Toby will take in highest country music payday

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 3:04am
Toby Keith ranks as 'Forbes' magazine's No. 1 earning country star for the last 12 months.

So, just which country stars rake in the cash?

Forbes’ new list of the Top-Earning Country Music Stars places Toby Keith at No. 1, with earnings of over $48 million last year.

For the rankings, the news outlet considered concert grosses, merchandise revenue, album sales and income from endorsement and licensing deals. The amounts are gross earnings in the last 12 months.

The rest of the Top 5 are: No. 2 Rascal Flatts ($40 million);
No. 3 Tim McGraw ($23 million); No. 4 Kenny Chesney ($22 million);
and No. 5 Brooks & Dunn ($20 million).

Hit songwriter starts label

Craig Wiseman, one of Nashville’s top songwriters and independent music publishers, has launched his own record label.

1111 Music House (pronounced “eleven eleven,” after the company’s street address) is the latest addition to Wiseman’s Big Loud Shirt Industries, comprised of a publishing house with a London office and a publishing administration company.

He has signed Big Loud Shirt songwriter Clay Cumbie as the label’s flagship artist. Some staffers from Big Loud Shirt, including COO Marc Driskill, will also have duties at 1111 Music House. Seth England will be the label’s sole staffer.

Wiseman has written more than 100 charted singles and 14 No. 1 hits, and has been named writer of the year by NSAI and ASCAP three times.

Local songwriter pens single for new ‘American Idol’

Nashville songwriter Regie Hamm won the second annual American Idol Songwriting Competition with his song “The Time of My Life,” performed May 21 on the show’s season finale.

The solo composition was chosen from thousands of entries, which were narrowed down to the top 20 for online fan voting. The song will be released as a single by Idol winner David Cook.

Sugarland plans July release

Mercury Nashville duo Sugarland will release its third studio album, Love on the Inside, on July 22.

Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush co-wrote all 13 tracks and again teamed with producer Byron Gallimore. The album’s lead single "All I Want to Do" shipped digitally to radio immediately following its debut on the ACM Awards.

On the night of the ACMs the duo’s hit “Stay” won Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

For the new single’s accompanying music video, Sugarland worked director Shaun Silva, who also shot the video for “Stay.”

The upcoming album release follows the duo’s multi-platinum projects Enjoy the Ride and Twice The Speed of Life.

Copyright 2008 Music Row Communications

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