5 Artists Sold More Tickets Than Metallica Over Last 40 Years

It’s one thing to even last as a band for four decades, but it’s a whole other when you’re one of the top touring acts of that period as well. A new report from Pollstar shows that only five artists have sold more tickets than Metallica over the last 40 years, and that they’re the top metal touring group.

Commemorating Pollstar’s 40th anniversary, the report consists of two different charts that are based on box-office data from the last four decades, which they’ve dubbed the “Pollstar Era.” The first chart shows the top touring artists based on gross ticket sales and the second is based on the number of tickets sold. Only headlining shows were counted for each artist, so festival appearances weren’t factored into the findings, nor were performances where the artist was supporting another.

Metallica were ranked No. 6 based on tickets sold, with a whopping total of 19,468,173 tickets. U2, Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Elton John were the five artists that sold more, in that order. However, this makes Metallica the top metal band in terms of tickets sold — many of the other groups this high up on the chart belong to the classic rock, pop and country genres.

They also fell in the Top 10 of the box-office grosses chart, coming in at No. 9 with over $1.2 million in gross ticket sales. The Rolling Stones took the lead in this category, having sold over $2.1 million. However, their first concert took place two decades before Metallica’s did, so they naturally amassed a large following by the time the thrash legends came around.

Other rock and metal artists featured in the Top 50 of the charts include Bon Jovi, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Aerosmith, KISS, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Journey, Phish, Motley Crue, Rush and more. There were 150 artists compiled on each chart. See the full report for yourself here.

Metallica have two upcoming shows in the US slated for later month. Get tickets here.

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