20 Richest Guitar Players of All Time

Hey there, rockstars and guitar enthusiasts! Ever found yourself noodling away on your guitar and daydreaming about making it big? Well, you’re not alone. Many guitarists have strummed their way into the hearts of millions, and their bank accounts have followed suit. So, let’s dive into the list of the all-time richest guitar players and see just how they made their moolah.

1. Paul McCartney: The Billion-Dollar Beatle

Starting off with the big guns, Sir Paul McCartney, primarily known as a bassist, also has some serious guitar skills. With an estimated net worth of over $1.2 billion, McCartney isn’t just the richest guitarist; he’s one of the richest musicians, period. From his legendary stint with The Beatles to his enduring solo career, he’s done it all. And let’s not forget, he also has a knack for business with MPL Communications, which has amassed a gold mine of music rights.

2. Keith Richards: Not Just a Pretty Face

While he’s known for his rugged charm and iconic riffs with The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards is also sitting pretty when it comes to his finances. With a net worth floating around the $500 million mark, Richards has made his fortune not just with music, but also with his best-selling autobiography and film appearances. And, of course, The Stones’ mega tours play no small part in padding his bank account.

3. Jimi Hendrix: The Legend Lives On

Although the iconic Jimi Hendrix left us way too soon, his legacy is immortal. While he wasn’t among the richest during his lifetime, the posthumous earnings from his music, merchandise, and licensing deals have continued to generate significant income. The Jimi Hendrix Experience is still revered today, ensuring that the legend’s financial legacy, overseen by his family’s estate, keeps growing.

4. Eric Clapton: The Guitar God with Golden Touch

Slowhand, as he’s lovingly called by his fans, Eric Clapton has played with some of the most influential bands like Cream and The Yardbirds. His solo career is equally illustrious. With a net worth of over $450 million, Clapton’s wealth isn’t just from music. His art collection once auctioned for a whopping $34 million, and his Crossroads rehab center has both contributed to his coffers.

5. Richie Sambora: More Than Just Bon Jovi’s Sidekick

Richie Sambora might be best known as Bon Jovi’s former lead guitarist, but he’s a musical powerhouse in his own right. With a net worth estimated at around $100 million, Sambora has not only made money from Bon Jovi’s massive album sales and tours but also from his solo ventures and various entrepreneurial endeavors.

6. Jimmy Page: The Maestro of Zeppelin’s Legacy

From mind-bending solos to iconic riffs, Jimmy Page’s influence on rock music is undeniable. As the mastermind behind Led Zeppelin, Page has accumulated a net worth of around $200 million. Though Zeppelin disbanded decades ago, their music still sells like hotcakes. Additionally, re-releases, remasters, and reunion tours have played their part in keeping Page’s pockets deep.

7. David Gilmour: Beyond the Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour isn’t just known for his soulful solos but also for his songwriting prowess. With classics like “Comfortably Numb” under his belt and a net worth of $180 million, Gilmour has made wise investments over the years, including selling his guitar collection for a staggering $21 million, which he generously donated to combat climate change.

8. Angus Young: The Schoolboy Who Struck Rich

AC/DC’s co-founder and lead guitarist, Angus Young, with his signature schoolboy outfit, has been rocking stages for decades. With timeless hits and massive world tours, Young has amassed a fortune of $160 million. Those AC/DC album sales? They’re among the best-selling of all time!

9. Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood’s association with bands like The Rolling Stones, Faces, and the Jeff Beck Group has solidified his place in rock royalty. But Wood’s not just about music. His ventures in thoroughbred racing and his art have also added to his $200 million net worth. Talk about a Renaissance man!

10. Pete Townshend: The Who’s Golden Boy

Last, but by no means least, Pete Townshend, with a net worth of $150 million, has been the driving force behind The Who. His role as the primary songwriter and his works as an author and investigative journalist has made sure that his bank balance is as impressive as his musical legacy.

11. Mark Knopfler: Sultans of Swing and a Sultan of Savings

Dire Straits’ frontman, Mark Knopfler, isn’t just a genius with fingerstyle guitar; he’s also a maestro at accumulating wealth. With a net worth of $110 million, Knopfler’s unique guitar sound and memorable hits like “Money for Nothing” have garnered him not just critical acclaim but also hefty paychecks. Add to that his work on film scores and his solo career, and you’ve got a recipe for financial success.

12. Robert Plant: More Than Just a Golden God

Although often recognized by his soaring vocals, Robert Plant’s talents aren’t limited to just singing. His guitar skills have been showcased throughout his illustrious career, and when combined with his voice, they’ve helped amass a net worth of $200 million. With Led Zeppelin’s monumental success and Plant’s subsequent solo career, it’s no wonder he’s secured a comfy spot on our list.

13. Paul Stanley: The Starchild’s Starry Earnings

KISS isn’t just a band; it’s a brand. And Paul Stanley, with his Starchild persona, has played an instrumental role in its astronomical success. With a net worth of $200 million, Stanley’s earnings don’t come from just album sales and tours. The KISS brand is everywhere – from comic books to action figures and even a theme park! Not to forget his side gigs, like the R&B band, Soul Station.

14. Slash: Top Hats, Top Riffs, Top Earnings

The iconic Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist with his signature top hat, Slash (Saul Hudson) has not just made an indelible mark on rock music but has also made some serious cash along the way. While most of his $150 million net worth stems from GnR’s meteoric rise to fame and their subsequent reunion tours, his side projects like Velvet Revolver and his solo albums have also been lucrative.

15. Jeff Beck: A Guitarist’s Guitarist

Jeff Beck has been described by many as one of the best guitarists in history, and while he may not have the commercial success of some on our list, his influence in the guitar world is second to none. With a net worth of $18 million, Beck’s earnings stem from his music, his tours, and his collaborative works with other big names in the industry.

16. Brian May: A Rockstar and an Astrophysicist!

Queen’s lead guitarist, Brian May, has been rocking the world with hits like “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”. With an estimated net worth of $210 million, May hasn’t only relied on his guitar skills. His PhD in Astrophysics and his successful ventures into writing and stereoscopic photography have given him a unique position in both the music and academic worlds.

17. John Mayer: Modern-Day Bluesman with Business Sense

John Mayer, with his bluesy guitar licks and pop sensibilities, has conquered the charts repeatedly since the early 2000s. But Mayer isn’t just about heartbreak songs and guitar solos. His collaborations with brands for exclusive guitar designs, and his involvement in the watch-collecting world, have boosted his net worth to around $70 million.

18. Carlos Santana: The Supernatural Guitar Slinger

When you think of mesmerizing guitar solos and Latin-infused rock, Carlos Santana surely comes to mind. His legendary Woodstock performance, combined with hits over the decades, especially the multi-platinum “Supernatural” album, have earned him a comfortable spot with an estimated net worth of $80 million.

19. George Harrison: The Quiet Beatle’s Loud Earnings

While often overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney, George Harrison was a force to be reckoned with. His contributions to The Beatles, his successful solo career, and ventures like the Traveling Wilburys have earned him posthumous earnings that, adjusted for inflation, would put his net worth at around $400 million today. His legacy, managed by the Harrison estate, ensures that his music continues to touch hearts and rake in royalties.

20. Joe Perry: Aerosmith’s Toxic Twin Tunes

As the lead guitarist of Aerosmith, Joe Perry, along with Steven Tyler (collectively known as the “Toxic Twins”), has given the world some of its most iconic rock anthems. With world tours, best-selling albums, and even a stint in the hot sauce business, Perry’s diversified portfolio contributes to his net worth of around $140 million.

In Conclusion

From blues to rock, pop to metal, the guitar has been a pivotal instrument in shaping the music we love. These guitarists haven’t just made incredible music; they’ve also mastered the art of making money while doing what they love. While killer guitar skills can earn you a pretty penny, diversifying, smart investing, and a sprinkle of business acumen can supercharge a guitarist’s net worth. It’s inspiring, it’s exciting, and it sure makes for one heck of a list!

So, the next time you jam out on your six-string, remember, the world is your oyster – or at least, it could be your platinum record! Rock on!