5 artists have sold more tickets than Metallica in the last 40 years

It’s one thing to last as a band for four decades, but it’s quite another when you’re also one of the best touring bands of that time. A new report from Pollstar shows that only five artists have sold more tickets than Metallica in the last 40 years, and they are the best metal touring band.

Commemorating Pollstar’s 40th anniversary, the report consists of two different charts based on box office data from the past four decades, which they have dubbed “the Pollstar era”. The first graph 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 were not counted in the results, nor were performances where the artist was supporting another.

Metallica was ranked No. 6 based on tickets sold, with an impressive total of 19,468,173 tickets. U2, Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band and Elton John are the top five selling artists, in that order. However, this makes Metallica the top metal band in terms of tickets sold – many other bands this high in the charts belong to the classic rock, pop and country genres.

They also fell into the Top 10 of the box office grossing chart, ranking 9th 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 gig was two decades before Metallica’s, so naturally they amassed a large following by the time the thrash legends emerged.

Other rock and metal artists on the Top 50 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 board. See the full report for yourself here.

Metallica has two upcoming shows in the United States scheduled for next month. Get tickets here.

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