What number of young guitarists do you know who dreamed of becoming famous and adored by millions? Maybe you are one of them.
You can still enjoy the songwriting, despite having writer’s block. The long tours, the album sales, and the merchandise sales… all sound great if that is what you want. You’re likely to be surprised if you believe that this is all it takes for extreme wealth and to reach the top 10 most wealthy guitarists in the entire world.
Continue reading to discover the main points for aspiring guitarists:
- Although it is helpful to have connections, anyone can make it big and become a great guitarist. It’s often not about the skill.
- You will need other business ventures and investments if you want to reach the top and maintain your high net worth.
- This is because guitarists often split their earnings with other members of the band.
These guys are business-savvy. They took advantage of their momentum and kept marketing to gain exposure and continued to move up the ranks at major record labels. This is a long-term pursuit. Unlike other genres, like rap, you will need to be able to play and write music.
Because many of these musicians are some of the wealthiest musicians, the sky is the limit. If you do the right things, you can be a part of the top 10 richest guitarists worldwide.
#10 – Kirk Hammett
NET WORTH: $200 MILLION
10 – While Hammett is the lead guitarist of Metallica, he is actually not one of its founding members. After Dave Mustaine was expelled from Metallica in 1983 for violent behavior and alcohol abuse, Hammett replaced him as lead guitarist. Hammett had been performing before with Exodus in 1979, which he founded as a trash-metal band.
Kirk Hammet is a major influence on heavy metal. His appearances on classics like Master Of Puppets or The Black Album are proof of how much influence he had on many guitarists.
Trivia: His long-standing passion for horror films began as a child. He has a large collection of cult horror art and objects, including a costume that was worn by Boris Karloff (I), in The Black Cat. He often uses heavy metal as a comparison to horror cinema, citing their intensity and unpredictable nature.
#9 – Brian May
NET WORTH: $210 MILLION
Brian was a co-founder and lead guitarist of Queen. He also wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “We Will Rock You.” He has won all the honors and awards you could imagine and was named the 2nd or 26th best guitarist of all times, depending on the magazine you read.
He is still on tour with Queen, playing to large crowds. Adam Lambert sings in place Freddie Mercury. He has also contributed to solo albums of many other big artists. He is busy enough that he doesn’t have the time or need to pursue additional business ventures. Check out his trivia facts to understand what I’m referring to.
Trivia: Brian has a PhD and is a true astrophysicist. He is the Heteragrion, a flatwing damselfly. He is a vegetarian and a strong supporter of animal rights. He was able to contribute a lot of technical information to a book on Picasso’s work through his Victorian stereography collection. Gwilym Lee played him in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. His homemade guitar, which he calls “the Red Special”, was used for much of his music.
#8 – Dave Matthews
NET WORTH: $300 MILLION
2 – Dave is best known as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the Dave Matthews Band, though his solo records and performances have contributed to his wealth, including Grammys and platinum statuses! His royalties are enhanced by his collaborations with megastars such as Blue Man Group, Bela Fleck and Victor Wooten.
Although his tours are huge, he also once performed for the Rolling Stones. This helped to boost his popularity. Dave started acting on stage, film and TV. But it wasn’t a major career. Blenheim Farm is his business, and he sells quite a bit of wine each year.
Trivia: Pete Seeger was the first concert Dave attended. He worked at IBM in 1986. Dave has appeared on SNL five times as a musical guest. He is originally from South Africa. The Dave Matthews Band is currently the only group with seven consecutive #1 albums on the Billboard charts.
#7 – Dave Grohl
NET WORTH: $320 MILLION
1 – Dave Grohl is a true hustler. He was the drummer for Nirvana when he started his career. He was the drummer for Nirvana, then he formed Them Crooked Vultures to become a supergroup. Now he is very successful with the Queens of the Stone Age.
He has been inducted into the halls of honor and received the Grammys. Grohl held the #1 spot in the Billboard Modern Rock charts 17 consecutive weeks. Singles from the bands he was in were then replaced by another.
He has worked with a lot of artists on his own, and the albums they have are amazing. This is in addition to the royalties he must collect. He is the third-richest drummer in the world, behind Phil Collins and Ringo Starr.
Trivia: Dave began playing guitar when he was 12. He is a self-taught drummer. This may be due to his admiration for Neil Peart’s drumming style on Rush albums. He quit high school to be a part of Scream, and lied about his age. He briefly drummed with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, but he declined to become a full-time member. He appears in an episode of X-Files. He cannot read music!
#6 – Toby Keith
NET WORTH: $365 MILLION
3 – Toby has been in the music industry since 1993, releasing (thus far) 19 studio albums and 2 Christmas records, netting him over 40 million album sales and 61 Billboard Hot Country Songs. He has also entered television, but with performances only.
His other ventures such as the nationwide “I Love This Bar & Grill” restaurant chain, are a large part of his success on this list. He also owns a clothing brand called “TK Steelman”. He’s also doubling down on the restaurants he owns and has introduced a special adult beverage called “Wild Shot.”
He also co-founded a record company. This is the hustle that it takes! He’s also one of the most successful country singers .
Trivia Fact Toby’s outspoken political views as an independent led him to fight with the Dixie Chicks and to playing the role of the president in 2017. He provides financial assistance to those with cancer and supports youth. He also tries to return music education to our most disadvantaged schools. Forbes reports that he earns a staggering $53 million annually, surpassing Jay-Z and Beyonce.
#5 – The Edge
NET WORTH: $400 MILLION
1- The Edge, known to his family as David Evans, is the lead guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist of U2. Since its inception, he has been a member of the group and has released 14 studio albums. Edge also produced a solo album. Edge is known for his minimalist guitar playing, which is layered with tons and tons of effects.
His contributions extend to artists such as Tina Turner or Roy Orbison, and to movies and stage plays. He is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and holds 22 Grammy Awards. He has recorded with Johnny Cash and B.B. King, Jay-Z and Rihanna are among his collaborators.
He is receiving royalties from all corners of the globe. He was also a subject in the documentary It Might get Loud. He is the first rock musician to hold a concert at the Sistine Chapel.
Trivia: The Edge is able to speak both in a Welsh accent and an Irish accent. Bono gave him the nickname “The Edge” as a street gang. It was actually based on his head shape. In 1981, he almost left U2 because of religious reasons. California denied him the right of five luxury mansions he could build on the 156 acres of land that he owns.
#4 – Eric Clapton
NET WORTH: $450 MILLION
3- Eric is a beast. He is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s only three-time inductee. His bands include the Yardbirds and Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & the Dominos, and the Blind Faith. He’s also worked with B.B. King, and many other acts.
He has sold more than 100 million albums, and he has received many awards and honors. If he had kept his expenses under control at the peak of his career, he would have been much higher up on this list. Rolling Stone deems him the 2nd greatest guitarist, while Gibson deems him the 4th. His music has been featured in numerous films and television shows. It was all music, and no other extracurricular ventures.
Trivia: Eric is an avid Ferrari car fan and owns a large collection. Eric has been a strong supporter of Ferrari to the point where they presented him with a Ferrari SP12 EC, a special project car. Eric, his four-year-old son, died after he fell through an open window on the 53rd floor of a building.
#3 – Keith Richards
NET WORTH: $500 MILLION
2 – Mr. Richards, along with Mick Jagger, is a co-founder and co-principal songwriter for The Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine (no relation!) He was voted the 4th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. He’s also a music producer, having worked with major artists such as Aretha Franklin since the 1960s.
He has a solo career and a side project called Xpensive Winos. Too many of his appearances on albums by other artists are too numerous to mention. He is one of few guitarists to reach such highs with music alone. He is a true beast!
Trivia: Keith got his first guitar from his grandfather who also kept it on his mantle. Keith was told that he could have the guitar when he was old enough. For his continued use of illegal substances, he was sentenced to some time in prison. He was injured when he fell from a tree in 2006. He had to have cranial surgery. Partly based on his fashion and lifestyle, the lead character in Pirates of the Caribbean movies is a reinterpretation of him.
#2 – Jimmy Buffet
NET WORTH: $600 MILLION
Change M We are the first to join the list and also one of the most successful rock stars . Jimmy, with his Coral Reefer Band, is the guitarist who brought “island-escapism”, to the forefront. Although they have countless hits in this genre together, Jimmy started as a country singer before he became the beach bum that he is today.
In 1973, Jim Croce died. Mr. Buffett took over the position at a record company and produced the hit Margaritaville. He’s become a huge touring star, making more from his many record sales than he ever made. He has also written three of the top-selling fiction books, as well as other chart-topping titles.
He has appeared in films and TV shows, as well as written music for them. He has restaurants, a record label and a casino. He also owns a beer label. What has my life been like?
Trivia: Buffet’s followers are collectively known as ‘Parrotheads’. He started his musical career in high school with the trombone, but he only picked up the guitar when he was in college. He was wearing sunglasses and flip-flops to give a speech at the University of Miami’s graduation ceremony. They also awarded him an honorary doctorate of music.
#1 – Paul McCartney
NET WORTH: $1.2 BILLION
The Beatles are the most prominent member. Paul McCartney and John Lennon shared nearly all the songwriting credit for their entire catalogue. Imagine the royalties, not to mention Paul’s distinguished solo career or his work with Wings.
Think about his collaborations and achievements with other giants such as Kanye West and Michael Jackson (one of the wealthiest rappers). Paul is a veteran of the music industry since the 1960s. He can play multiple instruments and has written 32 songs that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His song Yesterday has been covered by more than 2,200 artists.
Trivia: Sir Paul is twice listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. One as the most prolific songwriter and the other as the most respected composer and performer of music. He has over 25,000 copyrights and was knighted.
Who has dropped out of the Top 10?
Some people who achieve the status of being the 10 richest guitarists in the world are able to keep it. The first step in achieving wealth is earning it. It’s the second part of the game. Here is a list of fallen friends who were either swept under the carpet by newcomers, or lost their net worth like fools.
NET WORTH: $180 MILLION
Change: +$10M Jimmy is the founder of Led Zeppelin and its guitarist. He was previously a member The Yardbirds. According to Rolling Stone magazine, he’s the third best guitarist and Gibson is the second. His early years were spent as one of London’s most sought-after session musicians, earning credits with bands like The Who, The Kinks and The Beatles.
He’s been busy since Led Zeppelin’s disbandment, performing live shows and doing tons of collaborations. He has a lot of property and, for several decades, he even owned Aleister Crowley’s old house (he is big into the occult).
Trivia: Jimmy began playing guitar when he was 12, after he found a guitar that had been left behind at his school. He appeared on BBC1’s 1957 show at the age of 13. He gave up his music career to pursue painting. He founded a supergroup called XYZ with two members from Yes. However, they only recorded a 4-track demo.
NET WORTH: $180 MILLION
Changes: +$15M David joined Pink Floyd early and became their guitarist and co-lead singer. They are one of the most successful groups ever. David has also produced many other top acts and released a few solo records.
He is considered the 14th most influential guitarist of all time in all halls of fame. Great Britain awarded him the CBE title. He is a great philanthropist and has raised money for many charities.
Before selling the company, he founded Intrepid Aviation, an airplane museum. The company supplied vintage aircraft to Hollywood movies and TV shows.
Trivia: David once was so poor that he had to be admitted for malnutrition. He bought a houseboat, converted it into a recording space and recorded two Pink Floyd albums. One of his solo albums was also recorded there. He funded Kate Bush’s first professional demo, and he promoted her to international fame. He is the godfather of Naomi Watts.
NET WORTH: $160 MILLION
Change Angus is the founder, lead guitarist and songwriter of the legendary AC/DC. He is the last member of the original lineup and is currently focusing on royalties and touring. He was voted the 24th greatest guitarist by Rolling Stone magazine and inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Angus and Malcom, his brother, formed AC/DC at the age of 18. Back In Black is their 2nd best-selling album. Gibson also released his Angus Young SG guitar. He’s like Keith Richards and has made it to the top without any extra businesses. This is testament to his insane tours and outrageous antics on stage, as well as the massive album sales.
Trivia: The 15 members of his family fled Scotland during the 1963 “big freeze”, when a television advertisement promoting a new product in Australia was shown. The AC/DC name is not a rumor, but it was actually a label that his sister had sewn onto the back of her sewing machine. Before settling on the schoolboy costume, he tried several costumes on stage, including one that looked like a gorilla suit.
Who will claim the next richest guitarist spot?
Who else is eligible to become one of the 10 richest guitarists in the world, excluding artists who have dropped from the top 10. These are the most powerful tycoons in the world right now:
- Mark Knopfler is valued at $105 Million due to his role as co-founder of Dire Straits and his contributions on 9 film scores and cross-genre work with Country music.
- Pete Townshend is valued at $150 million, largely because of his leadership role in The Who and extensive work as an investigative journalist and author.
- Tom Petty, $95 million for his work with the Heartbreakers and Traveling Wilburys. We honor him even though he died in 2017, as he would have been on the top 10 lists for sure.
- Ronnie Wood has been valued at $200 million by his involvement with Faces, The Rolling Stones and the Jeff Beck Group. He also makes a living from Thoroughbred racing as well as his own visual arts.
- Paul Stanley at $200 Million thanks in part to Kiss’s sales and performance earnings as well as solo endeavors and side ventures like Soul Station.
It is obvious that you must have been a rock star in the 70’s and 80s, or be willing to invest your earnings in more businesses. It’s amazing that so few of these money-making men are considered for the top guitarists in the world.
Top 10 Most Rich Guitarists in the world (2022)
|1||Paul McCartney||$1.2 Billion||UK|
|2||Jimmy Buffet||$600 Million||USA|
|3||Keith Richards||500 Million||UK|
|4||Eric Clapton||$450 Million||UK|
|5||The Edge||$400 Million||UK|
|6||Toby Keith||$365 Million||USA|
|7||Dave Grohl||$320 Million||USA|
|8||Dave Matthews||$300 Million||USA, South Africa|
|9||Brian May||$210 Million||UK|
|10||Kirk Hammett||$200 Million||USA|