Top 10 Wealthiest Rock Stars in the World

Music Artists / rich list of musicians including pop / rock stars

Many young musicians dream of being rock stars for fame and adoration, even though it’s a grueling lifestyle of non-stop touring.

These starving artist types have a big surprise coming if they break into the big time because you can make an unbelievable amount of money as one of the top 10 richest rock stars in the world.

As you read this list, you’ll find out three major takeaways as an upcoming rocker:

  • Anyone (though it helps to have connections) can break through and become incredibly wealthy as a rock star.
  • But if you want to be among the richest with the highest net worths, you’ll need to venture into other businesses, make savvy investments, get into TV and film, and control your expenses.
  • And that’s partial because you’ll be splitting your music money 4 and 5 ways with band members.

Gaining the marketing momentum and exposure is a lifelong process that requires the help of a big record label. And in this genre, you do have to actually be able to write songs and play an instrument, unlike others. If you know the right people and make the right moves, you can join the following list of the top 10 richest rock stars in the world

#10 – Jon Bon Jovi

Net Worth: $410 Million

Bon Jovi frontman has released out 14 studio albums with 130 million sold globally, including two solo albums. This scored him a slot in the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Grammys, and roles in many movies and TV shows.

He started playing music at age 13, learning piano and guitar with his first band called Raze. It’s surprising Jon remains on this list based on how much philanthropy he does with countless organizations. His success continues through touring and supporting new music with the Bon Jovi band. Read more about his net worth here.

#9 – Eric Clapton

Net Worth: $450 Million

Eric Clapton has achieved huge success during his solo career as well as in the different bands he was a part of (Derek & the Dominos, The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith…). He is also known for his collaboration with Aretha Franklin, B.B King, The Beatles, Carlos Santana and a slew of other artists.

He won numerous prizes and is the only three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. He is regarded as the second-best guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and the fourth-best by Gibson. His music has appeared in numerous films and television shows. All his wealth has been earned through music, with no side hustles.

#8 – Keith Richards

Net Worth: $520 Million

Keith, along with Mick Jagger on this list, is the co-founder and co-principal songwriter of The Rolling Stones. He’s called the 4th best guitarist ever by Rolling Stone magazine (no relation). In addition to all the credits with the Stones, he’s also been a music producer since the 1960s, grabbing royalties from artists like Aretha Franklin.

He’s got a small solo career and a side project called the X-Pensive Winos. He’s worked with countless other big artists on their own albums as well. He’s one of the few to climb the list without additional businesses supporting his net worth.

#7 – Mick Jagger

Net Worth: $520 Million

Sir Michael Jagger hit it huge as the lead singer for The Rolling Stones. In his solo career and with the Stones, he’s had 13 #1 singles and 32 within the top 10. He’s got all the awards and honors, including a knighthood. He’s been performing in front of gigantic crowds since the 1960s and still does to this day.

How he had time to create an illustrious acting career is beyond me. As far as extra businesses go, he’s only created Jagged Internetworks which covers the cricket sport. Otherwise, he’s a supporter of music education in schools. Such a legend need not have extra ventures like mere mortals.

#6 – Elton John

Net Worth: $540 Million

Sir Elton John has sold more than 300 million albums to date. He holds the best-selling single of all time in the USA and UK. All these albums, touring, awards, and merchandising built his financial base, but his compositions for The Lion King movie and the recent Rocketman biopic about his life only catapulted him further.

Elton would be much higher up this list if not for his crazy spending habits, such as spending $40 million in the year 2000. He was buying more cars than he literally had a chance to drive! His residencies at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas have totaled 11 years and undoubtedly earned him a huge chunk of his net worth.

#5 – Sting

Net Worth: $550 Million

Gordon Sumner become Sting as the lead songwriter, singer, and bassist for The Police in 1977 until 1985 when he started his solo career. His awards and inductions into halls of fame are too many to list, literally, like most of the best-sellers of all time.

He’s picked up endless fans by moving through genres such as rock, punk, ska, reggae, world, and jazz. He became a go-to guy for Hollywood soundtracks at one point. He’s so experimental he even did a group album with Shaggy (of “It Wasn’t Me!” fame).

He won’t be on this list forever. He said he plans to spend all his money so his children won’t have his wealth as a “burden” in their lives.

#4 – Jimmy Buffet

Net Worth: $600 Million

Jimmy, the only guy really known for the “island escapism” sound and lifestyle, has had countless hits with his Coral Reefer Band. He started out as a country singer in Nashville before developing his beach-bum persona in Florida.

His break came when his pal Jim Croce passed in 1973 and he was tapped to fill the vacuum left at the record company. This was when he wrote his huge hit Margaritaville. He makes more money from his tours than his album releases, by far, which he still does to this day though with a less gruesome pace. He’s written three #1 best-selling fiction books, plus several other chart-toppers.

He’s written music for TV & Film and had cameos in both as well. Do you think that’s all? He owns restaurants, a beer label, a record label, a casino, has released a video game, had partnerships with an NFL team, and is developing a billion-dollar real estate project. He’s killing it!

#3 – Bruce Springsteen

Net Worth: $650 Million

Bruce Springsteen, also known as “The Boss,” has sold over 135 million records worldwide over a five-decade-long career. He’s one of the best-selling music artists ever, netting 20 Grammys, getting into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and even receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

His endless touring by himself and with his band the E Street Band is a constant source of income, as was the 8-week run of Springsteen on Broadway. His 19 studio albums helped him ride the wave when music videos were a big thing, having filmed 59 of them! Bruce is one of those guys where everyone recognizes his countless singles, even if they don’t know who’s singing them.

#2 – Bono

Net Worth: $800 Million

As the lead singer of U2, he knocks down some serious cheddar. But his extra-curricular activities as a venture capitalist, philanthropist, and businessman, in general, have launched him to incredible heights. He’s been knighted and is addressed as “Paul David Hewson, KBE OL.”

Like The Beatles, U2 is so successful that his other bandmates are almost on this list. Their marketing is top-notch as well. Who doesn’t know of Bono as the guy that wears the sunglasses and cares about ecological issues? You don’t become a household name by accident.

#1 – Paul McCartney

Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

Of course, the surviving member of the Lennon-McCartney duo is the reigning king. Even splitting the money four ways hasn’t stopped two of the members of The Beatles from reaching the top 10. Add on Paul’s lengthy solo career, his time with the band Wings, and his collaborations with other stars like Michael Jackson and Kanye West… he’s been a pop icon since the 1960s.

He’s either written or co-written 32 songs that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Think about the royalties he receives from the fact that his song Yesterday is the most covered song of all time (over 2,200 other artists have created their own versions).

Who’s Dropped Out of the Top 10?

It’s hard to make enough money to be one of the richest rock stars ever, but it’s even harder to keep a spot. You could make bad investments or have uncontrolled spending like many wealthy people do. Or, if a star passes after being on our list, we’ll honor them below as well. Here’s a list of our fallen stars.

Gene Simmons

Net Worth: $400 Million

You know Gene as The Demon, the bassist and co-lead singer of KISS. Gene is credited for their successful merchandising franchise, including action figures, lighters, pinball games, and much more. They actually dropped the makeup and costumes for a decade or so and experienced a huge resurgence in popularity (that they of course brought back later).

His other businesses include his own record label, Simmons Records, his own magazine, an animated series, a few reality TV shows, a film production company, and a failed AFL football team. That doesn’t mean he didn’t make a profit, though.

Ringo Starr

Net Worth: $360 Million

Sir Richard Starkey gained much fame and fortune as the drummer and occasional singer and songwriter for The Beatles, replacing Pete Best early on. After all of The Beatle’s success, he started his solo career that produced many hits including two #1 hits in the US and UK.

He’s been in numerous films, TV shows, and documentaries. He’s considered the 5th best drummer of all time for his impeccable timing (impressive due to his extraordinary lack of technical skill), has all the awards (including being knighted), and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He could stop working now and receive an incredible amount of money annually from royalties alone, but he’ll never stop!

Who Will Claim a Richest Rock Star Spot Next?

Excluding anyone above that has fallen from the core group, who else is close to joining the top 10 wealthiest rock stars list? Here are the closest tycoons thus far:

  • The Edge at $400 million for his life-long guitar work with U2 and tons of other artists (including the richest rapper, Jay-Z). He’s written music for countless TV shows and movies, too.
  • Adam Clayton at $400 million for his bass work with Irish band U2 and his extensive real estate portfolio which includes a castle located near Dublin.
  • Roger Waters at $310 million due to co-founding Pink Floyd, his solo career, and running the highest-grossing tour of all time by a solo artist, the Wall Live tour.
  • Dave Matthews at $300 million in part to leading the Dave Matthews Band, his acting roles, his wine partnership, and his high-grossing tours.
  • Lars Ulrich at $350 million due to co-founding Metallica, his real estate portfolio and art collection.
  • James Hetfield at $300 million also due to co-founding Metallica, film & TV appearances, and guest appearances on other artists’ recordings.

As you can see, reaching this list means achieving huge fame pretty much staying on tour or starting tons of other businesses. Bono and Paul McCartney prove it since they both are in the top 10 richest musicians in the world. Is it worth the effort? Let us know when you make it!

Top 10 Richest Rock Stars in the World (2022)

This is the table for the top 10 richest rock stars in the world. It contains their names, net worth, and nationality.

Position Rock Star Net Worth Nationality
1 Paul McCartney $1.2 Billion UK
2 Bono $800 Million UK
3 Bruce Springsteen $650 Million USA
4 Jimmy Buffet $600 Million USA
5 Sting $550 Million UK
6 Elton John $540 Million UK
7 Mick Jagger $520 Million UK
8 Keith Richards $520 Million UK
9 Eric Clapton $450 Million UK
10 Jon Bon Jovi $410 Million USA

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Stevie Flavio
Film Writer


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