When we get right down to it, don’t we all just want to be rock stars? Playing in front of millions of adoring fans, booking massive world tours, and of course, getting massive paychecks. Here is our list of the 20 richest rock stars of 2016.
Top 20 richest rock stars of 2016 – Real Net Worth
20. Don Henley Real Net Worth – $200 Million
Starting off our list of richest rock stars is Eagles founder, Don Henley. Best known for songs such as Hotel California, this native Texan is now more inclined to invest into ecological projects than real estate. Among his most recent charitable ventures are both the Walden Woods and Lake Caddo projects, which aim to stop development in endangered environmental areas. This does not mean, however, that he’s opposed to large homes. Henley owns a roughly 15,000 square foot mansion in Dallas, Texas as well as sizable estates in Boulder Colorado and Malibu, California.
19. Lars Ulrich Real Net Worth – $200 Million
Danish drummer and vocalist, Ulrich is the wealthiest member of Metallica. Born to a middle class family, Ulrich has maintained a certain level of modesty in his financial affairs owning at time of writing only a single, albeit huge, 10,000 square foot mansion in Tiburon, California. Most of his net worth is derived from selling of the band’s image, as well as record sales which have been remarkably stable through the decades. Ulrich is also seen as valuable as an inspiration: bands such as Dream Theater and Slayer have mentioned gaining insight from his playing.
18. Ozzy Osbourne Real Net Worth – $220 Million
Known equally well for his over-the-top stage presence as he is for his family’s reality T.V. Series, the Wizard of Ozz has always demanded the attention of the rock world. Originally a member of Black Sabbath, which is regarded by many as the first heavy metal band in existence, also had an absolutely massive solo career. While he does often come of as Satanic to some onlookers, it is interesting to note he is an avid member of the Church Of England and prays before each show. Given that his concerts constantly sell out and his own festival Ozzfest is among the most successful music gatherings in the world, perhaps it’s paying off. That being said, he also has had to deal with drug abuse for a vast majority of his adult life, which has led to stunts that this author has qualms about putting into written form. Truly a myth and legend, Ozzy will be sure to remain on this list for a while, given the royalties from festival and past performances alike.
17. Rod Stewart Real Net Worth – $235 Million
Stewart is among one of the most consistently well performing rockers of our time. With 6 back to back #1 best selling albums in the United Kingdom, and dozens of hit singles worldwide, it’s not terribly surprising to see him on the list. It also shouldn’t come as a shock that among his assets are some incredibly rare cars including a Ferarri Enzo (1 of 400 ever made) and a luxury Porsche. Among his interests outside of music, Stewart enjoys football (soccer to American readers) and has played in celebrity senior leagues as well as participating in awards ceremonies for the favorite team, the Celtic Football Club.
16. Eric Clapton Real Net Worth – $250 Million
Eric Clapton has often been touted as the most technically skilled guitarist in the world. The British portion of the King school of music (an informal name given to the styles of B.B. King, Johnny Lang and Eric Clapton), Clapton is the only 3 time inductee into the rock and roll hall of fame. Aside from being a musician, he is also quite the investor, having a 50% stake in the gentleman’s outfitter Cordings Picadilly, who he had previously frequented for his fashion. Among his other assets are a yacht worth around $10 Million, and Marshbrooks Holding Company which has earned him over $100 Million in the past 20 years. While early in his career Clapton had struggled with substance abuse, he now regularly funds multiple substance abuse rehab centers around the world.
15. Phil Collins Real Net Worth – $255 Million
Genesis drummer turned solo artist, Collins has had several decades of success. Having over 19 musical awards, he is among the most decorated rock stars on the planet, though he is often panned by his peers for being too plain or commercial. Aside from his musical career (which is ongoing, having a tour later in 2016), Collins also takes much of his time into advocating for childhood education as well as AIDS research. Among his many possessions are hundreds of artifacts related to the battle of the Alamo, in which he holds a great fascination.
14. Dave Grohl Real Net Worth – $260 Million
Known both as the drummer for the 90’s grunge band Nirvana and the founder of the Foo Fighters, Grohl has kept himself very busy throughout the years. Whether working on his own, or with fellow rock stars on special projects such as Paul McCartney and the late David Bowie, Grohl has consistently sold out venues and areas for the better part of two decades. Among his pet projects have been garnering LGBT rights within the United States, as well as irritating the Westboro Baptist Church via both overplaying their protests or more recently, Rick Rolling them at their own rallies. As per assets in terms of real estate or luxury goods, Grohl has remained hushed on the matter, which is his right.
13. Roger Waters Real Net Worth – $270 Million
While you may have not heard the name Roger Waters before, you’ve almost certainly heard of the band he co-founded, Pink Floyd. Having created one of the world’s most recognizable bands only to leave it, Waters still maintains a solid solo career, whose earnings have been estimated near half a billion dollars in ticket sales alone. He also holds the record for the largest single concert, having 200,000 attendees in 1996’s The Wall, staged in Berlin.
12. Jon Bon Jovi Real Net Worth – $275 Million
Bon Jovi is an artist who has transitioned over the years from musician to full time philanthropist seamlessly. Among his honors as a result is being the first Founding Ambassador of the Habitat for Humanity international ambassador program. He has also played a major hand in charity work for the Red Cross, AIDS research, and the Special Olympics. Bon Jovi also notably made an appearance on Oprah which included a $1 million donation to the Angel Network. When not working on such admirable projects, he can be found in either his New York SOHO Condominium or New Jersey mansion, both worth around $22 Million each.
11. Sting Real Net Worth – $300 Million
Lead singer of The Police turned solo artist, Sting (born Gordon Sumner) has had 4 decades to accumulate his wealth from the stage. In fact, Sting is estimated to have been making over $2,000 per day just from radio station play of his songs alone. Aside from his musical prowess, he’s also made an excellent living as an actor, appearing in a set of films from 1984 to 2016, including Zoolander 2. Sting is, as are many on this list, known for using his clout to help victims of discrimination, disaster, or poor fortune. He is also known to be rather stringent on spending money on himself with one notable exception: the seven properties he owns across both the U.K. and U.S., which include everything from ranch houses to pent houses and mansions.
10. Gene Simmons Real Net Worth – $300 Million
Israeli-American Gene Simmons is perhaps best known as his face-painted alter ego “Demon” of the band KISS. While his on stage appearance is wild and extravagant, it appears that most of his off stage life is rather mundane. Still making serious revenue from his band royalties, Simmons owns a sports bar in an Orlando, Florida suburb. He also owns a relatively modest mansion and drives, unbelievably, a Mini-Cooper.
9. Dave Matthews Real Net Worth – $300 Million
The only South African to make the list, Dave Matthews is more known for his always packed concerts than he is for any particular single. He is also known as a very “green” artist, in that he vocally and financially supports many charities that back land management and aiding small farmers in the United States to keep their land and livelihood. He is also an avid pacifist, choosing to leave Johannesburg, South Africa in 1977 than be conscripted into the military after graduating from St. Stithians College . He now makes his home in Seattle, Washington with his wife and children, also owning real estate in several rural pockets across the country.
8. Bruce Springsteen Real Net Worth – $300 Million
“The Boss” must have a really good accountant. Springsteen’s an American Icon if there ever was such a thing in Rock, with his 2012 Wrecking Ball Tour netting $368 Million in ticket sales alone. While being incredibly rich, Bruce has remained true to his roots, writing and singing primarily about issues that pertain to the American working class. This has earned him over 20 Grammy awards as well as the hearts (and by extension, wallets) of millions of adoring fans all over the world. Likewise adored is his 1957 Bel Air convertible, which he certainly spent a decent chunk of his $60 Million average annual income refurbishing.
7. Keith Richards Real Net Worth – $330 Million
The guitarist other guitarists dreamed about being when they were kids. Richards is the stereotype of the “bad boy” of music, at one point having everything from a rebellious look to a serious drug habit. Luckily, Richards has cleaned up his act since the wild 60’s and 70’s, infrequently playing charity events with guitar skills that simply haven’t aged. His long time residence has been the Redlands mansion in West Sussex, which bears unique resemblance to a Russian Palace. With his income constantly being supplemented by sales of Rolling Stones albums and merchandise, he is sure to remain on such lists for quite some time.
6. Ringo Starr Real Net Worth – $350 Million
Arguably the cheeriest of the Beatles, Starr was the lead singer of such novelty hits as “ Yellow Submarine”. Though he may be the butt of a few jokes in terms of how he was inspired to write other hits, there is no doubt he is a seriously wealthy individual. He is also deadly serious when it comes to charities; He regularly donates millions to 8 large charity organizations that branch into at least 30 different projects, from AIDS and Cancer Research to 3rd world development and Adopt-A-Minefield. He currently has properties including his large London estate, several L.A. properties and a lovely apartment in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Not one to show off, he primarily drives a “modest” Mercedes Benz.
5. Mick Jagger Real Net Worth – $360 Million
Where the Beatles were typically seen as bright and poppy, The Rolling Stones headed by Mick Jagger were seen as the founding fathers of the “darker arts” of rock. Jagger has made his millions singing about sex, drugs and rock and roll (not to mention probably spending a few million on one or more) and becoming a counter-culture icon for it. Not much is known about his current estate holdings, except he does happen to own a Japanese themed island villa.
4. Jimmy Buffet Real Net Worth – $ 450 Million
The King of the “Conch Republic”, Buffet can certainly afford plenty of cheeseburgers in paradise. Known for his laid back fashion, songs, and just about everything else, he’s polar opposite to his also well known brother, Warren. Aside from his album and tour sales which give him a surprisingly large fortune, he also owns several restaurants and has made cameos in a large number of films. As you’d expect, even Buffet’s philanthropic beneficiaries are laid back, as he founded the Save the Manatees foundation in 1981.
3. Elton John Real Net Worth – $ 450 Million
Accurately portrayed as a rock god in his cameo appearance on the Fall Out Boy music video Save Rock And Roll, Elton John is probably the single richest man to ever jam on a piano. Besides having the Midas touch when it comes to singing, songwriting, or anything to do with the music industry, Sir John also has a heart of gold. Founding the Elton John AIDS Foundation, he has raised over $40 Million of his own money to combat the disease, noting that he does so partially in remembrance of Princess Diana (who also held the cause close to her heart), whom he shared a connection with. He has also regularly held auctions to sell many of his luxury cars, and often donates proceeds of his concerts to the same cause (giving up a yearly salary of yet another $40 Million). Some assets he has kept to himself include a luxury apartment in Venice, and the Old Windsor Estate, which is right next to the Royal Buckingham Palace.
2. Bono Real Net Worth – $650 Million
Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson, is the richest musician to come out of Ireland, and the leading man of U2. While his music career has contributed to his fortune substantially, so has a $90 Million investment into Facebook by way of his investment group, Elevation Partners. With this wealth he has been able to afford among other things, two mansions, one of which being on a large private estate near the Irish coast, a 140ft yacht worth around $30 Million, and a private Airbus A310. While he does quite enjoy luxury himself, Bono is also one of the world’s most visible philanthropists, having focused on African poverty with such things as Project RED, DATA and the ONE campaign. For both his work in music and combating poverty, he was granted knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.
1. Paul McCartney Real Net Worth – $1.2 Billion
Who would have guessed in 1964, that four teens about to take the stage of the Ed Sullivan theater would in turn take the world by storm? The Beatles, with McCartney at the helm would become synonymous with both an era and a genre. Since the days of “flower power” McCartney has amassed a fortune unrivaled, having over 100 million albums sold and over half a century of tour dates. When he’s not playing or advocating for PETA or the American Red Cross, he is typically in one of his 4 homes. Included among them are his childhood house in London, and Peasmarsh mansion, which lies on a 1,500 acre estate in Sussex. Surely adorning at least a few of the walls of his residences are the 60 gold discs he has acquired, becoming the single most celebrated songwriter in history. McCartney can often be seen driving a few of his vintage vehicles, which include an Aston Martin DB6 as well as Lamborghini 400 GT, each worth a fortune.