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The 10 Richest Metal Bands in the World

Metallica

Metal music is an alternative subgenre related to rock that has been consistently developing since the late 1960s. Since its inception, heavy metal has evolved to highlight and interweave complex song structures, diverse rock sounds, and musical styles characterized by aggressive, dynamic vocals, unique if emphatic rhythms driven by distorted guitar riffs, breakneck drumming, etc.

While heavy metal lyrics typically include themes of personal struggles, this genre is not afraid to lyrically comment on the political landscape or even explore mythological concepts and more. The world of metal music has generated some of the most iconic and successful bands and band members in the history of music

Heavy metal has become a large part of cultural segments that also happen to be lucrative. So which of these musically talented characters and bands from the world of heavy metal makes the rich of the ten richest metal in the world? Read on to learn more

Our Methodology.

There have been so many talents, and successful metal bands have had the vision and talent to reshape the music industry. Some of these heavy thrash metal bands have captivated audiences globally and continue to influence the genre and beyond – many with multi-generational fan bases.

To determine the ranking of the richest metal bands, we reviewed data from sites like Bloomberg and Forbes but also analyzed the latest information from websites dedicated to heavy metal fans and celebrity wealth/status 

  • Metal Shout
  • Equity Atlas
  • Heavy Chronicle
  • The Richest
  • Wearethepit.com
  • Zac Johnson
  • Celebrity Net Worth
  • Net Worth Spot
  • Metal Castle
  • Rock Fandom

The 10 Richest Metal Bands in the World

These bands have left an indelible mark on the music industry and amassed considerable wealth along the way, and in doing so, they serve as a testament to heavy music's enduring power and appeal.

10. Megadeth 

Megadeth refers to an American thrash metal band that was created in the mid-1980s in Los Angeles. Megadeth has a sound that requires its talented musicians and composers to tackle complex and technical guitar work. As of 2024, it is estimated that Megadeth has sold in excess of 49 - 50 million records worldwide, with five of its 16 studio albums receiving a certification as platinum.

In addition to holding the honor of winning a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, Megadeth has garnered multiple Grammy award nominations as well as nominations for heavy metal video awards and ranks among the most successful underground heavy metal music bands to have found tremendous commercial success.

9. Exodus

  • Estimated Net Worth - $33 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Persona Non Grata (2021)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock  - Data Not Available

Exodus, which has been cited as one of the most influential heavy metal/thrash bands, was also one of the first to come from the San Francisco Bay area. Kirk Hammett was a founding member of Exodus and once a member of Metallica before becoming a founding member of Exodus. They have released multiple studio, compilation, and live albums of what is often called the pioneering sound from the Bay area.

Loudwire.com, which ranks these sorts of things, has placed the heavy metal band Exodus at number five on its list of the 10 Best Thrash Bands of All Time, alongside its placement as number nine on our list of the richest metal bands in the world

8. Anthrax

  • Estimated Net Worth – $40 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – All the Kings (2016) {According to Loudwire, Anthrax is in the studio working on a new album}
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 58

Anthrax, which was formed in the Big Apple of New York City in 1981, is an American thrash metal band that is known for its aggressive and fast music. Anthrax is also one of the original  Big Four of the Thrash Metal World.

 In addition, Anthrax as a heavy metal band, has sold more than sixty million albums worldwide (releasing titles such as Among the Living, Spreading the Disease, and Sound of White Noise). This alternative metal sub genre band is known as being one of the first thrash metal bands to come out of the East Coast.

7. Slayer 

  • Estimated Net Worth – $45 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – The Repentless Killogy (live at the Forum in Inglewood, CA (2019)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 50

Slayer refers to a popular American thrash metal band that was created in the early 1980s in Huntington Park, California. This Grammy-award-winning group (winning in 2007 and 2008 for each of their Best Metal Performances those years) has released twelve studio albums, with Show No Mercy debuting in 1983. The members of the heavy thrash metal band have also been nominated for several MTV music video awards as well.

Slayer has also had several other lineups over its life, but over the past two decades, the band has been consistent – lead vocalist Tom Araya, bassist Jeff Hanneman, lead guitarist Kerry King, and drummer Dave Lombardo. Slayer’s four musicians, when combined with their wealth, reach approximately $45 million; these band members have cemented themselves as one of the richest metal bands in history.

6. Judas Priest

  • Estimated Net Worth – $100 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Invincible (2024)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 23

Judas Priest was formed in Birmingham, England, in the late 1960s and was one of the few metal bands that added a unique visual style to their riff-laden rock. Judas Priest hit it big in 1980 when their album British Steel garnered mainstream attention.                                                                                                              

Judas Priest now ranks sixth among the richest metal bands, having sold more than 50 million albums since their formation more than fifty years ago. The members of the band Judas Priest have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, winning 2010’s Best Metal Performance for Dissident Aggressor and were honored in 2022 by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with an Award in Music Excellence.

With hits like Painkiller, Breaking the Law, and You've Got Another Thing Coming, Judas Priest has amassed a net worth of $100 million.

5. Korn

  • Estimated Net Worth – $120 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Requiem (2022).
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 53

Korn is a successful nu metal (a genre that combines elements and musical aspects of heavy metal, hip hop, and other genres) band that was established in 1993 in Bakersfield, California. Korn’s most distinguishable claim to fame is their ability to bring the nu metal sound successfully into mainstream music culture, but their first real mainstream success was in 1998 with the release of Follow the Leader and the 199 release of Issues – each debuting in the top 200 Billboard list.

The heavy metal group Korn has sold more than 35 million records worldwide since their debut and has won multiple Alternative Press Music Awards, two Grammy Awards (from eight nominations), and two Music Video awards (from eleven nominations), to name just a few.

4. Iron Maiden

  • Estimated Net Worth – $160 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Senjutsu (2021),  Nights of the Dead, legacy of the Beast – Live in Mexico City (2020)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 24

Iron Maiden refers to an English heavy metal band formed in 1975 that had such tremendous and international success that they are recognized to be among the most influential and beloved rock bands of all time. In addition, the success of Iron Maiden in the 1980s holds the distinction of being the highest-earning musician (at that time) within the Guinness Book of World Records.

Iron Maiden released 17 studio albums, various compilation and video albums, four extended play discs, 13 live albums, five box sets, and 46 singles that sold nearly 200 million copies globally. In addition, band members of Iron Maiden and the band itself have garnered numerous awards and multiple nominations during their long and illustrious careers, including two Grammy nominations and one win.

3. Tool

  • Estimated Net Worth – $200 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Fear Inoculum (2019)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 88

Tool is an American progressive or alternative metal band that was formed in L.A. in the early 1990s and is considered the thinking person’s heavy metal sound – as they are often known for complex compositions and thought-provoking lyrics. Tool has been nominated and won multiple Grammy awards, plus an IHeartRadio Music Award. Their debut album, Undertow – plus the later studio albums, includes the band’s proactive stance of using the work of art in their music videos as well as the packaging of their albums.

Their live stage shares are considered unorthodox and include elevated platforms and video displays. And even after more than a decade of a hiatus, Tool released their long-awaited re-return to the studio with Fear Innoculum in 2019. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the personal net worth of the band member Maynard James Keenan is estimated at $60 Million as of 2023. It is noted that this wealth has been mostly generated from his successful solo career and entrepreneurial investments in a wine company he owns.

2. Ozzy Osborne

  • Estimated Net Worth – $220 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – Patient Number 9 (2022)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - Number 18

John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne, who was originally known as the Prince of Darkness, was an original forming member of 1968’s Black Sabbath, along with Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, and Geezer Butler. The band was famous for breaking up and reuniting – having released ninetieth albums, with their final studio album entitled 13.

When he was first dismissed from Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne launched a solo career, and in addition to having sold more than 100 million albums (which includes his solo work and that of his Black Sabbath sounds), Ozzy Osbourne was honored as a member of the class to be inducted into the U.S. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Black Sabbath member and into the United Kingdom (U.K.) Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Black Sabbath band member and a solo artist as well. Ozzy Osbourne is among the few heavy metal artists who have a star on the Birmingham Walk of Fame and the Hollywood, California Walk of Fame.

The fame and wealth of Ozzy Osbourne have taken him and his wife (Sharon) and children (Kelly and Jack) all over the world and into the homes of millions with their various reality television series reoccurring since the early 2000s.

1. Metallica

  • Estimated Net Worth – $900 Million
  • Date Last Album Released – 72 Seasons (2023)
  • The VH-1 List of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock - – Number 5

Metallica is the reigning champ of heavy metal bands and #1 on our list of the most affluent and wealthy of the greatest metal bands in the world. Formed in the early 1980s in northern California in the San Francisco area, to date, Metallica has sold more than 125 million albums across the globe – beginning with their debut in Kill ‘Em All.

With a whopping net worth of $900 million, Metallica not only tops the list but solidifies its legendary status in the world of heavy metal bands and mainstream music. As a heavy metal band, Metallica has released eleven studio albums, eight live albums, fifty music videos, 10 video albums, and three box sets, including their latest, 72 Seasons, released just last year in 2023.

The personal net worth of each Metallica band member (as well as their collective wealth) can be attributed to Metallica’s enduring ability to tour, maintain control of licensing, publishing, sales of iconic merchandise, and, of course, their consistently high demand for streaming and record sales.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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