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Rock Stars That Rake in the Big Bucks, Ranked by Net Worth

45. Sir Bob Geldof - $150 million

45. Sir Bob Geldof - $150 million

Irish born rocker Bob Geldof first rose to fame as a member of the Boomtown Rats, who’s largest remembered hit is “I Don’t Like Mondays”. 

Geldof hit his stride and secured a knighthood as the brainchild behind Band Aid, who’s Christmas hit “Do They Know Its Christmas?” to benefit the famine in Ethiopia.  Geldof quickly pivoted to organize Live Aid, a global concert in 1985 to benefit famine relief. 

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44. Angus Young- $160 million

44. Angus Young- $160 million

The Scottish-born guitarist is best known for running about in a schoolboy uniform as a co-founder of the Australian band AC/DC with brother Malcolm Young. With his high energy and on-stage antics including popularizing the duck walk made famous by Chuck Berry, Young has performed on 16 studio albums, including “Back in Black”, which is the number two album sold of all time. 

Some think he’s a wild child, but in reality, Angus Young is a teetotaler, having watched vocalist Bon Scott die from alcohol poisoning in 1979.

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43. John Deacon- $170 million

43. John Deacon- $170 million

As the last member to join the band Queen, John Deacon has made a name for himself as a multi-instrumentalist. In addition to playing keyboards, he’s also adept at bass guitar and electronic sound engineering. 

Deacon is best known in the Queen circle as creating the bass riff for the song “Under Pressure”, which would go on to be one of the most widely sampled songs in history. Now retired, Deacon spends his time in southwest London. 

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42. Jimmy Page- $180 million

42. Jimmy Page- $180 million

Most famous for helping found Led Zeppelin, rocker Jimmy Page has been electrifying audiences. 

Forming the super group out of the Yard Birds with vocalist Robert Plant, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham, Page secured himself as a member of guitar royalty with his blistering solos on Led Zeppelin albums for over 3 decades, and Rolling Stone declared him number 9 on the best guitarists of all time list. 

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41. David Gilmour- $180 million

41. David Gilmour- $180 million

British born David Gilmour was the lead guitar for Pink Floyd and helped propel them to international fame. In addition to his commercial success with Pink Floyd, Gilmour is also a passionate philanthropist who is deeply interested in solutions for climate change, homelessness, and many other issues. 

Gilmour was originally out of work when he stopped in to watch Pink Floyd record an album. At this point, Syd Barrett’s mental state was shot and Gilmour volunteered to help with the guitar.  The rest is history. 

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40. Ronnie Wood- $200 million

40. Ronnie Wood- $200 million

As the first Rolling Stone to enter the list, Ronnie Wood is still active in the band today. In his early life, he was a water gypsy, a term to describe people who lived on barges in canals. 

Ronnie played with several groups, including one with Jeff Beck and in a band called Faces. When Mick Taylor left the Stones in 1974, Wood was the obvious replacement. Although diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017, he recovered and is still in the band today. 

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39. Roger Taylor- $200 million

39. Roger Taylor- $200 million

Recognized as the lead drummer for Queen, Taylor also helped write some of their songs, including “These Are the Days of Our Lives” and “Radio GaGa”. He also played with a number of other artists including, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, and Jon Bon Jovi.

In addition to being induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Taylor also been named number 8 on the best drummers list of all time. Taylor is the first living person in British history to appear on a Royal mail stamp besides the British Royal Family.

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38. Robert Plant- $200 million

38. Robert Plant- $200 million

Sexy, hip-slinging Robert Plant enjoyed success as the lead vocalist for Led Zepplin but also went on to have a great solo career with numerous endeavors. His signature, powerful vocals and incredible range have led him to be one of the greatest rock singers of all time. 

In 2009, he received a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and Robert and his former Led Zeppelin bandmates received Kennedy Center Honors in 2012.

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37. Paul Stanley- $200 million

37. Paul Stanley- $200 million

New York born Paul Stanley is best known for being the rhythm guitar player and co-lead vocalist for KISS, where his character is known as Starchild due to his lifelong fascination with stars, which he kept as part of his persona even to this day. 

Stanley has enjoyed solo success as well, with a couple of albums, and after his induction into the HOF, he settled in L.A. with his family and remains active in music today.

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36. Neil Diamond- $200 million

36. Neil Diamond- $200 million

American singer Neil Diamond has been a staple of the music industry for over 60 years, first as a songwriter then a singer. In 1965, Diamond was experiencing more success as a songwriter for The Monkees and Elvis Presley than his own solo career. 

But it wasn’t long before Diamond found his groove with the likes of “Sweet Caroline” and “September Morn”. Diamond has Parkinson’s and has retired from music.

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35. Kirk Hammett- $200 million

35. Kirk Hammett- $200 million

Lead guitarist and songwriter, Hammett picked up a guitar at age 15, which is a good thing for Metallica fans. Joining James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Hammett is responsible for blistering tracks like “Seek and Destroy”, which was his audition track. 

He’s also responsible for the classic guitar riff on “Enter Sandman”, becoming their biggest mainstream hit. A little-known fact, Hammett is a huge fan of the horror genre and collects memorabilia. 

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34. Axl Rose- $200 million

34. Axl Rose- $200 million

Founding member of Guns 'N Roses, Axl has been no stranger to controversy. Believe it or not, Rose had a very strict Pentecostal upbringing, where he sang in the church choir and joined the school chorus.  

A different view than the hard living screecher we know today. Rose had several run-ins with the law which led to multiple arrests. His primal scream on “Welcome to the Jungle” has cemented his place (and pocketed his leather pants) in rock and roll history.

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33. Agnetha Fältskog- $200 million

33. Agnetha Fältskog- $200 million

In a landscape of men, she’s the first entry on this list, and she’s not a household name to you or me, but she’s the singer/songwriter behind the Swedish supergroup of Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad- you know them as ABBA. 

With hits like “Dancing Queen”, “Take a Chance on Me” and “Fernando”, the band still earns income as their music is played today--as its one of the most highly sought-after music rights. Agnetha still resides in Sweden. 

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32. Brian May- $210 million

32. Brian May- $210 million

Astrophysicist, author, song writer, and guitarist Brian May helped helm the band Queen, where he remains a member to this day. One of Queen’s best performances happened at Live Aid in 1985, where their set was the standard to beat. 

His fortune constantly swelled after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. Brian May also consulted on the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Thanks to his contributions to the music industry and charity work, he was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005.

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31. Ozzy Osbourne- $220 Million

31. Ozzy Osbourne- $220 Million

The godfather of heavy metal was the lead vocalist of Black Sabbeth and known for his outlandish, on-stage antics, including biting various winged creatures. After their fifth consecutive platinum album, Ozzy was fired from the band for his substance abuse issues. 

But never mind that, he created his own band and started releasing albums. His reality TV star wife, Sharon, keeps him on the straight and narrow. 

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30. Billy Joel- $225 million

30. Billy Joel- $225 million

Bronx native and piano man Billy Joel was born in a musical family. Having played piano since the age of 4, Joel decided to pursue a music career after not having enough credits to graduate high school. 

But that turned out all right with him, launching a successful solo career in 1971 that has garnered him worldwide fame. Billy has also enjoyed success in real estate, by selling previous homes to Sting, Jerry Seinfeld, and Mickey Drexler. 

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29. Benny Andersson- $230 million

29. Benny Andersson- $230 million

As one of the fantastic four of ABBA, Benny also enjoys the distinction of being behind the musical and film versions of Mamma Mia

In addition to being a stellar singer and musician, Andersson also is a film score composer and orchestrator--making him a musical triple threat. Today he primarily performs with his band, the Benny Andersson Orchestra. 

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28. Don Henley- $250 million

28. Don Henley- $250 million

Being a founding member of The Eagles and a guitarist and drummer, Henley has also sung lead for The Eagles. 

His net worth is largely a product of being in the best-selling band in American history. After the Eagles broke up in 1980, Henley went on to have a solo career that also reached the top of the charts. 

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27. Charlie Watts- $250 million

27. Charlie Watts- $250 million

Drummer Charlie Watts is the long-time drummer of The Rolling Stones. Charlie fell in love with jazz at an early age and was heavily involved in the art scene in London and eventually joined the Stones in 1963. 

What’s amazing is that The Stones still continue to play despite their septuagenarian ages. 

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26. Rod Stewart- $300 million

26. Rod Stewart- $300 million

The man who asked if you think he’s sexy has had one helluva career for a guy that begin busking at the age of 18 in Leicester Square. His solo career took off after he left the band Faces, where Ronnie Wood was a member. 

Songs like “Infatuation” and “Maggie May” where his music told a story garnered him fame. His love life was every bit as active as his music career and was still fathering children at age 66. 

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25. Robbie Williams- $300 million

25. Robbie Williams- $300 million

Robbie Williams is the musician who started his career as a member of the band Take That. He then took his solo career in a different direction. Due to contractual obligations, Williams wasn’t allowed to release music until 1997 when his debut album Life Thru a Lens propelled him to instant success. 

His notable contract signing with EMI for $150 million in 2002 was the largest contract in British music history.

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24. Phil Collins- $300 million

24. Phil Collins- $300 million

Phil Collins is a drummer and founding member of Genesis. Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, and Paul McCartney are the only three artists in history to sell more than 100 million albums as a solo artist and a member of a group. 

While with Genesis, he served as backing vocals to Peter Gabriel, whom he seemed to get some of his sound from, and he took that to a successful solo career while still touring with Genesis. He quit the band in 1996 to focus on music and won an academy award for the song "You’ll Be in My Heart. "

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23. Larry Mullen Jr.- $300 million

23. Larry Mullen Jr.- $300 million

He may not be a household name unless you’re a rabid fan of the band U2. Larry has been drumming since the band’s inception and is still doing so today. 

Larry has garnered 22 Grammys and worked on the side with notable artists like R.E.M. The youngest of the quartet, Mullen enjoys Harley Davidsons and is a huge fan of Elvis. 

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22. James Hetfield- $300 million

22. James Hetfield- $300 million

As the founding member of Metallica, Hetfield has been rocking hard for decades. His family were strict Christian Scientists and did not believe in medicine.

The death of his mother is believed to help drive many of the band’s lyrics around pain. Metallica didn’t even form until 1981, but that didn’t stop them from becoming one of the most popular bands in the world.

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21. Dave Matthews- $300 million

21. Dave Matthews- $300 million

Front man, vocalist, and namesake for the Dave Matthews Band got a late start, forming his band in 1991. But they didn’t release their first studio album until 1994. 

They found huge commercial success in 2001. In addition, Dave Matthews had numerous acting credits under his belt. Born and raised in Virginia, he continues to reside there today and owns a large vineyard.

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20. Bjorn Ulvaeus- $300 million

20. Bjorn Ulvaeus- $300 million

It’s hard to argue with success, and ABBA certainly had its share. Like the other three singers, he continues to enjoy success from the licensing of their music

Once married to bandmate Agnetha, he’s currently married to music journalist Lena Kallersjo and resides in Stockholm. 

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19. Ani-Frid Lyngstad- $300 million

19. Ani-Frid Lyngstad- $300 million

The final band member of ABBA has also enjoyed quite a solo career as well as many appearances on television. She had several high-profile relationships--marrying when she was 17. 

After her divorce, she was involved with bandmate Benny Andersson until their divorce in 1981. Regardless of all the relationship drama, the group remains friends today.

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18. Roger Waters - $310 million

18. Roger Waters - $310 million

English co-founder and former bassist of Pink Floyd, Waters became the driving force in the band’s sound and creative direction. 

Waters is responsible for writing the majority of the lyrics on their most critically acclaimed album Dark Side of the Moon. The Wall was a concept album loosely based on the life of Roger Waters.  

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17. Dave Grohl - $320 million

17. Dave Grohl - $320 million

Grohl was the original drummer for the band Nirvana, joining them in 1991. Within 3 years, Nirvana had redefined popular music although they eschewed the concept. 

After Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, Grohl spent 6 consecutive days recording various music in a studio, trying to distract himself. He produced 100 cassette tapes and the Foo Fighters were born.  Still performing today, Grohl is also known as one of the most down-to-earth celebrities. 

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16. Ringo Starr- $350 million

16. Ringo Starr- $350 million

Being a drummer has its advantages, especially if you’re drumming for a little foursome called The Beatles in the early 1960s. 

Ringo wasn’t just a drummer but also a singer, providing lead on several vocals such as “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Yellow Submarine” before enjoying a successful solo career when The Beatles broke up. Fun fact: its Ringo Starr’s voice that narrated Thomas the Tank Engine.  

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15. Lars Ulrich- $350 million

15. Lars Ulrich- $350 million

Another drummer, another dream realized.  Lars is one of the founding members of Metallica and was the first Dane to be inducted into the HOF. But drumming wasn’t Lars’ original passion--tennis was. 

Lars is the one who posted an ad looking for bandmates, and the rest is music history. One of his pet peeves involved a little digital music sharing company called Napster, whom he sued for copyright infringement and racketeering. 

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14. Bob Dylan - $375 million

14. Bob Dylan - $375 million

You would think that folk artist and Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan would be higher on the list, but you have to remember that his career has spanned five decades, many of them when musicians weren’t as well paid. 

However, Bob holds the record for touring consistently ,which has been called his Never Ending Tour. Bob Dylan isn’t just a music icon, his catalog was sold to Universal for $400 million. He is the only singer/songwriter to win a Nobel prize for literature due to the poetry of his songs. 

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13. The Edge - $400 million

13. The Edge - $400 million

The Irish-born guitarist is best known by this stage name rather than his real name of David Evans. Like the rest of the band, he’s been there from U2’s meager beginnings to their colossal stadium tours now. 

Evans is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and his musical style has been described as "understated."

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12. Sting- $400 million

12. Sting- $400 million

Gordon Sumner himself, better known as Sting, enjoyed a prolific career as a member of The Police and later as a solo artist. The Police’s most profitable album Synchronicity went 8 times platinum. 

Sting has also published 2 books, appeared on Broadway, and Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a CBE in 2003. He’s also the author of the creepy stalker song “Every Breath You Take”- -which is one of the top 10 most profitable songs of all time due to royalties. 

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11. Gene Simmons- $400 million

11. Gene Simmons- $400 million

American rock and roll legend and guitarist of the band KISS, Simmons embraced the persona The Demon and helped fuel the mega stadium, black and white legions of KISS army. 

Blowing blood, spitting fire, and showcasing his unusually long tongue, fans grew tired, and KISS took off their makeup. Simmons has enjoyed success on films as well as reality television.

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10. Adam Clayton- $400 million

10. Adam Clayton- $400 million

Irish-born rocker Adam Clayton helps anchor megaband U2 with his command of coolness and the bass guitar. Before Paul McGuinness joined the band as their permanent manager, Clayton was handling the managing duties as well as playing nightly because of his seniority. 

But don’t let that fool you, his age has helped guide the band to some of the most lucrative world tours in music history. His 17-acre estate features a 20 bedroom castle, where the band’s iconic album The Joshua Tree was recorded. 

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9. Jon Bon Jovi- $410 million

9. Jon Bon Jovi- $410 million

New Jersey born and raised; Jon Bon Jovi (born John Bongiovi Jr.) was raised by his parents, who were former Marines.  

Being from a close-knit Italian family has helped shape this musical legend who founded his band in 1983 and released their single “Runaway”. 14 studio albums later, Jon continues to rock the airwaves and has performed more than 2700 concerts worldwide. Married to his childhood sweetheart, Bon Jovi is a dad to 4. 

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8. Eric Clapton- $450 million

8. Eric Clapton- $450 million

Renown rock guitarist Eric Clapton holds the distinction of being the #2 guitarist of all time. His career with the Yardbirds and later Cream had Eric inducted into the HOF three times when you include his solo career. 

While he’s been successful musically, his ultra-rare car collection (valued over $100mm) and art collection (including Degas, Matisse, and Richter) are on par with museums. And, ever the R&B fanatic, Clapton continues to perform today. 

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7. Sir Mick Jagger - $500 million

7. Sir Mick Jagger - $500 million

English singer and front man of The Rolling Stones, Mick has been strutting and singing for over 60 years. Childhood friend of Keith Richards, with whom he formed the band, Mick has written some of the most influential songs of all time including “Satisfaction” and “Brown Sugar”.  

Jagger also has numerous film credits to his name. His most recent child was born when Mick was 73, and Jagger received his knighthood in 2003.

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6. Keith Richards - $500 million

6. Keith Richards - $500 million

As one of the cofounders of The Rolling Stones with childhood pal Mick Jagger, Keith Richards continues to enjoy fame and success.  As the second songwriter in the group, Keith has contributed to more than 100 albums, including 30 studio albums. 

He’s played Johnny Depp’s father in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and has a long history of substance abuse. Keith holds over 3,000 guitars, many of them priceless. 

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5. Sir Elton John - $500 million

5. Sir Elton John - $500 million

At the top of his game and near the top of this list, Sir Elton John has lived a colorful, philanthropic life. Rocketing to fame in the 1970s, he formed his own recording company to produce his albums and cement his lifelong collaboration with Bernie Taupin. 

A Royal Family favorite and dear friend of Princess Diana of Wales, Elton was knighted in 1998 by Her Majesty for “services to music and charitable services”.

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4. Bruce Springsteen - $500 million

4. Bruce Springsteen - $500 million

Being the Boss has a lot of reward, but this Jersey native bought his first guitar in 1964 after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Springsteen bounced around from band to band until he founded his own in 1972 and created the E Street Band. 

The debut studio album Greetings from Asbury Park started slow, but the rest is musical legacy. Springsteen is as close to musical royalty that the U.S. has.

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3. Jimmy Buffett - $600 million

3. Jimmy Buffett - $600 million

America’s official beach bum is singer-songwriter, actor, and businessman Jimmy Buffett, who’s island escapism lifestyle has spawned a global empire. 

Born on Christmas Day in Pascagoula, Mississippi, Buffett grew up in Mobile, Alabama. Buffett moved to Key West in 1971 and started making his own brand of music that developed into restaurants and a rabid fan base known as Parrotheads. 

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2. Bono - $700 million

2. Bono - $700 million

Irish born Paul David Hewson is best known as the lead singer of U2 and also a political activist and philanthropist. He got the nickname BonoVox as part of his youth, which means "good voice", and he's kept it ever since.  Like most one-named celebrities, Bono lives up to the hype, writing his own songs and producing his own music. 

U2 has gone on to become one of the most popular bands in the world, releasing 14 studio albums and selling out stadiums. He’s also the creator of the ONE organization--focusing on poverty and preventable diseases. Suffering from extreme glaucoma, Bono wears sunglasses all the time. 

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1. Sir Paul McCartney - $1.2 billion

1. Sir Paul McCartney - $1.2 billion

There can only be one #1, and it can only be Paul McCartney. He’s one of the most successful musicians and composers in the history of pop music, and easily earns $50-70 million a year touring. Co-writing some of the biggest songs in history including “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, McCartney left The Beatles and continues with his wife Linda in a little band called Wings, which has also been hugely successful. 

Sir Paul has released twenty-two studio pop albums and five classical albums since the breakup of the Beatles. McCartney holds an MBE and has been knighted in 1997. 

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