The Highest Paid Rock + Metal Bands of 2020

Ten rock and metal acts were reported to have made some big-time bank in 2020, amid an unprecedented year that saw virtually no revenue from touring due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. But they mostly trailed among the top-earning artists in 2020 overall, who largely dominated pop music.

Still, for longtime rock lovers and metalheads, the influential bands who made the newly unveiled list of the 40 best-paid musical artists in the United States last year probably won’t come as any real surprise. The included groups are all classic rock or metal outfits that are firmly entrenched in global rock culture.

Starting with the highest-earning and descending, those bands were the Eagles ($16.3 million), Queen ($13.2 million), The Beatles ($12.9 million), AC/DC ($10.1 million), Metallica ($9 million), Pink Floyd ($8.8 million), Tool ($6.17 million), KISS ($6 million), The Rolling Stones ($5.69 million) and Aerosmith ($5.35 million). That’s per Billboard‘s 2020 ranking, published July 19.

The Top 10 highest paid in pop and beyond were Taylor Swift ($23.8 million), Post Malone ($23.2 million), Celine Dion ($17.5 million), Billie Eilish ($14.7 million), Drake ($14.2 million), NBA YoungBoy ($11.9 million), Lil Baby ($11.7 million), The Weeknd ($10.4 million), Aventura ($10.2 million) and Eminem ($9.7 million).

But for as high as they are, the sums all represent a drop from previous years. As Billboard reported, it’s “no surprise that the dearth of live revenue led to a precipitous decline in the paychecks of music’s top earners, who collectively took home $387 million in 2020, down from $969 million in 2019. Even Swift, that rare artist with strong sales, streaming and touring numbers, saw her … pay drop from $99.6 million in 2018 (the last time she was on the list) to $23.8 million.”

Below, see the rock bands’ reported stats for their 2020 earnings:

10 Highest Paid Rock + Metal Bands of 2020 (From Billboard‘s Top Paid Artists 2020)

Eagles ($16.3 million)
Streaming: $2.7M
Sales: $970K
Publishing: $1.2M
Touring: $11.4M

Queen ($13.2 million)
Streaming: $5.5M
Sales: $5.3M
Publishing: $2.4M
Touring: $0

The Beatles ($12.9 million)
Streaming: $5.1M
Sales: $5.2M
Publishing: $2.6M
Touring: $0

AC/DC ($10.1 million)
Streaming: $4.3M
Sales: $4M
Publishing: $1.8M
Touring: $0

Metallica ($9 million)
Streaming: $3.9M
Sales: $3.7M
Publishing: $1.4M
Touring: $0

Pink Floyd ($8.8 million)
Streaming: $3.2M
Sales: $4.3M
Publishing: $1.3M
Touring: $0

Tool ($6.17 million)
Streaming: $823.4K
Sales: $557K
Publishing: $611K
Touring: $4.2M

KISS ($6 million)
Streaming: $431K
Sales: $348K
Publishing: $194.5K
Touring: $5M

The Rolling Stones ($5.69 million)
Streaming: $2.97M
Sales: $1.8M
Publishing: $1.17M
Touring: $0

Aerosmith ($5.35 million)
Streaming: $1.33M
Sales: $564K
Publishing: $840K
Touring: $2.7M

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