10 Richest Rock Bands, Ranked

Most of us have grown up idolizing one rock band or the other.

We hung their pictures in our rooms, stood in queues to buy their albums and concert tickets and tried learning the guitar or another musical instrument to cover their songs in our basement-cum-makeshift-studios.

They have inspired us to form our own music bands in college. Their lyrics may have shaped our worldviews. Their music has helped us to live through extremely difficult and turbulent times.

In short, they've influenced our lives a great deal.

Here are some of the richest rock bands, who've made millions off their record sales, ranked by the number of certified units they have sold so far. Although many of these bands have now disbanded or the members have died, their music still lives on, providing hope and inspiration to generations of fans.

Which ones are your favorite?

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10 Aerosmith

The band was formed in 1970. Originally they were known as just the Jam Band and consisted of two members- Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton. Later Steven Tyler, Joey Kramer and Ray Tabano joined and the act was renamed as Aerosmith. Tabano was later replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band as we know them today, came into existence.

They have 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums and 12 multi-platinum albums and have sold over 85.6 certified units worldwide. They have been performing for almost half a century and will be receiving a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year.

9 The Rolling Stones

A blues-influenced rock band, The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 and are still active, although their line-up of musicians has changed over the years. They were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012.

They have released over 30 studio albums and 23 live albums and have sold over 99.3 million certified units worldwide. They still continue to perform and release albums, with their last album Blue & Lonesome winning a Grammy Award for the Best Traditional Blues Album.

8 Metallica

One of the most prominent heavy metal bands of all time, Metallica rose to prominence with hits like "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman". Formed in 1981 by Lars Ulrich, the drummer and James Hatfield, the guitarist and vocalist, Metallica still plays on to this day, releasing new music and performing worldwide.

Metallica has also won 9 Grammy Awards and have sold over 101.7 million certified units worldwide. Along with Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, they are also regarded as the "Big Four" of thrash metal.

As of 2019, they even have an eleventh studio album coming up.

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7 U2

An Irish rock band, U2 was formed in 1976 and in addition to their music, they have also been in the news for campaigning for several human rights and social justice causes. Front-man Bono was even nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian efforts.

As a rock band, U2 has been incredibly successful with 22 Grammy Awards and selling over 109.7 certified units. Their U2 360° Tour of 2009–2011 was also one of the highest-grossing tours in history, only eclipsed later by Ed Sheeran.


One hasn't truly lived, unless they've sung "Highway To Hell" as loud as possible on a cross-country road-trip with friends.

Formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by two Scottish siblings- Angus and Magnus Young- Aerosmith continue to be active and are one of the best-selling rock n roll artists of all time.

They have sold over 115.7 million units worldwide. Throughout all these years, the band also been through multiple line-up changes with even Axl Rose from Guns n Roses joining them on tour and as a band member.

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5 Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd was and continues to be celebrated for their psychedelic and progressive rock music, their philosophical lyrics and their artistic experimentation that pushed the genre its limits. Their albums The Wall and The Dark Side Of The Moon continue to be as popular as they were, when they were first released.

The UK band has sold over 120.7 million certified units. Although the band disbanded in the mid 90s, the members did reunite for Live 8, a global awareness event. Two of the band members have died since then, and their last album The Endless River was released using material from earlier recording sessions.

4 Led Zeppelin

"Stairway To Heaven" is still regarded as one of the greatest songs ever released, and the internet is rife with theories about coded messages that can be uncovered if the song is played backwards.

Formed in London in 1968, Led Zeppelin was only properly active for a decade or so, before disbanding in 1980. Since then, they have only reunited a few times for collaborations or concerts.

Nevertheless, they remain as one of the most influential figures in the history of rock music. They have sold over 140.1 million certified units. They were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and were awarded their Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2005.

3 Queen

Songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We Will Rock You" will always continue to live on, even if the singers and songwriters aren't always around.

Although Freddie Mercury died of AIDS complications in 1991 and John Deacon retired in 1997, the remaining members, Brian May and Roger Taylor have continued to tour and perform worldwide, along with other singers including Adam Lambert.

The Queen also won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 and have sold over 141.6 million certified units worldwide. Their music has inspired countless including musicians and bands like Lady Gaga, Adele, My Chemical Romance, The Foo Fighters and many others.

2 Eagles

Formed in 1971, the name Eagles immediately brings to mind the song "Hotel California" that was first released  in 1976. They were one of the most popular bands in the 70s and even now continue to make millions off their record sales, with over 149.6 units sold.

The band disbanded in 1980, but reunited again in 1994. However, after founding member Glenn Frey's death, they have still continued to tour and perform. Their old-hits such as "Best Of My Love", "Tequila Sunrise" and "Witchy Woman" still continue to be ever-popular and instantly recognizable.

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1 The Beatles

Of course, this name shouldn't come as a surprise.

Formed in 1960 with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, the Beatles laid the foundations for modern pop and rock music and even though they were only active for a decade, "Beatlemania" never truly left the music scene.

With over 278 million certified units sold, their albums continue to be ever-popular. Even after the band broke up, each of the members pursued successful solo careers. John Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance" remains one of the best known anti-war anthems- Lennon was later assassinated in 1980.  George Harrison continued to incorporate elements from Hindu-culture in his musical works till his death of lung cancer in 2001.

Meanwhile, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still release albums, with the former regarded as one of the wealthiest musicians alive, with a net worth of over $1.2 billion.

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