There are thousands of talented musicians around the world, but only a few will ever reach the top. Some have amazing musical talent, others are business savvy and have the right connections. To reach the top you must have both as the ten incredible musicians on this list prove:
Net worth: $350 million
Known as the “King of Pop”, or by his initials MJ, Michael Jackson is considered the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. Even after his death in 2009, Michael Jackson has remained one of the most popular and profitable musicians in the world. To date he has sold over 750 million albums, including 35 million alone which were sold the year after his death. Before his death, Michael Jackson enjoyed living a lavish lifestyle. He spent $17 million to purchase the Neverland Ranch, spent $65 million on a variety of video projects, and over $50 million on cars, antiques, clothing, pet chimpanzees, and diamond-studded gloves.
Net worth: $400 million
Born in Mississippi, the American song-writer Jimmy Buffet is best known for his unique style of music featuring humorous things that have happened throughout his life and singing about escaping to island paradises. Outside of his music career he is involved in two restaurant chains named after two of his best known songs,”Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Margaritaville.” Buffet began his music career in Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1960’s as a country artist before later shifting to more of a soft rock sound later in his career. Ever since 1981 Buffet has been involved in a number of different charity organizations including the Save the Manatee Club which was founded by Buffet and former Florida governor Bob Graham. It can go without saying, Jimmy Buffet has had an amazing career.
Net worth: $450 million
The estimated net worth of Dolly Parton exceeds $450 million. Over the years Dolly has been writing and performing hit country songs for over four decades now. Over the course of her fantastic career she has had forty-one top ten country albums on top of twenty-five number one singles and has released a grand total of over 3000 songs! Some of her best known songs are “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You.” Outside music, she has also had a successful career as a actress, songwriter, author, and philanthropist. Despite approaching almost 70 years-old, Dolly Parton has went on tour as recently as 2011.
Net worth: $475 million
Jay-Z is widely considered to be one of the most talented rappers turned businessmen of all time. Much of his money is a result of his record company, that he, Damon Dash, and Kareem Biggs co-founded, Roc-A-Fella Records. Over the years, he has signed some of the top rap artists of the time. His music career is pretty spectacular as well. His first album, released in 1996, “Resonable Doubt” is rated by Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time at 248. Every single one of his 15 albums he has released has reached platinum levels. Outside of music he owns his own clothing line called Rocaware clothing and receives endorsements by Chevy, Budweiser, Armadale Vodka, and HP. He also arranges and plans concerts, in which he received a $150 million payday from Live Nation. If all that weren’t enough he is also a part owner of the New Jersey Nets, Arsenal Football Club, and 40/40 Nightclubs.
Net worth: $500 million
Mariah Carey is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Her estimated net worth is in excess of half a billion dollars. She is the best selling female artist in the history of the Billboard charts and has sold over 200 million albums worldwide to date. Back in 2000, she received the largest recording contract up to that point in history, when she awarded $100 million by Virgin. The New York native has received 5 Grammy Awards, 17 World Music Awards, 11 American Music Awards, and 31 Billboard Music Awards over the years. Her voice is pretty unique in that she can reach five different octaves while singing.
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Net worth: $550 million
Seam Combs is the richest man in the rap game today. As both a talented musician and businessman, he has amassed a fortune over the years. He runs all of his businesses under a massive umbrella corporation called Bad Boy Entertainment. Some of these businesses include Bad Boy Records, Sean John & Sean, a movie production company, and two restaurants. Combs started his career after dropping out of Howard University in 1989 where he was majoring in business and got an internship at New York’s Uptown Records. The rest is history.
Net worth: $550 million
Crosby was easily one of the most popular singers during the first half of the 20th century. His trademark bass-baritone voice has sold him more than a half of billion records to date. Somewhat surprisingly he has amassed more wealth since his death in 1977 than before it. His musical style has been said to have influenced other greats such as Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. He was also an influential figure during World War II where his music helped keep morale high. In 1948 national polls rated him as the “most admired man alive” ahead of the Pope and Jackie Robinson.
Net worth: $600 million
Bono is the vocalist and lyricist of the Dublin-based band U2. Born Paul David Hewson, he had started U2 when he was only 16 years-old in response to an add posted on his schools bulletin board. U2 signed their first record deal with Island Records in 1980 and quickly rose to become of the most popular bands in the entire world. U2 has since won over 22 Grammy Awards and has sold millions of records around the world. Bono has become a well-known social activist and campaigns for third-world debt relief and greater involvement in the African AIDS crisis. Most recently, in 2009, Bono invested over $90 million into Facebook making him own 1.5% of the company. If the stock ends up doing well, he could be the first living billionaire rock star.
Net worth: $800 million
Paul McCartney is, arguably, the most successful musician and composer in the history of pop music. He has sixty gold discs and has sold more than 100 million singles. McCartney was born and raised in Liverpool, England has been writing songs since he was in his early teens. At the age of fifteen he met John Lennon and the Quarrymen who would eventually go on and form The Beatles. Before The Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney had performed on twelve studio albums and wrote some of the most popular songs in pop music history. It is estimated his songs have been played more than 7 million times on American television and radio alone.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Net worth: $1.2 billion
Andrew Lloyd Webber is the richest musician in the history of the world. Surprisingly enough, he amassed his fortunes through musical theater. He has had more than one musicals that have ran for more than a decade on the West End and Broadway. In total, he has composed more than 13 musicals, film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. For his contributions to the arts, he received knighthood in 1992 from Queen Elizabeth II. In all he has one seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, fourteen Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Featured Image: Flickr by Eduardo Pelosi