Drummers are the backbone of any rock band. They are the subtle musicians at the back of the stage, discreetly setting the pace of their band’s outrageous performance. Though drummers (and bassists) are often the unrecognized members of the band, we can all agree that we would be lost without them.

For the sake of fun, we wanted to seek out the world’s richest drummers, who managed to tactfully save millions of fortune in their long years of being in the music industry. Who do you think made it to the richest drummers of all time? Let’s find out.

We’ve ranked the top-earning drummers in history according to some of the popular celebrity wealth trackers at present. So with the drums rolling, here’s comes the 10 richest drummers of all time with their most recent net worth:

  1. Ringo Starr ($350 M)
  2. Lars Ulrich ($350 M)
  3. Larry Mullen ($300 M)
  4. Phil Collins ($300 M)
  5. Dave Grohl ($280 M)
  6. Charlie Watts ($250 M)
  7. Don Henley ($250 M)
  8. Roger Taylor ($200 M)
  9. Nick Mason ($150 M)
  10. Joey Kramer ($100 M)

As you can see, these wealthy drummers have built their fame and fortune by being part of the most popular bands in history. But on top of that, these musicians put their money into good use during and after their music careers, to further improve their net work. We’ve highlighted some of their featured assets and investments within this article.

So if you’re an aspiring drummer or music enthusiast who eagerly wants to know how they did it, then here’s a quick journey on these rich drummers’ path to success.

1. Ringo Starr Net Worth: $350 Million

The richest drummer of all time is no other than the former drummer of The Beatles, Ringo Starr, easily topping his pals with an estimated net worth of $350 million. Being part of this world-renowned band is sure to explain his massive fortune, but Ringo Starr’s prolific career thereafter also plays a major part of his great success. Ringo Starr described himself as a “left-handed drummer playing a right-handed kit,” the reason behind his trademark back-beat that put on so much character in all of The Beatles’ songs.

Born Richard Starkey, his interest with music began in a sanitarium where he was treated for tuberculosis while he was young. Using an improvised mallet made out of cotton bobbin, the young Ringo got really interested with the sound it made while striking the cabinet near his bed. This eventually inspired Ringo to join the band in this hospital where he stayed for 2 years. There, Ringo decided that drums were to be his instrument of choice.

Before joining The Beatles, Ringo Starr became part of a popular Liverpool band named Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. It was also during this time that he used the stage name Ringo Starr, derived from the rings that he used to wear during their gigs. Ringo’s solo drum acts was also labelled as “Starr time.” Their band performed with The Beatles in 1960 which led to his collaboration with the three other members in a recording.

Ringo Starr was the last member to complete the line-up of The Beatles, replacing Pete Best as their drummer in 1962. As a Beatle, Ringo went on to have local and international fame, and even offered to endorse Ludwig Drums in the U.S.

Ringo also took part in singing some of The Beatles’ songs, including the “Yellow Submarine,” which became a number one single in the U.K. charts. Starr also composed some songs for their band, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden.”

After The Beatles officially broke-up in 1970, Ringo Starr continued to enjoy a successful solo career, accepting film appearances, narrating in children shows, releasing studio albums and of course, touring with up to twelve versions of his “All-Starr Band”. Starr had his highest recorded salary in 2013, when he took home an easy $3 million salary from his personal pursuits.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Tittenhurst Park at Sunninghill in Berkshire (bought in 1971 from John Lennon)
  • Numerous homes around the U.K. and U.S., such as in Los Angeles, Cranleigh, England; Monte Carlo, and Chelsea district of London
  • 25 percent shares, Apple Corps Ltd. (founded by The Beatles and the owner of their music publishing company Apple Records)
  • Music publishing rights for his compositions with The Beatles and as solo artist
  • Co-owner, ROR furniture and interior design company (from the latter part of 1960 to 1980’s)

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 7 Grammy Awards as part of The Beatles
  • Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), appointed by Queen Elizabeth II (1965)
  • Inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (1998)
  • Inducted into the Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame (2002)
  • Voted 5th Greatest Drummer of All Time by the Rolling Stone readers (2011)
  • Appointed as a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours (2018)
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as part of the Beatles and as a solo artist
  • A star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Active supporter of “#peacerocks”, an anti-violence campaign with the David Lynch Foundation
  • Several charitable concerts throughout his long career
  • Authored 3 books, Postcards from the Boys (2004), Octopus’s Garden (2014) and Photograph (2015)
  • Did we mention he was one of the Beatles?

2. Lars Ulrich Net Worth: $350 Million

Also topping the richest drummers of all time is Lars Ulrich. Lars Ulrich is known as the fast-trash drummer and the co-founder of the heavy metal band, Metallica. This band released many albums all throughout their successful music career (with a new one coming up here pretty soon, hopefully) and still belongs to the highest-paid rock bands around the world. In fact, their World-Wired Tour which spanned from 2016 to 2020 was estimated to earn $400 million.

Being a son of a popular tennis player and jazz musician, Lars grew up wanting to follow the footsteps of his father. His passion for drums began after seeing a performance of a band named Deep Purple when he was just 9 years old. Though he grew up aiming to be a professional tennis player, Lars officially focused on his music career by the age of 16.

When Lars Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, he posted an advertisement in a local newspaper stating that he’s a drummer looking for a band. The ad was responded by James Hetfield and in 1981, Metallica was born.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • A 2-acre property with 13,000 square feet mansion and 2 adjacent homes, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay in Tiburon, California (bought for $6 million in 1993 and listed for $12 million in 2019)
  • 140 acres of land in Marin County (listed for $39 million in 2015)
  • Promising art collection including works of Jean Michel Basquiat, one which was auctioned for $5.5 million in 2002, and another one sold for $13.5 million in 2008

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 9 Grammy Awards, 2 American Music Awards, 5 Billboard Music Awards, 2 Classic Rock Awards, a American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Award and many others as part of Metallica
  • The first Dane inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Metallica (2009)
  • Actively supporting the expansion of access to health care for the U.S. citizens

3. Larry Mullen Jr. Net Worth: $300 Million

The drummer and co-founder of the world-renowned band U2 is next on the list with a net worth of around $300 million. Larry Mullen Jr. is known for his military drumming style, giving a distinctive tune in many of their band’s songs.

Larry Mullen Jr. started drumming when he was 9. The young Larry was coached by a famous Irish drummer named Joe Bonnie. A few years later, this aspiring musician posted an ad in their high school bulletin, inviting students who are also interested in forming a band. After several name alterations, the band settled for “U2” with Larry Mullen, Paul “Bono” Hewson, David “The Edge” Evans and Adam Clayton in the final line-up.

Mullen’s notable U2 contributions are “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, “City of Blinding Lights” and “Mysterious Ways”. Mullen also worked with bassist Adam Clayton for the soundtrack of the film “Mission Impossible,” which reached the eight spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Mullen co-wrote and made the musical arrangement of “Put ‘Em Under Pressure,” the Irish national football team song for the FIFA World Cup.

Outside U2, Larry Mullen Jr. is known for his collaborations with other artists, including Maria Mckee, Daniel Lanois, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, as well as Nanci Griffith. Mullen also pursued some acting roles and appeared in the films “Man on the Train” and “A Thousand Times Goodnight”.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Several houses around the world, including homes in Beaulieu-sur-Mer; Howth, Ireland; and Nyack, New York
  • Music publishing rights as a U2 and solo artist

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 22 Grammy Awards as part of U2, including their 7th time “Best Rock Duo or Group with Vocal” award
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of U2 (2005)
  • Ranked 96th in the Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Drummer of All Time” (2016)
  • Ranked 21st on Stylus Magazine’s “50 Greatest Rock Drummers”
  • Several charitable works, including his recent $100,000 donation for the Navajo-Hopi relief fund

4. Phil Collins Net Worth: $300 Million

The previous drummer of Genesis and currently a multi-awarded composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Phil Collins is of no doubt one of the richest drummers in history. Phil Collins is one of the only three artists who has sold more than 100 million copies of albums worldwide as a solo act and as part of a band (the two others are music legends, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney).

Collins developed his early interest in music by playing toy drum kits since he was 5. Inspired by The Beatles’ Ringo Starr, his toy drum kits gradually evolved to a complete drum set.

It was in 1970 when Collins joined the band Genesis as their drummer and backing vocalist. When Peter Gabriel left, Phil Collins replaced him as the lead vocalist of the band, releasing numerous albums until the 1990’s.

After leaving Genesis in 1996, the musician focused on releasing many of his solo works and forming his Phil Collins Big Band which was known for their jazzy renditions of the Genesis’ and Phil Collin’s songs. But what really peaked Collin’s success is when he worked for Disney to write and perform songs for its animated film “Tarzan” in 1999. Collins performed his own compositions in several languages (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish). The movie’s soundtrack “You’ll Be in My Heart” broke the record of the longest time of a single track on the Number 1 spot, garnering 19 consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

After much success, Phil Collins never stopped creating good music. He returned to Disney for the soundtrack of Disney’s animated film “Brother Bear” in 2003, and continuously touring as a solo artist. Collins also had some brief reunions with Genesis. All these add up to this music legend’s huge bulk of fortune. For instance, in his “Not Dead Yet Tour”, Collins took home around $45 million. What a tour!

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Chateau “Clayton House” located in the village of Begnins
  • A $33 million worth, 11,000 square-foot, water-facing mansion in Miami (sold for $39 million in 2020)
  • A valuable collection of his music back catalogue

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 7 Grammy Awards, 6 Brit Awards, 3 American Music Awards, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Disney Legend Award
  • Founder, the Little Dreams Foundation (2000), supporting children in sports and arts
  • Active supporter of the Topsy Foundation, a South African charitable institution

5. Dave Grohl Net Worth: $280 Million

The former drummer of Nirvana, Dave Grohl is next on this list with a net worth of $280 million. David Eric Grohl is a well-established drummer who was also known for being the singer, primary songwriter, and guitarist of Foo Fighters and the drummer and co-founder of Them Crooked Vultures.

Dave Grohl and his older sister are naturally fond of music. When their cousin introduced them to punk rock when Dave was 13, it became their favorite genre while growing up. Dave learned to play the guitar first, but eventually taught himself how to play the drums upon joining their high school band.

Joining the band Scream while he was 17 sparked the new chapter in Grohl’s music career, touring extensively and releasing a number of live albums. It is also in one of their tour stops that Grohl met musicians Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic were are starting a band named Nirvana. When Scream unexpectedly disbanded a couple of months later, Grohl heard that these two musicians are looking for a drummer and eventually joined the band. Nirvana’s “Nevermind” in 1991 became huge commercial hit and circulated worldwide. This was followed by years of touring and album releases until Cobain’s untimely death in 1994.

While enjoying success with Nirvana, Grohl also pursued creating his own songs. After Nirvana’s disbandment, the confused Grohl decided to record an album of his songs, singing and playing the background music all by himself. This one-man project became known as Foo Fighters and later developed into a successful band. Foo Fighters won several awards for its music, with millions of album sold worldwide.

Grohl’s passion with music never stopped as he announced recording songs with Josh Homme and John Paul Jones as Them Crooked Vultures in 2009. He also became an active collaborator for numerous bands and musicians all throughout his career.

All his work prove Dave Grohl’s success as a great drummer and musician. Despite being one of the wealthiest in his field, he remains to be one of the most humble celebrities in the industry. Here’s a glimpse of a few of his assets.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • A modest home in Encino, California where he currently lives with his family
  • $2 million mansion in Los Angeles
  • A 3.088 sq. ft. beach house in California (sold for $2.9 million in 2005)
  • A $114.9 million private jet, the A319-ACJ
  • Music publishing rights for his works for Nirvana, Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures
  • An Instragram influencer with estimated earnings of $431 to $738 per post made on this social media platform
  • Brand endorser for Pearl Drums, Fender, Zildjian, Gibson, Vox and many others

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2014)
  • A roadway called “David Grohl Alley” in his hometown, Warren, Ohio, and a pair of gigantic drumsticks featured in the Guinness World Book of Records was dedicated for his excellent works.
  • Nicknamed as the “Nicest Guy in Rock” due to his nice character and numerous philanthropic pursuits. Some of the foundations he supports are 1st Century Leaders, Entertainment Industry Foundation, LIFEbeat, Autism Speaks, Elton John AIDS Foundation, Worldwide Orphans Foundation, and Stand Up To Cancer.

6. Charlie Watts Net Worth: $250 Million

Being a drummer of the band that sure have withstood the test of time, Charlie Watts is definitely included in the richest drummers list with a net worth of $250 million. Watts built his massive fortune for being a member of The Rolling Stones for more than five decades, along with owning shares for every Stones-related business ventures.

Though he has always been passionate of jazz and drums, Charlie Watts was a graphic artist before focusing on his career with music. Watts joined The Rolling Stones in 1963, with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart and Brian Jones. Their 1965 hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” gained worldwide success and pinned Watts and the rest of the Stones into the limelight.

The surviving members of The Rolling Stones still tour and perform together today. In their latest virtual concert, “One World: Together At Home,” the audience were greatly intrigued of Watts air druming instead of a full drum set. After so many long years in the music industry, Charlie Watts, indeed, still knows how to get his fans hooked with his performance.

With his passion for jazz music, Watts also had some personal pursuits outside The Rolling Stones. Most remarkably, being a drummer of a jazz band, The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie.

Charlie Watts has also been prominent for his trendy, gentleman-inspired outfits that offered him a distinctive look even while he was performing with the Stones. Watts dresses so well that he was even awarded for his great fashion sense.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Halsdon Manor, his residence at Dolton, United Kingdom
  • An East Sussex home (listed for £995,000 on 2015)
  • An Arabian horse stud farm in the countryside of England

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 3 Grammy Awards as part of the Rolling Stones
  • Rolling Stones, received the Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award ( 28th Grammy Awards in 1986)
  • Some of the band’s albums and classic singles were inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame
  • Inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame (2006)
  • Elected, Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame (2006)
  • Ranked 12th on Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” (2016)

7. Don Henley Net Worth: $250 Million

Don Hugh Henley is the drummer, singer, songwriter, and founding member of the band, Eagles, which gained utmost popularity during the 1970’s. Though he was primarily in-charge of the drums and the band’s creative process, Henley also sang the lead vocals of some of the Eagle’s greatest hits like “Desperado”, “Best of My Love”, “The Long Run”, “One of These Nights”, and “Hotel California”. The Eagles is the top-selling American band in history, with more than 150 million albums sold around the world.

Don Henley started as a member of a backup touring band and it was also how he met a fellow musician named Glenn Frey. In 1971, they decided to form their own band, Eagles. The Eagles immediately signed up a contract with David Geffen’s label, Asylum Records, and released a successful debut album in 1972.  Henley and Frey collaborated in making most of the Eagles’ hits, the reason why they were once being compared to the McCartney and Lennon tandem in terms of songwriting and composing.

With great success came pressure and conflicts that broke up the Eagles in 1980. Since then, Henley pursued a successful solo career, creating several hits and a Grammy- award winning albums “The Boys of the Summer” and “The End of Innocence. In 1994, the Eagles successfully reunited, began recording and touring once again.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • An impressive collection of real estate, including his 16,000-square-foot mansion in Dallas, 1,827-square-foot Spanish bungalow in West Hollywood and a 40-acre luxury property located above Malibu’s Point Dume
  • Henley’s property holdings
  • Investments in stocks
  • Endorsement deal with CoverGirl cosmetics

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 6 Grammy awards and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 as part of Eagles
  • 2 Grammy Awards for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance as a solo artist (1986 and 1990)
  • MusiCares Person of the Year (2007)
  • Founder, the Walden Woods Project
  • Co-founder of the non-profit Caddo Lake Institute
  • Head, Recording Artists’ Coalition

8. Roger Taylor Net Worth: $200 Million

The drummer, vocalist and songwriter of Queen, Roger Taylor, is among the most influential and wealthiest drummers in the world. Aside from being the powerhouse of Queen and his well-versed falsetto vocals, Taylor has a keen talent on songwriting. In the history of Queen, each one of its members contributed number 1 singles, with “Radio Ga Ga”, “A Kind Of Magic” and “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” credited to Roger Taylor.

Roger Taylor joined his first band, playing the ukulele while he was just 7 years old. Overtime, Taylor became a good guitarist, vocalist, and drummer, even proving that a prolific drummer can act as a front man of a band when he joined Reaction in 1966.

In 1967, while Taylor was studying, he formed a band with guitarist Brian May and called it Smile. It was until the line-up included John Deacon and Freddy Mercury that Queen was born in 1971. Queen became a world-renowned rock icon, particularly after their 1977 hits “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” were released.

While bustling with the famed rock band, Roger Taylor is also the first Queen member to release his solo single, “I Wanna Testisfy” and regained the role of being the lead vocalist in his band, The Cross until its disbandment in 1993. Up until today, Taylor continuously pursues his solo career along with collaborative projects with Queen and other promising artists.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Milhangar House, a country mansion set in 74 acres property Godalming, Surrey where Taylor resided for almost 20 years(currently listed for $6.1 million)
  • A promising collection of music back catalogue both as part of Queen and as a solo artist
  • Shares with any Queen-related business venture

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 4 Brit Awards and 4 Ivor Novello Awards as part of Queen
  • Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, UK Music Hall of Fame, RockWalk of Fame, and the first band to be inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and VH1 Rock Honors
  • Queen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Aside from the Royal family, Taylor was the second living person rarely featured in the Royal mail stamp
  • Appointed as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours (2020)
  • Several charitable works throughout his long career, including the “Twelve Drummers Drumming” for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Band Aid 30

9. Nick Mason Net Worth: $150 Million

Nicholas “Nick” Mason is best known as the drummer and the only member who remained with Pink Floyd all throughout the band’s music career. Mason also composed some renowned songs for the band, including “Echoes” and “Time”. This musician’s recent musical pursuits are with his Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, which is aimed to reminisce the early Pink Floyd hits.

Aside from Pink Floyd’s huge success all throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, Nick Mason built his million-dollar fortune by putting up his own music publishing company that also branched abroad. Mason is also famous for his massive car collection that are kept in two hangars at a former World War I training field called the Rendcombe Airfield.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • The Middlewick House, where the Mason family currently resides
  • Classic car collection including Aston Martin, Ferrari, Jaguar, Bentley, Bugatti, and Porsche, with his popular red 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (reportedly priced as $35 million)
  • Aerospatiale AS 350 Squirrel helicopter
  • Nick Mason Music publishing company (local and abroad)
  • A keyring-making business in Shropshire
  • Pink Floyd music’s digital royalties

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • Awarded the Honorary title Doctor of Letters from the University of Westminster (2012)
  • Appointed as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours (2019)
  • Co-chairman and spokesperson, Featured Artists’ Coalition
  • Associate, Football Ventures
  • Authored and co-authored 4 books
  • Certified helicopter pilot

10. Joey Kramer Net Worth: $100 Million

The drum virtuoso of Aerosmith, Joey Kramer, completes the list with an estimated fortune of $100 million. Joey Kramer is known for his solid grooves and scrupulous timing that have effectively delivered the meaning of Aerosmith’s songs. Kramer is also credited for the band’s name, “Aerosmith” and for contributing the lyrics for some Aerosmith songs including “Pandora’s Box,” “Kings and Queens,” “Can’t Stop Loving You,” and “Closer”.

In 1970, Kramer met his old pal, Steven Tyler who was forming a band with Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton. Joey Kramer joined as a drummer of the band that was later introduced as Aerosmith. Brad Whitford joined them a year later. Aerosmith began playing throughout New England until the famous record producer, Clive Davis, noticed their music and immediately signed them to Columbia Records in 1972. Aerosmith became one of the most popular live acts of the 70’s. Even after their brief disparities in the early 80’s, the band regained their spot with flying colors in 1985 and became an iconic part of the Rock and Roll industry.

While most of Kramer’s wealth is built from his more than five decades with Aerosmith, his endorsements and business pursuits also added bulk to his fortune. Some of these are featured below.

Featured Assets and Investments:

  • Rockin’ & Roastin’ Coffee, his organic coffee line
  • Rockin’ & Roastin’ Café and Restaurant
  • Partnership with Comfort Foods, Inc. for the packaging and distribution of his coffee line (2013)
  • Partnership with business mogul Les Otten, for opening two branches of his café and restaurant (2015)
  • Endorser, Pearl Drums
  • Aerosmith music back catalogue and other Aerosmith-related business ventures

Key Achievements and Awards:

  • 4 Grammys, 2 People’s Choice Awards, 6 Billboard Music Awards, 8 American Music Awards, 23 Boston Music Awards, and 12 MTV Video Awards as part of Aerosmith
  • Aerosmith, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2001)
  • Aerosmith, MusiCares Person of The Year (2020)


So there you go, the 10 richest drummers of all time and the back stories of how they achieved financial success. Tune in for the updates in their net worth, assets and achievements and be back for your favorite drummer joining the richest list soon.

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