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Toby Keith is Tops In Country–At Least in Terms of Earnings

Forbes reports that Toby Keith earned $65 million in 2013, $10 more than Taylor Swift–who really isn’t a country singer–and $12 million more than Kenny Chesney.

Not bad for a good old boy following, to a great extent, the traditions of country music. Here is the beginning of Keith’s profile at Wikipedia:

Toby Keith Covel (born July 8, 1961), best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer, and actor. Keith released his first four studio albumsโ€”1993’s Toby Keith, 1994’s Boomtown, 1996’s Blue Moon and 1997’s Dream Walkin’, plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of Mercury Records before leaving Mercury in 1998. These albums all earned gold or higher certification, and produced several chart singles, including his debut “Should’ve Been a Cowboy”, which topped the country charts and was the most played country song of the 1990s. The song has received three million spins since its release, according to Broadcast Music Incorporated.[2]

Signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 1998, Keith released his breakthrough single “How Do You Like Me Now?!” that year. This song, the title track to his 1999 album of the same name, was the Number One country song of 2000, and one of several chart-toppers during his tenure on DreamWorks Nashville. His next three albums, Pull My Chain, Unleashed, and Shock’n Y’all, produced three more Number Ones each, and all of the albums were certified multi-platinum. A second Greatest Hits package followed in 2004, and after that, he released Honkytonk University. (Continue Reading…)

Huffington Post ran a positive review of Keith’s most recent album:

What amazes is how consistently Keith hits high marks on “Drinks After Work,” despite releasing an album of new material annually since 2005. The reliability comes from Keith’s knack for creating new material that fits his big-shouldered, swaggering persona, with help from a well-established crew of co-writers (Scotty Emerick, Bobbie Pinson and Rivers Rutherford).

Above is “I Love this Bar” and, with Willie Nelson, “Beer for My Horses.”

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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