Bryan’s money also came in from endorsement deals outside of American Idol. Dolly Parton launched her Dollywood empire and other business ventures outside of her musical career.

This is also a huge step-down.

The list of country music’s top-paid stars in 2019 was $311 million in total. In 2021, it was down to $291 million, and if Blake selling his catalog was taken out, it was down to $241 million.

The Voice is on hiatus. The singing reality series will return to NBC in late 2022.

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