Metallica Named As Top Touring Metal Act Of The Past 40 Years In New Report

Guns N’ Roses, KISS, Def Leppard, Pearl Jam and Rush were also listed among the most successful acts in the new Pollstar report.

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Metallica - Photo: Scott Legato/Getty Images

Metallica are officially the top touring metal act of the past 40 years according to a new report published by Pollstar.

For its 40th anniversary, Pollstar, the trade publication dedicated to covering the worldwide concert industry, has created two special charts that reflect the overall impact of box-office realities during the four decades of the Pollstar Era, beginning in 1980 through the present.

The two special charts present the “Top Touring Artists Of The Pollstar Era”, both ranking the top 150 headlining acts during Pollstar’s entire history. Each listing is comprised of cumulative totals for each artist and compiled from all the thousands of box-office reports Pollstar received since the early 1980s. Both charts present the Top Touring Artists, but one is ranked by gross and the other by the number of tickets sold.

For both, Pollstar has 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 Box office chart, as many of them have. Pollstar also did not include any event where the touring artist participated as a support act.

Back in 2019, less than a year before the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the globe, Pollstar named Metallica one of the top-earning hard rock and metal tours of the “2019 Midyear” reporting period, which covered the six-month range from November 22, 2018 to May 22, 2019. The group’s 21 North American “WorldWired” arena shows during the reporting period grossed a total of $41.7 million, good for an average per-show gross of $1.99 million.

Metallica played their first concert of 2022 on February 25 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show, which was reportedly attended by 60,000 fans, featured support from Greta Van Fleet and Ice Nine Kills.

Notable metal and hard rock acts included on the “Top Touring Artists Of The Pollstar Era: Box office Grosses” were as follows:

#9 METALLICA ($1,219,599,179)
#23 GUNS N’ ROSES ($751,306,152)
#27 AC/DC ($668,427,967)
#41 KISS ($532,363,017)
#42 DEF LEPPARD ($514,231,844)
#44 IRON MAIDEN ($475,817,777)
#51 MUSE ($413,911,387)
#55 FOO FIGHTERS ($397,110,491)
#63 MÖTLEY CRÜE ($367,345,912)
#65 PEARL JAM ($351,816,504)
#73 RUSH ($341,767,928)
#89 Vans Warped Tour ($296,571,532)
#91 VAN HALEN ($295,611,828)
#97 ZZ TOP ($278,705,470)
#99 SCORPIONS ($271,865,172)
#100 TOOL ($269,044,896)
#113 QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT ($225,209,819)
#119 GREEN DAY ($204,959,692)
#132 OZZY OSBOURNE ($186,754,231)
#143 Ozzfest ($174,320,095).

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