Musicians make money from royalties, advances, playing live, selling merchandise and licensing fees for their music.
Some just make more than others. A lot more. Here are the richest rock musicians, according to wealthygorilla.com, a website that used figures from sites such as Forbes, Celebrity Net Worth and The Richest to build this top 10. Any surprises for you?
10. Ringo Starr, $350 million: When he was young, the future (and now former) Beatle excelled in art, mechanics and drama … and somewhere along the way developed into a fairly decent drummer.
9. Gene Simmons, $350 million: While doing this research I learned the KISS front man was a native of Israel. Surprisingly, before joining KISS, Simmons was a sixth-grade teacher.
8. Mick Jagger, $360 million: Sir Mick has been the Rolling Stones’ lead vocalist since the band formed in the early 1960s and is considered as one of the most influential singers over the past half century. Here’s something I never really thought about before, but The Guardian magazine says the Stones should be credited for giving birth to arena rock.
7. Sting, $400 million: Gordon Matthew Sumner is his actual name. I once had a girl friend (that’s two words, not one) tell me, in all sincerity, “Oh, Sting … here’s so spiritual.” I promptly gave her the “whatever” look. Sting does deserve credit, however, for forging two separate careers, one with The Police and the other as a solo artist.
6. Jon Bon Jovi, $410 million: The “Slippery When Wet” album has now sold more than 28 million copies worldwide. As a group, Bon Jovi has sold 120 million copies of various releases and notched seven No. 1 singles.
5. Elton John, $500 million: Elton John’s given name is Reginald Kenneth Dwight.
4. Bruce Springsteen, $500 million: The unofficial patron saint of the working man.
3. Jimmy Buffet, $600 million: “Margaritaville” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2016.
2. Bono, $700 million: The heart and soul of U2, Bono has been a major musical influence since the 1987 release of “The Joshua Tree” album.
1. Paul McCartney, $1.2 billion: We always think of McCartney as an integral part of the Beatles, but let’s not overlook a successful solo career and also serving as the lead man for Wings. McCartney has been part of 60 gold albums. S-i-x-t-y.
If I Had My Way …
- Everyone would be required to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” at some point each December, preferably with other family members.
- We would all be required to take at least one friend to lunch each week.
- When MLB eventually expands again it would add two teams, giving it 32 in all. Those 32 would be broken into eight four-team divisions. Making up one of those divisions would be the Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox and Brewers (or possibly the Royals).
- No more “NCIS”-themed TV shows would be permitted.
- On the other hand, “The Walking Dead” zombie universe would be allowed to expand exponentially. The more flesh-eating zombies, the better.
Here are five songs with classic titles that you may have missed through the years. They are ranked in order of hilarity:
1. “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly”: A country duet from Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, done (partly) tongue-in-cheek.
2. “She Got The Ring and I Got The Finger”: Chuck Mead is the artist, and if you look up his version of this song on YouTube I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
3. “My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him”: The title is better than the lyrics.
4. “If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life, Then Number Two On You”: We wouldn’t expect anything less from the legendary Roger Miller.
5. “I’m Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home”: This was actually a great song by David Frizzell, back in 1982.
Steve Fact O’ The Day
I have rarely been able to wear a cap. My head’s too big (no pun intended, honest). Only in the rare instance when I can find a size 8 1/2 (possibly 8 3/4) have I been able to cover my sizable skull.
Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. His tongue is longer than Gene’s.