Oklahoma country music superstar and business mogul Toby Keith is featured on the cover of Forbes’ July 15 issue, which includes the publication’s annual “Celebrity 100″ power ranking.
The extensive article, titled “Toby Keith, Cowboy Capitalist: Country’s $500 Million Man,” details the Norman resident’s many business ventures, including his Wild Shot mezcal line, his longtime partnership with Ford Trucks, growing I Love This Bar and Grill restaurant chain and his partial ownership of the Big Machine Records label.
In addition, the Moore-bred megastar serves as principal of his Show Dog Universal and has written the vast majority of his many hit songs, as noted in this excerpt:
Keith’s commercial chops, overlaying a wide patriotic appeal, have created the most vertically integrated performer in the music business–and a one-man cash machine. FORBES estimates that Keith pulled in $65 million over the last 12 months–more than any musician not named Madonna, Lady Gaga or Bon Jovi, and easily outpacing masters of product extension like Jay-Z ($42 million), Beyoncé ($53 million) and Jennifer Lopez ($45 million).
The long-term figures are even more impressive. Over the past five years, FORBES estimates, Keith has never earned less than $48 million in a year. His cumulative take over that period: $270 million. Over his entire career–Keith has written a No. 1 country hit every year for the past two decades–his total earnings surpass $500 million.
The article also briefly mentions a couple of his charitable projects, including his under-construction OK Kids Korral lodge for Oklahoma children seeking cancer treatment at OU Health Sciences Center and his July 6 Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert at the OU stadium. The show, which also features Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ronnie Dunn, Sammy Hagar and more, benefits The United Way Of Central Oklahoma May Tornado Relief Fund.
Keith and his $65 million in the past year ranks No. 43 on the actual “Celebrity 100.” Fellow Oklahoma country music superstar Carrie Underwood, who hails from Checotah, is listed at No. 46 with $31 million in the past year.
The top 10 on this year’s list: Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, Beyonce, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Bon Jovi, Roger Federer, Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres. Click here to read the full list.