Metallica Had the Second Highest Album Sales Earnings of 2019
Billboard‘s new “Money Makers” report, which tracks the highest paid musicians in the U.S., is out for the calendar year 2019, and the rankings have a pleasant nugget of validation for metalheads: Metallica are #2 in album sales! That’s not just in metal, or even in rock… musical artists of all kinds are included. That means Metallica bested Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney and BTS, among others, in this particular metric.
The chart combines confirmed and estimated revenues from each artist’s sales, streaming, publishing and touring into one final number. Metallica ranked lower in the overall rankings (which we can’t see thanks to Billboard‘s pay gate), but the fact that their album sales placed second in a year they didn’t even release new music says a lot about the band’s fanbase. Metallica grossed an estimated $3.6 million in album sales in 2019.
Queen took the #1 slot for album sales with a $9.6 million haul thanks to the widespread popularity of the Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
Tool landed at #8 on the album sales list with $1.5 million thanks to the release of Fear Inoculum and their back catalogue finally becoming available digitally.
You won’t be able to access the full report unless you have a pro subscription to Billboard, but you can read various rock-related highlights over at Loudwire compiled by Ryan Downey, who also packs the excellent Stream N’ Destroy email newsletter with rock and metal chart factoids every week.