Indie Music

Who Are The 30 Richest Drummers In The World?

few weeks back, we gave you a rundown of the world’s top paid DJs displaying
numbers highly reflective of the current EDM explosion in the United States and
the subsequent demand for these artists (Tiesto being the top earner @ $22
million dollars in a year period). Drummers on the other hand, have been in
demand since rhythm first made its way into the human consciousness, and over
time, some of the world’s top-earning drummers have seen long-term incomes that have accumulated to incredibly high net worths.

Drummers have it
relatively tough compared to their fellow band mates, considering that in order
to practice their instrument, they either need really cool neighbors or a
designated time and place to play. Not to mention a reliable set of wheels to
haul their gear, the setup, the takedown, and let’s not forget about all those
lousy drummer jokes –  you really need to be committed. And “committed”
seems to be the common denominator among these top earning drummers, many of
whom have held 30+ year careers drumming at the top of the charts with bands like
The Beatles, Metallica, U2 and The Rolling Stones.

So without any further adieu,
let’s take a look at who’s getting the most buck for their bang (speaking of lousy drummer

Note: The figures contained in the following list were acquired
from all publicly available information on these drummers including their salaries,
real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements. The
final net worths come from a formula that takes out taxes, manager’s fees,
agents’ fees, and lifestyle.

The 30
Richest Drummers in the World 

  1. Ringo Starr – $300 Million (The Beatles)
  2. Phil Collins – $250 Million (Solo, Genesis)
  3. Dave Grohl – $225 Million (Nirvana, Foo Fighters)
  4. Don Henley – $200 Million (The Eagles)
  5. Lars Ulrich – $175 Million (Metallica)
  6. Charlie Watts – $160 Million (The Rolling Stones)
  7. Larry Mullen Jr – $150 Million (U2)
  8. Roger Taylor – $105 Million (Queen)
  9. Joey Kramer – $100 Million (Aerosmith)
  10. Chad Smith – $90 Million (The Red Hot Chili
  11. Travis Barker – $85 Million (Blink 182, The
  12. Stewart Copeland – $80 Million (The Police)
  13. Alex Van Halen – $75 Million (Van Halen)
  14. Nick Mason – $75 Million (Pink Floyd)
  15. Tommy Lee – $70 Million (Motley Crue)
  16. Bill Ward – $65 Million (Black Sabbath)
  17. Jon Fishman – $60 Million (Phish)
  18. Carter Beauford – $55 Million (Dave Matthews
  19. Rick Allen – $50 Million (Def Leppard)
  20. Tre Cool – $45 Million (Green Day)
  21. Danny Carey – $40 Million (Tool)
  22. Tico Torres – $40 Million (Bon Jovi)
  23. Max Weinberg – $35 Million (Bruce Springsteen and
    The E Street Band, Conan O’Brien)
  24. Mickey Hart – $30 Million (The Grateful Dead)
  25. Bill Kreutzmann – $25 Million (The Grateful Dead)
  26. Neil Peart – $22 Million (Rush)
  27. Taylor Hawkins – $20 Million (Foo Fighters)
  28. Questlove – $16 Million (The Roots, Jimmy Fallon)
  29. Steven Adler – $15 Million (Guns N’ Roses)
  30. Mick Fleetwood – $8.5 Million (Fleetwood Mac)

Source: The Daily Swarm

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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  1. This is interesting, but I think it should start at ulrich, as the others are also singer/frontmen and made the majority of that money via that.

  2. nah – lars has a lot of his wealth from his family (famous tennis player father) and his extensive art collection.

  3. how is it that a guy who played in Blink 182 has nearly triple the income of Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead??

  4. Economies of scale, I suppose. Same reason that the latest flash-the-pan pop act (which I am NOT lumping Blink 182 in with) can sell more ‘copies’ than older acts with greater longevity: there’s just more of everything now.

  5. About half of those drummers are unremarkable. Some are just plain bad. Most of the world’s greatest drummers, including ALL of the jazz drummers, aren’t there at all.
    Sad, but predictable, I guess.

  6. No way that Neil Peart is only worth $22 million. I’ve heard reports that his net worth is in the hundreds of millions…

  7. Mmmmm…you’re right John, it’s interesting that the best drummers on the planet aren’t on the list at all. Weckl, Colaiuta, Chambers, Gadd, Bisonette, Carlock, Rosenblatt, Wackerman, Philips and many many more are all playing in a different league than the drummers above, even if many of the above drummers are good. But of course, the average man in the street in general can’t hear that! 🙂

  8. It’s not hard to believe. I love Mickey and Billy and if this were a list of most talented drummers, they would much higher up, in my opinion. However, the Grateful Dead has never been a band that made much money from album sales. Most of their income came from touring. They also had a huge staff to support at the height of their popularity and they didn’t exactly make the best financial decisions. No big deal for them though. They are rich in ways that I’m sure some of these other drummers will never understand.

  9. Bill Ward good for $65 million?! The list kind of dies there. There is no way in hell. He hasn´t written much of Sabbaths music, and he has been out of the band on several big tours. Considering how many years he has been out of the band this don´t stack up. He is almost as rich as founder and co-writer Tony Iommi according to this. Give me a break.
    And Tommy Lee $70 million. Jesus how can it be that he is so much richer than Vince Neil? Don´t make sense.
    Bullshit figures all over. But there is no doupt that Ringo, Phil and Charlie Watts are in top five.

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