As the most prominent members of a band, rock singers get the most attention for their work. Often, lead singers end up going solo and collaborating with other musicians, giving them even more exposure. Many times, this translates into more money and fame than the singer’s counterparts in the band. Here is a list of the 10 richest rock singers in the world, who have made their money through extensive tours and numerous main and side projects.
Number Ten: Dave Matthews ($250 Million)
As frontman for the Dave Matthews Band, Dave Matthews has impacted millions of fans with the laid-back vibe of his music. He and his band are one of the most prolific live bands of the 1990s and continue to tour extensively across the United States every summer selling out stadiums. Matthews also acts and produces music for other artists.
Number Nine: Dave Grohl ($260 Million)
Best known as the lead singer of the Foo Fighters and former drummer of Nirvana, it seems as if Dave Grohl has become the face of rock music as of late. In the last few years alone, he has released an album with the Foos, developed a documentary about it, developed another about the famed Sound City recording studio, collaborated with metal supergroup Hollywood Vampires and started officially playing drums with Queens of the Stone Age.
Number Eight: Roger Waters ($270 Million)
Roger Waters has released 14 studio albums as lead singer of the legendary Pink Floyd, as well as four studio albums of his own, over the course of his more than five-decade music career. Most recently, Waters decided to tour behind The Wall, playing the album in its entirety and reimagining the album’s original tour set-up. The tour ended up becoming the highest-grossing live tour by any solo artist.
Number Seven: Bruce Springsteen ($300 Million)
Bruce Springsteen’s working class imagery has made him and his E Street Band household names in rock music. At one point he was even deemed the future of rock music, a title which he despised. He has been known to sell out Madison Square Garden for multiple show runs, as well as sell out stadiums all over the world. To date, Springsteen has released 18 studio albums, including solo albums and a collaboration with Pete Seeger, and has become one of the top-selling artists of all time.
Number Six: Jon Bon Jovi ($300 Million)
Jon Bon Jovi is one of the best-selling artists in the world, having released 14 studio albums with Bon Jovi and three solo albums. Among rock singers, he has continued to remain relevant on adult contemporary radio by gaining a new generation of fans with his band’s 2000 album, Crush. Bon Jovi is also a film and television actor, as well as major philanthropist with his own charity, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which focuses on hunger and homelessness in the United States.
Number Five: Sting ($290 Million)
Sting has had enormous success with his band, The Police, as well as in a solo capacity. His work has spanned more than four decades and multiple platforms. His latest endeavor was the Broadway premiere of musical he wrote called The Last Ship, which he also starred in. In January, he announced a joint tour between himself and fellow British rocker Peter Gabriel.
Number Four: Gene Simmons ($300 Million)
Gene Simmons has released an impressive 20 studio albums with his band Kiss. The band also had some of the best marketing of anyone, with Kiss putting their name and likeness on just about everything. Simmons has translated his notoriety with the band into his own reality television empire, with his longest-running show being A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Jewels.
Number Three: Mick Jagger ($305 Million)
Mick Jagger has spent more than five decades in the music industry as both a founding member of the Rolling Stones and a solo artist. He continues to tour with the band, who recently played the first show in Cuba since sanctions were lifted on the country. Their recent tours have been some of the band’s most lucrative, with their 2013 U.S. tour ranking as one of the top 10 highest grossing tours of the year.
Number Two: Bono ($600 Million)
As the lead singer of Irish rock band U2, Bono has sold millions of albums and has sold out stadiums of fans worldwide. At this point, he is just as well known for his activism as he is for his music, starting both the ONE campaign, which fights poverty in Africa, and Product Red, which licenses products to raise money for AIDS awareness, in 2006.
Number One: Paul McCartney ($1.2 Billion)
The most visible of the two living Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney is still releasing music and performing live to this day. McCartney’s continued relevance became apparent when Kanye West collaborated with him on the track “fourfiveseconds,” bringing his name out to a new generation of listeners who can discover his vast catalogue of work. He released his latest solo album, New, in 2013 and about to embark on the One on One tour this spring. Thank you for reading our list of the top ten richest rock singers in the world. We hope you enjoyed it!