Top 8 highest paid rock and metal musicians

Posted by on September 30, 2016

Photo – Wes Orshoski

The metal dream of every rock and metal musician is to make it big enough and get an actual income out of their music. We can’t blame you for having that seemingly-impossible goal considering some rockstars nowadays earn enough money to buy their own third-world country, but we’re usually referring to legendary pioneers from the early days like Paul McCartney who has a net worth of $1.2 billion (yes, that’s a B).

On the other hand, there are some contemporary musicians making really good money, so we thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of those who are making enough bank to retire at any second they desire. Celebrity Net Worth compiled their list of richest rock stars, and while it’s questionable as to how accurate this list is,  if you can make your way into any of these artists’ entourages, it could be worth it.


8) Kirk Hammett (Metallica) $140 million  

Photo – Sean Matthews

Metallica’s lead guitarist Kirk Hammett surely makes a good living out from his band. That should not come as a surprise considering the cultural impact Metallica has and how much money they can make on a single live show so it’s natural to see Hammett being among the highest paid musicians with a net worth of $140 million. That’s not a bad economic position to have on top of being named the 11 out of 100 greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone.


7) Angus Young (AC/DC) $140 million

Photo – Wes Orshoski

Sure, we mentioned that we were going to stick to contemporary musicians’ net worth to not overstate the obvious. But this one is worth mentioning considering who Angus Young and AC/DC are in the rock world and reaching the top 5 of the highest-grossing tours of all time with $478 million during their Black Ice World tour, Young’s net worth is actually the same as Metallica’s Kirk Hammett with $140 million. You’d assume that someone with Young’s status would be way above that and we’ve seen constantly how great AC/DC do during their tours, but it appears that the expenses of their shows and management are the ones taking most of that.


6) Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC) $150 million

Photo – Wes Orshoski

We’re not sure if these numbers include Rose’s current endeavors with AC/DC or the latest booming success with GN’R’s reunion, but we all have to admit Axl makes a lot of money for him and his team. With the gigantic powerhouse GN’R became especially since (most of) the hatchet was buried this year and they started touring, It’s undeniable that Axl’s role is bigger than anyone else’s and he makes the bigger cut out of that deal. That’s why his net worth is around $150 million. Slightly higher than Young’s but at least we can still say both are on the same level at this point, because once you get above $100 million, what’s an extra 10?


5) James Hetfield & Lars Ulrich (Metallica) $220 million

Photo – Wes Orshoski

To clearly understand who runs the shop, all you have to look at is the size of the paychecks. We all know Metallica has remained with the same lineup early 80’s with the exception of bassist Robert Trujillo. That would create the assumption that Hammett, Hetfield and Ulrich would make the same but it appears that’s not the case. Hetfield and Ulrich are known to be the leaders of Metallica as they’re the actual founders of the band, so it’s no surprise to see them making more than the Hammett and Trujillo, but we weren’t expecting the gap to be that big as both of them have a net worth of $220 million. No wonder they were in no rush to release their anticipated album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct.

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