The Most Successful Rock Stars of All Time

The Most Successful Rock Stars of All Time

The history of rock ‘n’ roll music is intriguing to look into for a slew of reasons. A brilliantly creative disc jockey from Cleveland named Alan Freed is the man who coined the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” in 1921. These days, rock ‘n’ roll music is thought of as one of the most beloved genres of all time with loads of hardcore songs to jam out to.

In the hip-hop world, iconic rappers like Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and Snoop Dogg are often mentioned in conversations. When people list the most talented pop singers of all time, you’ll often hear about Michael Jackson, Madonna, Cher, and Britney Spears. As far as country music goes, big names like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, and Shania Twain will always be included.

What about all of the wonderful musicians from the rock ‘n’ roll category, though? Some factors that classify a musician as more successful than others include Grammy Award wins, net worth statuses, and overall notoriety among the masses. The more well-known a rock star is, the more successful they are. On the topic of talented musicians, click here to meet some of the most legendary music icons of the 1940s.

To compile this list of the most successful rock stars of all time, 24/7 Tempo consulted several entertainment sources. These include  Ultimate Classic Rock and Billboard.

Mick Jagger

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Mick Jagger is a hugely beloved rock star.

Mick Jagger was born in Dartford, United Kingdom on July 26, 1943. The beloved rock star currently has a net worth of $500 million thanks to all the incredible music he’s released over the course of his career. In 1989, Jagger was inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame, which many of his fans believe was well-deserved.

He made waves as a solo artist and as a member of the Rolling Stones. A few of the biggest songs he’s released include “God Gave Me Everything,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” In the past, Jagger’s won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song, and the World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song.

Jon Bon Jovi

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Jon Bon Jovi is a rock star with loads of fans.

Jon Bon Jovi was born on March 2, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. As a musician, actor, songwriter, and record producer, this talented rock star has a net with a $410 million. Decades ago, songs like “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “You Give Love a Bad Name,” and “I’ll Be There for You” put him on the map as a musician.

Bon Jovi’s taken home the iHeartRadio Music Icon Award, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and theBrit Award for International Male Solo Artist in the past. As of now, this rock star is considered a living legend with more than 2.1 million followers on Instagram. He’s still releasing new music for his fans to jam out too.

David Bowie

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David Bowie will always be a respected rock star.

David Bowie was born on January 8, 1947, in Brixton, London. The singer, songwriter, and actor has been labeled one of the most influential artists to walk the earth during the 20th century. It would been a travesty for an artist like Bowie to be overlooked by organized music reward systems, so it makes sense that he raked in so many Grammy awards before his death.

Along with several Grammys, he also earned the NME Award for World Male Singer, the MTV Video Music Award for Best Overall Performance, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. As a rock star Bowie put a spin on his music with an electronic sound. His artsy style seamlessly fit into the glam rock category.

Ozzy Osbourne

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Ozzy Osbourne is another beloved rock star.

December 3, 1948, is when Ozzy Osbourne was born in Martin Green, United Kingdom. He rose to fame in the 1970s as the lead singer of Black Sabbath. The heavy metal band was adored in the rock ‘n’ roll world at the time – and it’s still highly respected today. Back then, Osbourne took on “Prince of Darkness” as his celebrity nickname.

Osbourne’s solo career was just as successful as the time he spent performing with Black Sabbath after he went off on his own in the 1980s. His net worth of $220 million says a lot about his on stage presence and rock star energy. Some of his most noteworthy songs include “Paranoid,” “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” and “Crazy Train.”

Phil Collins

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Phil Collins has an impressive career under his belt.

Along with being a full-fledged rock star, Phil Collins is known for releasing music in the jazz and electronic categories. Collins was born on January 30, 1951, in Cheswick, London. The first song he released as his debut single was “In the Air Tonight” during the winter of 1989, and it was a game-changer for his career.

Since then, Collins built up a healthy net worth of $350 million. He’s taken home a long list of Grammy awards, but his list of accolades doesn’t end there. Along with his Grammys, Collins won the American Music Award for Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Billboard Music Award for Top Male Artist.

Ringo Starr, aka Richard Starkey

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Ringo Starr is a great rock star to listen to.

Ringo Starr, whose real name is Richard Starkey, was born on July 7, 1940, in Dingle, Liverpool. As the drummer for The Beatles, it’s impossible for music lovers to forget about Starr as one of the most noteworthy musicians of all time. An impressive detail about Starr’s current lifestyle is that he’s sitting on a massive net worth of $350 million.

While he spent most of his time serving as the drummer for The Beatles, he occasionally sang lead vocals for the group. Usually, he grabbed a microphone to showcase his singing talents for at least one song on every single album. Starr has recently connected with fans from younger generations with over 1.4 millions followers on his Instagram.

Neil Diamond

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Neil Diamond is a rock star who fans adore.

What would the world of rock ‘n’ roll be without a talented star like Neil Diamond in the mix? The singer -songwriter is the brilliant mind behind beloved hits like “Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” and “Love on the Rocks.” More than 130 million records have been sold with Diamond’s name attached.

Because of his stats, he’s one of the best-selling musicians who ever lived. Diamond won the Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, and the American Music Award of Merit in the past. His impressive net worth of $300 million reflects his long-standing career as a top-notch rock star.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney mullet
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Rock music by Paul McCartney is beloved by millions.

If you’re curious to know whether or not Paul McCartney would’ve still been just as famous as he currently is without the help of The Beatles, the answer is yes. That’s because McCartney is an undeniably talented musician who knows how to write lyrics, sing songs, and play bass guitar.

Some of the awards McCartney’s won for himself include multiple Grammys, the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song, the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist, and the MTV Europe Music Award for Ultimate Legend. As a solo artist, McCartney released “The Back Seat Of My Car,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” and “Monkberry Moon Delight.”

Robert Plant

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Robert Plant is a rock star many people look up to.

Led Zeppelin’s lead singer was a musician named Robert Plant. Led Zeppelin isn’t an active band anymore after their decision to split upon the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980. Since then, Plant and the other band members from Led Zeppelin have only reunited for a small handful of stage performances.

Plant, who was born on August 20, 1948, in the United Kingdom, is respected and revered as one of the biggest rock stars of all time. His contributions to the rock music world are a big reason for that. His net worth of $200 million sheds light on how successful he really is. Beyond Led Zeppelin, Plant released loads of songs as a solo artist including “Ship of Fools,” “Tall Cool One,” and “Little by Little.”

Paul David Hewson, aka Bono

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Rock star Bono’s real name is Paul David Hewson.

Bono is the lead singer from U2, which is a band that’s been around since the spring of 1980. Bono’s real name is Paul David Hewson, and he’s the man who belted out the lyrics for hit songs like “With or Without You,” “Beautiful Day,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

These songs will always be thought of as iconic in the rock music world since they’ve been enjoyed by generations of music lovers. Bono currently has a net worth of $700 million, which means he’s only $300 million short of becoming a full-fledged billionaire. After his May 10, 1960, birth in Dublin, Ireland, Bono’s grown up to become one of the most noteworthy and beloved rock stars ever.

Bruce Springsteen

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Bruce Springsteen is a rock star with millions of fans.

Plenty of people can agree that the rock music world is a better place because of Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen has been an inspiration to modern musicians with his singing, songwriting, and guitar playing skills. Over the course of his career, he’s released 21 studio albums and 23 live albums for his fans to enjoy. He’s also dropped 77 singles and 66 music videos for people to watch on YouTube.

More than 150 million of Springsteen’s records have been sold around the globe, which means he’s officially one of the best-selling rock stars in the history of the world. Along with multiple Grammy awards, Springsteen’s taken home the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Artist, the Juno Award for International Album of the Year, and the Brit Award for International Artist of the Year.

Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan is a rock star with tons of talent.

Since Bob Dylan’s music fits seamlessly into the folk and rock music genres, he’s heavily admired today by music lovers everywhere. Some of the biggest songs Dylan released in the past include “Time Passes Slowly,” “End of the Line,” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.”

After releasing his first song “Hey Little Richard” in 1958, his career moved full steam ahead. Some of the notable awards Dylan’s earned as a musician include the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, and the Academy Award for Best Music Original Song. As far as his net worth goes, Dylan is currently sitting on a healthy $500 million.

John Lennon

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Music lovers adore John Lennon.

John Lennon is another rock star with a name that’s completely unforgettable in the rock music world. It would be wrong and inappropriate to forget about a legend like Lennon when referring to the greatest rock stars of all time. The singer-songwriter served as a co-lead vocalist for The Beatles in the 1960s.

Before his untimely death on December 8, 1980 in New York, Lennon pursued a career as a solo artist with songs like “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” “Bless You,” and “Crippled Inside.” Lennon was murdered by a deranged fan named Mark David Chapman, but he was worth $200 million when he died. By today’s standards, his net worth would be valued at $620 million.

Sting, aka Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner

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Sting will always be respected as a rock star.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner is most often referred to as Sting, which is his chosen stage name. Sting served as a lead singer for multiple bands throughout the course of his career starting in 1977. The Police, Band Aid, Strontium 90, and Last Exit were the bands linked up with over the years. When combining his record sales as a solo artist and band member, he’s been part of over 100 million record sales.

Because of that, it’s not surprising that he has an estimated net worth of $550 million. Sting’s collected a long list of Grammy awards, but his list of accolades doesn’t end there. He’s won the NME Award for Best Male Singer, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Song.

Freddie Mercury

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Freddie Mercury’s career was show-stopping.

Freddie Mercury certainly lived an interesting life before his death on November 24, 1991, in Kensington, London. He was born on September 5, 1946, in Stone Town, Tanzania. With his four-octave vocal range and high energy stage performances, there was no way mercury was destined to live a forgettable life. He made a name for himself as the lead vocalist and pianist of a rock band called Queen.

Some of the biggest songs he performed with Queen included “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “We Are the Champions.” Songs like “The Show Must Go On,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “Killer Queen” are still enjoyed by music lovers today. Since Mercury died of AIDS, his death opened dialogue about the disease during an era when it was still heavily stigmatized.

Steven Tyler

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Steven Tyler leads the way in Aerosmith.

As the lead singer of Aerosmith, it makes sense that Steven Tyler would be labeled one of the greatest rock stars of all time. Some of the stats backing up Tyler’s level of success include his awards and net worth. Tyler’s taken home the Danish Grammy Award for Foreign Male Singer and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score. He also has an impressive net worth of $150 million as it stands today.

Throughout his life, Tyler has openly struggled with drug addiction with multiple relapses plaguing his journey to recovery. Still, he’s continued to shine as a beloved rock star for several decades. The first song Tyler sang with Aerosmith was “Dream On” as part of their 1973 debut album. Since then, some of his most popular songs have been “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” “Hole in My Soul,” and “Crazy.”

Axl Rose

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Axl Rose is respected by rock music lovers.

Axl Rose has a rock star career that would impress most people. As the lead vocalist of Guns N’ Roses, it’s impossible to deny his clear talent. Guns N’ Roses has been around since 1985, and Rose was there from the very start. Some of the biggest songs from the band include “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Welcome to the Jungle,” and “Since I Don’t Have You.”

Rose, who has a net worth of $200 million, stays relevant in this modern era by continuing to release new music with his bandmates. In 2012, it was rumored that Rose was involved with a much younger singer named Lana Del Rey. Although the rumors are never confirmed, the idea of a romance blossoming between Rose and Rey was enough to stir up brand-new conversations about him and his artistry as a rock star.

Eric Clapton

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Eric Clapton is a rock star with an amazing career.

Eric Clapton is a rock star who was born on March 30, 1945, in Ripley, United Kingdom. Rock music has always been up his alley, and he’s been labeled one of the most influential guitarist to come from the genre. Some of the songs Clapton’s released include “Wonderful Tonight,” “Tears in Heaven,” and “Sunshine of Your Life.”

The award-winning rock star has a long list of Grammy awards under his belt, but he’s also earned several other accolades. They include the World Music Award for World’s Best Rock Artist, the NME Award for Best Guitarist, and the MTV Video Music Award for Best Male Video. Since Clapton knows what he’s doing with a guitar, he’s been inducted into the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame three times. He’s actually the only rock star who’s been honored in such a way.

Larry Mullen Jr.

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Rock star Larry Mullen Jr. is a talented man from U2.

Being the co-founder of U2 was a great starting point for Larry Mullen Jr.’s career as a rock star. The Irish musician is a drummer for the rock group. Along with his band mates, he’s released 15 studio albums full of rock songs for the ages. U2’s also put out one live album, 84 singles, nine extended plays, and three compilation albums.

Mullen Jr. currently boasts a net worth of $350 million, which makes sense based on the millions of albums that have been sold to fans who adore U2. The popular rock band isn’t slowing down anytime soon with a current residency located on the Las Vegas strip. Mullen Jr. is part of all of that magic.

Kurt Cobain

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Kurt Cobain of Nirvana (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Kurt Cobain was beloved before his death.

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. He died at the age of 27 on April 5, 1994, in Seattle, Washington. Before his death, Cobain made a name for himself as the lead vocalist of Nirvana. He was determined to release music that would never be forgotten by the masses. His songs often offered a grunge-like undertone.

Cobain certainly achieved what he set out to do with hit songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Something in the Way,” and “About a Girl.” As a Gen X-born rock star, Cobain was younger than many other rock stars on this list. Several of the undeniably talented rock stars mentioned here were born as part of the Baby Boomer generation. Click here to learn more about Baby Boomer musicians that are still making great music today.

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