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Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith Top Forbes List of Country Music’s Top-Earning Stars

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Forbes released its list of country music’s top-earning stars this week, with Kenny Chesney taking the top spot for the second year thanks to a 57-date tour. Following Chesney were Toby Keith and Taylor Swift, who saw the largest increase in earnings in anyone in the country last year.

The article also covered some interesting points concerning the loyalty that country artists often receive from country music fans, stating that, “fame in Nashville seems to come with an irrevocable ticket into the hearts and wallets of country fans who, like the heroes of a sad song, are in it for the long haul.”

Country album sales were down only 3% in 2009 compared to double digit drop in some other genres, and for whatever reason, success and stardom in country music often means years of steady work and loyal fans.

The entire list, and a more detailed slide show can be found on Forbes’s site, and is as follows:

1. Kenny Chesney
2. Toby Keith
3. Taylor Swift (tie)
3. Rascal Flatts (tie)
5. Tim McGraw
6. Keith Urban
7. George Straight
8. Brad Paisley
9. Alan Jackson
10. Carrie Underwood