The 10 Richest Bassists in Music

on August 20, 2014, 3:47pm

Bassists may not receive the appreciation or the spotlight the same way frontmen and guitarists do — in fact, they’re often the butt of many a joke — but that doesn’t mean they’re not making major bank.

The Richest has published a list of the 10 wealthiest bassist in music, and while the names probably won’t surprise you, their placement might. Of course, the top spot is a given: Paul McCartney, perhaps the most famous bassist of all-time, is worth $1.2 billion, some $900 million more than the next richest. The Police’s Sting and KISS’ Gene Simmons are both worth an estimated $300 million and, thus, tied for second.

Despite having the highest-grossing tour of all-time, Roger Waters peaks at No. 4 with a net worth of $270. He’s followed by U2’s Adam Clayton and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea. At No. 7, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones is reportedly worth $80 million, which seems a little low given the band’s place in rock history and constant reissues. The same can also be said about Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, who places behind No Doubt’s Tony Kanal.

(Read: The 40 Highest Earning Musicians in 2013)

Check out the full list below.

01. Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion
02. Sting – $300 million
02. Gene Simmons (KISS) – $300 million
04. Roger Waters – $270 million
05. Adam Clayton (U2) – $150 million
06. Flea – $115 million
07. John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) – $80 million
08. Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) – $65 million
09. Tony Kanal (No Doubt) – $45 million
10. Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) – $40 million


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October 18, 2014 at 8:06 am

How on earth could gene Simmons be that wealthy? Kiss are shockingly infant school rock awful – meaningless bullshit shite!

October 18, 2014 at 8:04 am

How on earth could gene Simmons be that wealthy? Kiss are shockingly infant school rock aweful!

September 24, 2014 at 10:27 am

What about Stefan Lessard? Current net worth of $70Mil.

Valerie Gentile (@ValerieJeanGent)
August 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm

They are the 1%

August 24, 2014 at 3:19 am

John Deacon mo fo
August 23, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Where’s Claypool? Wooten? Crab Man from Metallica? Mendel?

Just like most lists, this is terrible.

August 23, 2014 at 9:07 pm

Dude is right. Nate Mendel would be up there, seeing as he’s in one of the worlds biggest rock bands at the moment.

Also, where is Cliff Williams? Surely he’d be up there. Despite being a pretty average bassist, he’d still be raking in the money from songwriting credits and touring.

Get Low (@GetLowDown)
August 23, 2014 at 2:18 am

Tom Hamilton is supposedly worth 100 million.

Richard Autry
August 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

Didn’t sir Paul lose half the 1.2 billion to Heather Mills in the divorce???

Mike Anderson
August 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

no. that was AFTER he lost his half lol

August 22, 2014 at 4:05 am

Nothing like being accurate – and this list is definitely not

Jagged Edge
August 22, 2014 at 1:15 am

I guess Lemmy’s only worth 10 mil. Blew it all on Jack Daniels.

Jagged Edge
August 22, 2014 at 1:13 am

Umm……. Lemmy??

Sarah Wilson
August 22, 2014 at 12:35 am


August 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Anyone else feel Adam Clayton is the only non-legendary bassist on this list who doesn’t deserve it and just got REALLY LUCKY? I’m sure he worked hard to get where he is now, but so did every professional musician.
And if you visit his page on wikipedia,
“When Clayton first joined the fledgling U2, he did not have formal training in the bass. In the band’s early years, he generally played simple parts in 4/4 time. Bono said of Clayton’s early bass playing, “Adam used to pretend he could play bass. He came round and started using words like ‘action’ and ‘fret’ and he had us baffled. He had the only amplifier, so we never argued with him. We thought this guy must be a musician; he knows what he’s talking about. And then one day, we discovered he wasn’t playing the right notes.”

October 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

No,he does deserve every damn penny he has…He had (has) fun ride playing in front of millions of people and playing alone with his childhood that came with is just a ,,side effect”…Btw Steve Harris(Iron Maiden), one of the best bass player in music history ever , estimated worth $ 125 -150 mil….this article is a joke

Ritch Percival
August 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Brian Wilson’s net worth is $75m. Your list is invalid.

August 21, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I can’t believe Driveshaft’s bassist isn’t on here.

Joe Dorer
August 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm

wooww such a dated joke lmao

GP Baker
August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

What’s misleading about this article is that these guys made their money from songwriting, not bass playing.

August 21, 2014 at 10:38 am

Mike Gordon!!!!!!!!!

Lee M.
August 21, 2014 at 10:30 am

What about Rudy Sarzo with his Ozzy/Quiet Riot/Whitesnake/Dio money?

August 21, 2014 at 7:36 am

Where’s Nathan East on this list? The dude owns a freaking island.

Zelmo Baum
August 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm

Where is Phil Lesh? Gotta be worth more than the No Doubt guy.

Daniel Smith
August 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Poor Roger Waters only has a net worth of $270 dollars.

August 20, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Nathan East made 96 million dollars last year

August 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Sorry for the repeat post!

August 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Nathan East made $96 million in between 2013 and 2014 so. . . .

August 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

He most certainly did not.

Jagged Edge
August 22, 2014 at 1:20 am

He sure did.

Lee M.
August 20, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Wonder where Geddy Lee falls?

August 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

I bet Geddy Lee is doing fine. Probably the happiest of all when at the ballpark watching a game in relative anonymity. (And good on him!)

Ashley Eubanks
August 21, 2014 at 9:21 am

if only Rush had a catalog as deep as No Doubt…


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