The Richest Musician Of All Time Has Never Topped The Charts As Himself

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Photo: Getty

You can easily guess the wealthiest living musicians, but how do they stack up to the richest musicians ever?It helps to emerge at the right time (the late 1960s and early ’70s or the mid- to late-’90s, the two moments when the now-shrunken industry was at its largest), make shrewd investments (in publishing and elsewhere, but also by capitalising on one’s own brand), and working across different media platforms (television, film, and touring).

Adjusting fortunes going as far back the the pre-rock-and-roll era for inflation, we made some surprising discoveries.

10. Michael Jackson: $350 million

9. Jimmy Buffett: $400 million

Buffett has been drawing his faithful Parrotheads and their battery-powered margarita blenders to amphitheaters every summer since 1976. (2011's tour raked in $22 million).

And if you want an ersatz version of the experience, you might stop in at one of the many locations of Buffett's Cheeseburger in Paradise chain restaurants, located off an interstate exit near you.

8. Dolly Parton: $450 million

7. Jay-Z: $475 million

6. Mariah Carey: $500 million

Carey's been banking off that five-octave range since Nicki Minaj was actually playing with Barbies.

Her stats are the stuff of legend: an all-time record 18 #1 singles as a solo artist, more than 200 million albums sold worldwide, five Grammys, and the status as the most wealthy living female musician.

And then, of course, there's 'Idol.'

4. Bing Crosby: $550 million

3. Bono: $600 million

2. Paul McCartney: $800 million

Guinness lists McCartney as the most successful composer and recording artist of all time. In addition to royalties from the Beatles back catalogue, which tops the charts with each reissue, he's reported to own more than 25,000 other copyrights, and his post-Beatles musical career has been huge, with Wings selling 8 million-plus albums in the U.S. alone.

His late wife Linda, herself part of the Eastman fortune, left him an inheritance of £200 million, and his recent tour grossed $87 million.

1. Andrew Lloyd Webber: $1.2 billion

Webber became the richest musician in history practicing one of its oldest forms: musical theatre. His ubiquitous works, which include 'Jesus Christ Superstar,' 'Cats,' and 'The Phantom of the Opera,' continue to bring in bundles with theatrical stagings, soundtrack recordings, and film adaptations.

On top of all this, Webber's Really Useful Group profits diversified with ticketing agencies and venues.

RELATED: The Richest Male Stars Under 30

Want to find out about up-and-coming artists?

See the full list of the richest musicians at PopDust >

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