Richest Guitarists Alive Today


Most of you know who the lead singer of your favorite band is and the lead guitar player. Lead singers get a lot of attention and are often viewed as the most important member. Vocals are essential, but if your bass player or drummer can’t keep time, your band won’t get far in the long run. All the musicians are crucial to the success of the group.

The guitar players, especially the lead one, is arguably more important as the lead singer or any other member of the band. They are responsible for many of the reasons we enjoy listening to a group. They get to do the cool solos that send fans into a frenzy and often take over the stage to perform their songs. In most bands that employ guitars, the lead guitar player and singer share the glory.

To expand on our notion that guitar players deserve the same fanfare as anyone else in the band if not more, we compiled a list of the richest guitar players alive today. We only included guitar players with a net worth higher than One Hundred million. If we added every millionaire guitar player, our list would turn into a book.

Angus Young: One Hundred Forty Million

Angus Young and his brother, Malcolm Young, co-founded the group AC/DC in 1973. Angus endured a lot of criticism in the early years of his career for his costume and sound. Young wears a schoolboy uniform on stage which adds to his unique style and stage presence. His music is heavily influenced by many great blues guitarist, but Young adds power chords to the mix to create his unique sound.

Arguably, the sound Young brings to the music of AC/DC is more recognizable to a broader audience than other bands that share similar fame. Other than his schoolboy uniform and heavy bluesy riffs, Young is probably equally famous for his stage antics including his signature duck walk. Fans go wild when they see Young hop across the stage like the late Chuck Berry. Young’s net worth is One Hundred Forty million.

Kirk Hammett: Two Hundred Million

Hammett is known for his curly hair, heavy guitar solos, and his ESP guitars. He was credited with three top 100 guitar solos in the 1998 issue of Guitar Legends. Very few guitarists earn the honor of two songs on the top 100 list much less three songs. Hammett is genuinely one of the greatest guitarist alive today which explains why his net worth is around Two Hundred  million.

James Hetfield: Three Hundred Million

Hetfield is the lead vocals and a guitarist for Metallica. Like Kirk Hammett, Hetfield is credited with popularizing thrash metal. Hetfield’s gritty voice and heavy right hand add a lot to the signature sound Metallica cultivated over its lifetime. Bands like Megadeath, Anthrax, Metallica, and Slayer led the way for thrash metal, and remain some of the greatest thrash metal bands to date.

Hetfield is known for his signature “yeah” which is adds to the live and recorded versions of many of Metallica’s songs. Hetfield’s “yeah” is possibly as much a part of Metallica’s sound as the music itself. His thick, gritty baritone voice adds to the unique sound Metallica has cultivated over their long career. He’s reportedly worth Three Hundred million, and he has his own line of ESP guitars like his bandmate.

Eric Clapton: Three Hundred Million

Clapton mastered blues guitar early in his career and many musicians at the time referred to him merely as “god.” He plays a Fender Stratocaster almost exclusively and uses a fingering style Zakk Wylde once referred to as “chicken picking” to produce some of the greatest blues and rock music ever performed. Clapton’s career influenced many of the great guitarists we enjoy today. His net worth is Three Hundred million.

David Howell Evans (The Edge): Two Hundred Forty Million

Most people just refer to Evans as Edge. He’s the lead guitar player for the rock band U2. His sound is unique among guitar players and isn’t a sound many bands try to reproduce. Other bands that tried to capitalize on the U2 sound didn’t fare as well as U2, which also happens to be one of the most successful groups of all time from a business point of view.

Evans typically plays a Gibson Explorer plugged into a VOX amplifier. That guitar and amp combination helps heighten his signature sound. Instead of relying on complicated scales, Evans uses heavy reverb and hangs on a single note for longer than he should to produce U2’s famous sound. It was heralded by critics as a gimmick, but at a net worth of Two Hundred Forty million, we think it’s working pretty well.

Dave Grohl: Two Hundred Eighty Million

Grohl was part of the grunge music movement during his time as the drummer for Nirvana. Grohl almost gave up music when his bandmate Curt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. After Cobain’s death, Grohl went through a period of depression and said music just made it worse. Fortunately, for Grohl and our ears, he won his battle with depression and formed the Foo Fighters.

The Foo Fighters debut album included several songs that initially started as potential Nirvana songs.

Nirvana rehearsed some of the songs until Kurt Cobain’s untimely death. Grohl and Cobain swapped roles for some of the songs with Cobain on drums and Grohl on guitar which may have acted as inspiration for Grohl in starting Foo Fighters. His net worth is Two Hundred Eighty Million.

Keith Richards: Three Hundred Forty Million

Richards is a songwriter and lead guitar player for the band The Rolling Stones. Much of the band’s stage fame comes from the movements of their lead singer Mick Jagger, but their rock with a twist of blues sound is all Richards. Richards takes about sixty guitars on tour and is known for using a five-string guitar often. He prefers a Fender Telecaster or Gibson Les Paul but usually plays a Gibson ES-335.

Richards is a colorful character on stage and off stage. He wears flashy, brightly colored clothes and uses his stage presence to connect with the crowd more than his guitar skills.

When you combine his personality with his incredible guitar skills, it turns into a concert his fans never forget. Johnny Depp reportedly said he used Richards as inspiration for Capt. Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Richards was worth about Two Hundred Eighty million a decade ago, but today his net worth is Three Hundred Forty million.

Bruce Springsteen: Four Hundred Sixty Million

No list of guitar players, especially the richest guitarists list, is complete with including The Boss. We didn’t count them all, but Springsteen has won at least twenty Grammy’s, an Academy Award, and a few Golden Globes during his career. He’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

His music and lyrics championed the everyday worker from the factory worker to the window washer.

He made it a point to write songs and music that appealed to the people he called the heart or spirit of America. Many of his songs found their lyrics in Springsteen’s childhood. He paid less than Two Hundred for the guitar he plays on stage.

Jimmy Buffet: Six Hundred Million

Buffet is possibly the most colorful person in music. His stage attire is colorful shirts with floral prints and beach shorts. Buffet began his music career in 1970, and he is one of the greatest musical success stories in history.

You probably have a favorite Jimmy Buffet song, but a song like Margaritaville, Come Monday, and Cheeseburger in Paradise are the ones that made him famous. Buffet’s sound is a mix of country and folk music with a little pop thrown in for good measure.

Buffet used the title of two of his songs, Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise, as the brand names for two restaurant chains. Buffet’s talents stretch well beyond music, and his love for the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the environment are evident in everything he’s done in the last few decades.

Also, he wrote several books including a few children’s books. Buffet’s net worth is over Six Hundred million.

These guitar players are among the greatest and wealthiest guitar players alive today. No one is born a great musician, but natural talent and hard work pushed these guitarists to greatness. Whether you like their music or not, we can all agree they chose the right careers, plus they made our richest guitarists list.

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