Rolling Stones, Metallica, AC/DC Among Top Tour Earners in Past 25 Years

See whose raise was the biggest.

Ultimate Guitar

Billboard has posted (via Classic Rock) a list of the top 25 grossing touring bands of the past 25 years. The poll shows that the Rolling Stones have come out on top, raising $1.56 billion with 538 shows since 1990. Metallica, AC/DC and Aerosmith were also amongst the top earners.

As Billboard notes, the figures raise questions about the future of large scale rock concerts, with the youngest vocalist in the top ten aged 46, and the majority of acts in the list having released their first albums before the 1990s.

Billboard's top 25 grossing bands 1990-2014

1. Rolling Stones: $1.56bn (538 shows)
2. U2: $1.51bn (526 shows)
3. Bruce Springsteen: $1.19bn (727 shows)
5. Bon Jovi: $1.03bn (578 shows)
6. Elton John: $787m (956 shows)
7. Dave Matthews Band: $777m (992 shows)
10. Eagles: $702m (484 shows)
11. Sting / The Police: $556m (605 shows)
12. Roger Waters: $547m (316 shows)
13. Paul McCartney: $506m (220 shows)
14. BIlly Joel: $500m (577 shows)
15. Rod Stewart: $497m (714 shows)
16. Neil Diamond: $465m (643 shows)
17. Metallica: $433m (468 shows)
18. Aerosmith: $418m (582 shows)
19. George Strait: $405m (584 shows)
20. Jimmy Buffett: $403m (539 shows)
21. Coldplay: $378m (315 shows)
22. Toby Keith: $361m (711 shows)24. Fleetwood Mac / Stevie Nicks: $350m (483 shows)25. AC/DC: $338m (316 shows)

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A very much doubt Metallica have only played 468 shows on the last 24 years considering they went on a 3 year tour for The Black Album alone.
    Good point. Then again, maybe there was a lot of shows that the source could not find the amount of revenue that those shows made.
    yeah, they played at least 300 on the black album tour. to be fair though, they had a long break before Load and then they had Het's addiction, so who knows?
    surprised red hot chili peppers aren't on this list
    Might be because rhcp don't sell their tickets for a ridiculous amount of money like just about all of the bands mentioned above.
    with the ticket prices of many of those bands I'm not surprised. what would more interesting is the net earnings.
    Why does UG report on the same bands over and over? Out of all the great music out there, UG reports on like 8 of them. Come on. Nothing specific to this article but it wouldn't kill to maybe write about some other maybe lesser known (and in some cases better) bands.