Ah, the ‘80s. It was a decade of big hair and memorable music. Sexy, sleek pop acts like Michael Jackson, Prince, and Stevie Wonder competed against rockers like David Bowie and Paul McCartney. Then there were the burgeoning hard rock and metal bands that would later become household names, groups like Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, R.E.M., Queen, and of course, Metallica.
Many of the above-mentioned acts went on to have hugely successful careers that spanned the 1990s, 2000s, and—for a lucky few—the 2010s and beyond. Others faded away as the ‘80s ended, unable to recreate the same success in a new decade obsessed with grunge rock.
Regardless, the biggest names from the ‘80s definitely had it all for a while: huge album sales, days and weeks spent at the top of the charts, repeated radio airplay, and sold out concert tickets across the country and sometimes even the world. With the birth of MTV, these were some of the first bands and artists to showcase their work with music videos, a new (at the time) artform.
These bands, to put it simply, raked in a ton of cash. Don’t believe us? Check out this definitive list of the 33 richest acts from the ‘80s.
As one of the most famous rock bands in the history of the genre, hitmakers Queen (the ones responsible for such gems as “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” and the beloved “Bohemian Rhapsody”) have a legacy that has lasted for generations.
Although the band ended before its time due to the loss of singer Freddie Mercury, with such a high net worth, the rest of the members continue to see royalty checks. Queen’s music still resonates with listeners to this day, and why shouldn’t it? Mercury’s one-of-a-kind voice hasn’t been replicated by any major artist since.