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METALLICA, GUNS N' ROSES, AC/DC & More Among The Most Successful Touring Acts Of The Past 40 Years

Plus Kiss, Tool, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, and way more.

Metallica-40-10

Pollstar is celebrating 40 years of tracking live events with a massive list of the best-selling 40 artists over the last four decades. The list includes two charts – one looking at total box office gross income and one looking at the gross amount of income related to ticket sales. Unsurprisingly Metallica leads the pack, followed by a handful of household names like AC/DC, Def Leppard, and KISS. It's also worth noting that there's a discrepancy in the Tickets Sold chart, where Mötley Crüe is listed in the 42nd position as Mötley Crüe and the 142nd position as Motley Crue. The charts are described as such:

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"Both charts present the Top Touring Artists, but one is ranked by gross and the other by the number of tickets sold. For both, we have counted only headlining shows for each act, omitting results from any festival appearance since the festival itself is eligible to rank on the All-Time Boxoffice chart, as many of them have. We also did not include any event where the touring artist participated as a support act"

Check 'em out below and look at the full rankings here.

Box Office Gross

Tickets Sold

  • #6 Metallica, with 19,468,173 tickets sold for a gross total of $1,219,599,179
  • #22 AC/DC, with 11,512,424 tickets sold for a gross total of $668,427,967
  • #23 Def Leppard, with 11,321,650 tickets sold for a gross total of $514,231,844
  • #27 Vans Warped Tour, with 10,524,715 tickets sold for a gross total of $296,571,532
  • #30 KISS, with 9,867,419 tickets sold for a gross total of $532,363,017
  • #35 Iron Maiden, with 9,187,132 tickets sold for a gross total of $475,817,777
  • #36 ZZ Top, with 9,104,788 tickets sold for a gross total of $278,705,470
  • #42 Mötley Crüe, with 8,748,806 tickets sold for a gross total of $367,345,912
  • #43 Rush, with 8,593,428 tickets sold for a gross total of $341,767,928
  • #44 Guns N’ Roses, with 8,470,755 tickets sold for a gross total of $751,306,152
  • #53 Van Halen, with 7,483,253 tickets sold for a gross total of $295,611,828
  • #63 Pearl Jam, with 7,006,815 tickets sold for a gross total of $351,816,504
  • #66 Red Hot Chili Peppers, with 6,846,945 tickets sold for a gross total of $391,478,473
  • #78 Muse, with 6,124,001 tickets sold for a gross total of $413,911,387
  • #80 Ozzy Osbourne, with 6,006,522 tickets sold for a gross total of $186,754,231
  • #83 Scorpions, with 5,864,625 tickets sold for a gross total of $271,865,172
  • #84 Foo Fighters, with 5,815,511 tickets sold for a gross total of $397,110,491
  • #88 Pink Floyd, with 5,662,178 tickets sold for a gross total of $159,560,275
  • #105 Green Day, with 4,764,387 tickets sold for a gross total of $204,959,692
  • #109 Tool, with 4,483,293 tickets sold for a gross total of $269,044,896
  • #118 Poison, with 3,911,113 tickets sold for a gross total of $77,878,900
  • #120 Ozzfest, with 3,802,261 tickets sold for a gross total of $174,320,095
  • #149 Linkin Park, with 3,211,166 tickets sold for a gross total of $164,426,28
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