The richest rock stars

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February 16, 2022
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The richest rock stars

Rock icons have always had a significant impact on society, whether through their poetic songwriting, innovative guitar techniques, catchy melodies, or powerful stage presence. The stardom that comes with a highly successful music career often leads to opulence. True rockers can generate an astoundingly significant amount of revenue through album sales, merchandising, licensing deals, and concert ticket sales.

Stacker looked to Celebrity Net Worth’s database of musicians to find out which famous rock stars have had the most lucrative careers. Some found success as solo singer-songwriters or members of famous rock bands, and others have made a fortune as both players in a group and as a standalone act. Many of the artists listed began their careers as far back as the ’60s and are still rocking on today—whether they’re touring their old hits, producing new music, or working with other artists.

Read on to see which of your favorite artists are the music industry’s top earners. Stars are ranked by their net worth.

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#25. Robbie Williams

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: England
- Age: 47

An alum of the ’90s pop group Take That, Robbie Williams is known for achieving a successful music career as both a band member and solo artist. With hits like “She’s the One” and “Angels,” he is known for being the artist with the most Brit Awards in history, with 18 overall wins as of 2022. He was also the 2017 recipient of the BRITs Icon Award.

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#24. Phil Collins

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 71

Phil Collins, one of the three artists in history to sell over 100 million albums through group contributions and solo success, is known both as a solo act and lead singer and drummer for the band Genesis. Aside from his legacy as a mainstream artist, Billboard recognized Collins for writing one of Disney’s greatest songs of all time, “You’ll Be in My Heart” from the animated film “Tarzan.” In addition to numerous Grammy, Brit, and American Music awards, Collins has sustained recognition outside of the music industry as a recipient of a Disney Legend Award, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe.

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#23. James Hetfield

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 58

Metallica founding member, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter James Hetfield is a music industry legend known specifically for his powerful vocals and guitar skills. Founded in 1981, the heavy metal band is still recognized as one of the highest-earning bands in the world, and is most well known for their 1991 album, “Metallica.”

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#22. Dave Matthews

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 55

Dave Matthews is the frontman, lead vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the self-titled rock band, the Dave Matthews Band. Not only has Matthews generated a lucrative music career, but he has also found success in his acting career and with his record label According to Our Records. Despite setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dave Matthews Band continues to tour—they announced their North American summer tour in February 2022.

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#21. Björn Ulvaeus

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: Sweden
- Age: 76

Most known for his contributions as co-founder, composer, and member of the pop group ABBA, Björn Ulvaeus began his music career in the folk band Hootenanny Singers. After founding ABBA in 1972, he rose to international stardom with the success of hits like “Waterloo,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Fernando.” After ABBA’s unofficial breakup in the ’80s, Ulvaeus continued to generate revenue through the successful Broadway musical “Mamma Mia!” and its films. In November 2021, ABBA released its first new album in four decades, “Voyage.”

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#20. Anni-Frid Lyngstad

- Net worth: $300 million
- Nationality: Norway
- Age: 76

As a member of ABBA, Anni-Frid Lyngstad fostered a successful career as a solo artist during and after the band’s prime. Aside from lending her notable solo vocals in ABBA’s successful hits “Our Last Summer” and “Super Trouper,” Lyngstad is known for her 1975 solo album “Frida ensam” and 1982 English-language album “Something’s Going On.” Still, her solo career has not outshined that of her success with ABBA. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

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#19. Roger Waters

- Net worth: $310 million
- Nationality: England
- Age: 78

Co-founder, lyricist, bassist, and lead singer of the rock band Pink Floyd, Roger Waters is known as one of the most successful rock artists of all time. Pink Floyd’s 1973 release, “The Dark Side of the Moon,” is renowned as one of the best albums of all time, having spent 917 weeks on Billboard 200. The band’s 1979 album, “The Wall,” based on Waters’ life, sold over 23 million copies and inspired the musical drama film “Pink Floyd: The Wall.”

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#18. Dave Grohl

- Net worth: $320 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 53

Dave Grohl is the guitarist, founder, and lead singer of Foo Fighters as well as the former drummer of the ’90s rock band Nirvana. As a member of Foo Fighters, Grohl has released 10 studio albums and is known for hits like “Everlong.” As of 2022, Grohl has won 16 of the 42 Grammy Awards for which he’s been nominated.

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#17. Ringo Starr

- Net worth: $350 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 81

Ringo Starr, best known as the drummer for the Beatles, found success both in the band and as a solo artist. As a Beatle, he sang lead vocals on multiple chart-topping songs, such as “With a Little Help from My Friends.” He has released 20 solo studio albums and is among 26 performers to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame more than once—both as a Beatle and solo artist.

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#16. Lars Ulrich

- Net worth: $350 million
- Nationality: Denmark
- Age: 58

Lars Ulrich made his mark on the music industry as one of the founding members of the heavy metal band Metallica. When the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, Ulrich became the first Danish person to be inducted. Ulrich is credited for introducing innovative drumming techniques into the music scene.

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#15. Larry Mullen Jr.

- Net worth: $350 million
- Nationality: Republic of Ireland
- Age: 60

Known for his marching band-inspired drumming style, Larry Mullen Jr. rose to fame as a member of the Irish rock band U2. The band has achieved international success and is best known for hits such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” U2 is one of the few acts to receive over 20 Grammy Awards.

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#14. Bob Dylan

- Net worth: $375 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 80

With a career that spans decades, Bob Dylan is known as one of the most famous singer-songwriters in history. Rising to fame in the 1960s, Dylan is known most especially for his longevity in touring, poetic lyrics, and ability to incorporate a variety of musical genres. He has an impressive list of accolades, among them including a Nobel Prize in Literature and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, in addition to Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award. His profound impact on the music industry can be measured by the number of musicians that have covered his work (over 6,000 recordings) and his ability to tour for decades. His Never Ending Tour, which launched in 1988, for instance, still continues today.

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#13. The Edge

- Net worth: $400 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 60

Lead guitarist and keyboardist of Irish rock band U2, Edge is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. His unique musical style is said to have shaped U2’s popular album “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.” Edge released a solo album called “Captive,” which served as the soundtrack for the 1986 Anglo-French film by the same name.

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#12. Sting

- Net worth: $400 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 70

Sting is known for his time in the ’80s rock band The Police and as a solo artist with popular hits “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.” Sting has won 17 Grammy Awards among the 45 nominations he has received throughout his career. He was also the recipient of the 2016 American Music Awards Award of Merit.

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#11. Gene Simmons

- Net worth: $400 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 72

Gene Simmons, frontman of the rock band Kiss, is known for his shocking stage presence and intense costume-like image as much as his music. In addition to wearing white face paint, long black hair, and all-black and glitter ensembles, Kiss is known for successful hits like “Hard Luck Woman” and “I Was Made for Loving You,” and the band generates revenue from licensing fees.

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#10. Adam Clayton

- Net worth: $400 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 61

Adam Clayton has sold 14 studio albums so far as a member of the rock band U2. As the band’s bass player, Clayton has been part of some of the most lucrative tours of all time, including the band’s 360 Tour, which lasted from June 2009 to July 2011 and generated $736.4 million. Clayton is also recognized for his work outside of U2 as co-writer of the “Mission: Impossible” soundtrack, which earned him a Grammy nomination.

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#9. Jon Bon Jovi

- Net worth: $410 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 59

Jon Bon Jovi, known for hits “Living on a Prayer” and “You Give Love a Bad Name,” founded the self-titled rock band Bon Jovi in 1983. To date, the band has released 15 studio albums and in 2007 took home the Grammy Award for best country collaboration with vocals. Bon Jovi was also a 2009 inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a 2018 inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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#8. Eric Clapton

- Net worth: $450 million
- Nationality: England
- Age: 76

Three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Eric Clapton is known for his time as a blues-rock solo act and a member of Cream, Derek and the Dominoes, Yardbirds, and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. Widely known as one of the best guitarists of all time, his most notable repertoire includes “Layla,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “I Shot the Sheriff.” He’s the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards, a 2006 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Rolling Stone listed him among the top 100 artists of all time and ranked him #2 among the 100 greatest guitarist of all time.

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#7. Mick Jagger

- Net worth: $500 million
- Nationality: England
- Age: 78

Mick Jagger, the lead vocalist of the Rolling Stones, which formed in 1962, is known as a rock culture icon not only for his voice but for his dance moves on stage. As part of the Rolling Stones, he has released over 30 studio albums including “Sticky Fingers” and “It’s Only Rock ’n Roll.” The Rolling Stones have remained a relevant staple in the music industry and continue to tour consistently.

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#6. Keith Richards

- Net worth: $500 million
- Nationality: England
- Age: 78

Also a member and co-founder of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards is known most for his impressive guitar skills and songwriting. With Mick Jagger, he wrote Rolling Stones hits like “Angie” and “Gimme Shelter.” Outside of the band, Richards has his own record label, Mindless Records, and has worked on projects with other artists, including Aretha Franklin.

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#5. Elton John

- Net worth: $500 million
- Nationality: United Kingdom
- Age: 74

Elton John, the musician behind hits like “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Song,” is a widely renowned solo pop artist and LGBTQ+ activist. The legendary musician has been awarded five Grammy Awards in his more than 60-year-long career as a solo artist, has sold more than 300 million albums, and is one of the most widely known international artists of all time. His 1997 rerelease of “Candle in the Wind” was the bestselling single in history. The artist announced his farewell tour in 2018, which will continue through 2023.

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#4. Jimmy Buffett

- Net worth: $600 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 75

Jimmy Buffett is known for his successful career as a singer-songwriter, having produced 29 studio albums and held over 40 tours. Buffett rose to mainstream popularity in the 1970s with the release of the now-iconic song “Margaritaville,” which inspired an entire brand of restaurants, a clothing line, hotels and resorts, and even a cruise line. Buffett is reportedly one of Bob Dylan’s favorite songwriters of all time.

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#3. Bruce Springsteen

- Net worth: $650 million
- Nationality: United States of America
- Age: 72

New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen is known not only for his successful solo career, but his time as a member of Earth, E Street Band, the Castiles, Steel Mill, the Sundance Blues Band, and the self-titled Bruce Springsteen Band. His most well-known hits include “Born to Run” and “Born in the U.S.A.”—the latter of which is named after Springsteen’s album of the same name, which remains one of the bestselling albums in music history. In 1975, he became the first rock star to grace the covers of Newsweek and Time in the same week.

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#2. Bono

- Net worth: $700 million
- Nationality: Republic of Ireland
- Age: 61

Paul David Hewson, known professionally as Bono, has released 14 studio albums as part of his band U2, including chart-topping hits “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” As U2’s lead singer and main lyricist, Bono’s accolades include 22 Grammy Awards and two Golden Globes.

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#1. Paul McCartney

- Net worth: $1.2 billion
- Nationality: England
- Age: 79

Two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Paul McCartney is a self-taught musician known for his talents with songwriting, his distinctive vocals, and a mastery of various instruments. Most known for his time with the Beatles, one of the most successful bands in music history, McCartney also found success as a solo artist and as a member of the band the Wings.

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