Blake Shelton, George Strait, and Taylor Swift all made the top thirty highest-earning musicians of 2020 according to Billboard. All three artists made major contributions to the music industry in the last year.
Blake Shelton made #29 on the list, making $6.7 million in 2020. He had a combined 1.6 billion streams, resulting in 2.2 million dollars in revenue, but that wasn’t even his biggest source of income. He made a good chunk of money with his “box office appeal” meaning his songs were great for films and TV. The Voice coach made 3.9 million dollars from films and TV. He didn’t rank last year.
George Strait, meanwhile, came in at #26. He made just a bit more than Shelton at $6.9 million. His rank last year was 17. He was one of the few artists who actually made significant touring income in 2020. Strait performed in a ton of shows before the pandemic hit. He performed incredibly well for a country artist in streaming, too with 1.6 billion streams. Like Shelton, he also made significant box office money.
Finally, Billboard ranked Taylor Swift as the #1 moneymaker, making a shocking 23.8 million dollars after a wildly successful year. Swift, who got her start in country, has since branched into pop, and now alternative and folk. Her albums, Folklore, and Evermore are responsible for the majority of that income. She owns and licenses those albums for distribution herself, meaning she probably made around 46% in streaming (most artists who don’t own their masters like she does make around 33%).
Other notable artists in the top 30 include Luke Combs, Billie Eilish, and the upcoming coach of The Voice Ariana Grande.
Taylor Swift Won’t Submit Re-Recorded Albums for Grammy Consideration
While Taylor Swift may be in the process of re-recording her own albums in a fight to properly own her work, she’s not re-submitting them for Grammy nods. Her first and most recent re-release was of her country album Fearless, which shot her into the spotlight.
Swift’s Fearless includes hits such as Love Story, Fifteen, You Belong With Me, and White Horse. Swift and her representatives recognize that the album has already had its time in the Grammy spotlight.
“After careful consideration, Taylor Swift will not be submitting Fearless (Taylor’s Version) in any category at this year’s upcoming Grammy and CMA Awards,” a Republic Records representative said in a statement. “Fearless has already won four Grammys including album of the year, as well as the CMA Award for album of the year in 2009/2010 and remains the most awarded country album of all time.”
Because of that, Swift will hold off on submitting it again. Her new release of Fearless isn’t just old music repurposed, however. It also includes multiple never heard before tracks that her original record company didn’t want to put on the album.
Swift once again dominated the competition, but with Strait and Shelton being top earners this year as well, it’s clear the world of music is continuing to grow and accept in more country singers into the mainstream. It’s hard to say what next year will bring, but hopefully, it’ll be big for all three artists.