Senior Editor and Researcher
While your parents might have told you that becoming a musician probably won’t pay the bills, that certainly wasn’t the case for some chart toppers.
Countless well-known artists have earned millions (if not billions) from concerts, record sales, and merchandise.
Not to mention, many of these creatives rake in quite a lot of money from streaming and radio royalties, too.
The question is, which group or single act stands out as the biggest earner?
Today, we rank some of the most affluent celebrities in the music market based on their net worth.
Let’s dive in.
The Artists and Bands with the Biggest Net Worth
For this list, we will focus on musicians still alive today.
While musicians like Michael Jackson, with his $500 million estate, may have ranked higher by today’s financial standards, it’s not always easy to account for inflation.
It’s also worth noting that the net value of each artist and band listed here is an estimate based on the IRS reports and insights available on the web today.
It isn’t easy to know exactly how much anyone is worth without diving into their bank accounts.
With that out of the way, let’s get started.
Net Worth: $2.5 billion
Otherwise known as Shawn Corey Carter, Jay-Z is one of the world’s most successful American rappers and record producers.
In 2023, he was named the world’s wealthiest musical artist, with a net worth of approximately $2.5 billion.
Notably, this income doesn’t just stem from Jay-Z’s rapping career and his ventures as an entrepreneur.
Despite this, Jay-Z is among the best-selling music artists ever, selling more than 140 million records worldwide.
The musician has also won 24 Grammy Awards, putting him neck and neck with Kanye West for the most Grammies ever won by a rapper.
He was even the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Net Worth: $1.8 billion
U2, probably best known for superstar singer Bono, is one of the biggest bands in the world.
The group was formed in 1976 and has released 15 albums, hosting various worldwide concerts.
U2 has achieved quite a lot of success during their time in the music industry.
They’ve won more Grammy Awards than any other brand (22) and have sold around 170 million records worldwide. They’re also included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
While the full band is worth around $1.8 billion, analysts say Bono is likely to be the wealthiest member, with a net worth of about $700 million.
3. The Rolling Stones
Net Worth: 1.5 billion
English Rock band The Rolling Stones is estimated to have a combined net worth of around $1.5 billion.
It’s unsurprising, considering many critics believe this band was the first to define what hard rock would eventually become truly.
Notably, the actual earnings of the band, best known for songs like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Gimme Shelter,” are likely even higher.
According to data from Pollstar, between 1980 and 2022, The Rolling Stones earned over $2.1 billion from concert revenue alone.
This makes the band the highest-grossing live music act of all time, diving just ahead of U2, who also passed the $2 billion mark in concert revenue.
Net Worth: $1.4 billion
Rihanna is one of the world’s richest musicians and the second wealthiest female entertainer, just after Oprah (worth $2.5 billion).
Although it was Rihanna’s music that made her famous and earned her numerous accolades, it was her beauty line that ramped up her wealth.
Rihanna has sold over 250 million records worldwide and is the second-best-selling female artist ever.
She’s also earned 14 number-one singles, 32 top-10 singles in the US, and nine Grammy awards.
In both 2012 and 2018, Rihanna was ranked as one of the most influential people in the world.
Plus, her Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched event in history in 2023.
Rihanna deserves a spot on this list, with a net worth of $1.4 billion.
5. Paul McCartney
Net Worth: $1.2 billion
The British band The Beatles would have had a higher spot on this list if they were still together.
Ringo Starr had a net worth of around $350 million, and George Harrison was worth over $400 million when he passed. John Lennon was also worth a whopping $800 million when he died.
Unfortunately, since The Beatles are no longer here, we’re focusing on the richest surviving member of the band – Paul McCartney.
Valued at around $1.2 billion, Paul McCartney has achieved phenomenal success throughout his music career.
He wrote or co-wrote around 32 songs that have topped the charts of the Billboard Hot 100.
Plus, he got two separate inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as both a Beatles member and a solo artist.
Net Worth: $1 billion
Don’t let anyone tell you rock music doesn’t pay. Metallica is one of the highest-earning bands of all time, with a net worth of around $1 billion.
Widely regarded as one of the biggest bands in the thrash metal scene of all time, Metallica took the musical world by storm.
The group released 11 studio albums in total and had six of those albums debut at number one on the Billboard 200.
Metallica also ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands ever. By 2022, the group had earned more than $1.2 billion in concert sales alone!
Probably unsurprisingly, the wealthiest member of Metallica is Lars Ulrich, whose estimated net worth is around $350 million at the time of writing.
7. P. Diddy
Net Worth: $1 billion
You might know him as P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, or Sean Combs – now you also know him as one of the most lucrative artists in the world.
In 2022, Forbes estimated Sean Combs was worth around $1 billion, largely thanks to his fantastic musical background.
Of course, Combs has also uncovered some other forms of income over the years. He has succeeded as a fashion designer and has been the brand ambassador for the vodka brand Cîroc since 2007.
He’s also an entrepreneur known for co-founding the television network and news site Revolt in 2013.
Although P. Diddy might not be as active in the musical industry today as he once was, he accomplished a lot during his time, including earning three Grammy Awards.
Net Worth: $850 million
Named by Forbes as the annual most affluent musician 11 different times, Madonna has amassed a fantastic fortune of around $850 million.
That’s only the start of the artist’s impressive accolades.
Madonna has sold over 300 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling female recording artist ever.
She also holds the record for being the most successful solo artist ever ranked on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Plus, she’s the highest-grossing female touring artist worldwide.
Her revenue from concert tickets alone exceeds around $1.5 billion, although this hasn’t impacted her total net Worth.
9. Herb Alpert
Net Worth: $850 million
Proof that you don’t have to be a pop star to be a millionaire: Herb Alpert is worth approximately $850 million.
The American trumpeter, known for his band Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, recorded 28 albums during his time in the music industry.
Alpert has only sold around 72 million records worldwide, but that didn’t stop him from winning 8 Grammy Awards and a Tony award.
He was even inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Alpert also has a secondary career as a painter and sculptor, which might contribute slightly to his wealth.
Alpert co-founded A&M Records, which was sold in 1989 for $500 million. However, Alpert and his partner received an extra $200 million for a breach of the contract.
10. Celine Dion
Net Worth: $800 million
Falling just below Madonna in our list of high-earning artists, Celine Dion is worth around $800 million today.
The famous Canadian singer, songwriter, actress, and entrepreneur has earned her fortune in many ways, including from high concert and album sales.
Celine has sold around 200 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling Canadian artist ever.
She has also achieved several number-one hits internationally, including “Think Twice” and “My Heart Will Go On”.
Seven of her albums have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, the second most among any woman in history.
Plus, Dion is the sixth best-performing female solo artist of all time, according to the Billboard 200 charts.
11. Pink Floyd
Net Worth: $800 million
Pink Floyd may have officially cut ties in the 1990s, but their net worth is still estimated at around $800 million.
Roger Walters alone is expected to be worth over $300 million, partly thanks to his solo work and other ventures.
As well as being one of the highest-earning bands in the world, Pink Floyd has sold more than 250 million records worldwide.
Two of their albums were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and four topped the US Billboard 200 charts.
Many cited Pink Floyd as one of the most popular and successful progressive rock bands of all time.
It’s little wonder they were awarded the Polar Music Prize for contributing to the musical world in 2008.
12. Dolly Parton
Net Worth: $650 million
The star of the country music world, Dolly Parton is more than just a well-known singer; she’s also an actress, philanthropist, and businesswoman.
With a career spanning more than 50 years, Parton has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
She also had 25 songs reach the top of the carts on the Billboard country music charts, a record for any female musician.
As well as earning a significant fortune over the years, Dolly Parton has also received 11 Grammy Awards and 50 nominations.
In 2005, she also won The National Medal of Arts and was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.
Outside of her work in the music industry, Dolly also co-owns the Dollywood Company, which is responsible for various entertainment venues.