The recording and publishing catalogs of late country star Toby Keith continue to bring in a combined $9 million per year in streaming and sales activity, according to Billboard estimates.
Keith, who died Monday (Feb. 5) at age 62, had slowed his output considerably over the last decade, releasing just two proper studio albums over that period: 2015’s 35 MPH Town and 2021’s Peso in My Pocket. But a vast stable of past smashes over the past 30 years, including the multi-platinum albums Pull My Chain, Unleashed and Shock’n Y’all along with 20 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, including “Who’s That Man,” “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” and “How Do You Like Me Now,” allowed his catalog to remain lucrative up to the present day.
Over the last three years, Keith’s catalog has averaged nearly 475,000 album consumption units per year in the United States, according to Luminate. That consists of an average of nearly 61,000 albums (CDs, LPs, downloads) per year, as well as 152,000 tracks and about 570 million on-demand streams.
While streaming has helped country music begin to gain an international audience, some artists in the genre are racking up fans outside the United States faster than others, and Keith’s audience remained largely a domestic one. As it is, Keith’s U.S. streaming accounts for about 83% of the 686 million streams his music averaged on a global basis annually over the last three years. Likewise, his U.S. song downloads make up 91% of his annual average of 167,000 downloads over the last three years.
Overall, Billboard estimates that Keith’s album sales and streaming activity generated about $5.3 million in revenue on average over each of the last three years for his recorded music catalog, while his publishing has brought in about $3.7 million per year. However, since Keith has a stake in close to 50% of his songs, and because he likely owned the albums he released since he started his Show Dog Nashville label in 2005, he likely gets the bulk of that revenue as his take-home pay. Before Show Dog, he released music on Universal Music Group-distributed labels including Mercury, A&M and Dreamworks Nashville.
Keith was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2021 but didn’t publicly reveal the news until the following year. He died less than two months after he performed his final shows: a trio of December concerts at Dolby Live at Park MGM in Las Vegas.