To quote the legendary James Brown, “give the drummer some!” Or in the case of this list from ranking the richest beat-keepers in the world, give the drummers a whole lot, as in a fortune.

Creating the list from a dubious equation that considered “salaries, real estate holdings, divorces, record sales, royalties and endorsements” minus” taxes, manager’s fees, agents’ fees, and lifestyle,” the rankings still sound entirely believable. The drummers that make the financial cut all come from the biggest bands in the history of rock.

Cruising to No. 1 is Ringo Starr of the Beatles at $300 million, followed closely by Phil Collins of Genesis with $250 million. Making an impressive showing at No. 3 is 43-year-old Foo Fighters frontman/Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age drummer Dave Grohl with a whopping $225 million, which makes a lot more sense when you consider his share of Nirvana’s catalog combined with the big paychecks from Foo Fighters’ headlining festival gigs and arena tours.

As for the rest of the top 10, it’s littered with iconic drummers including the Eagles’ Don Henley (No. 4, $200 million), who edges out even the Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts (No. 6, $160 million), U2’s Larry Mullen Jr. (No. 7, $150 million) and Queen’s Roger Taylor (No. 9, $105 million).

The list only considers drummers who are still alive, but it would be interesting to see how much the estates of John Bonham of Led Zeppelin and Keith Moon of the Who are worth, and where they would stack up on this list.

–Scott T. Sterling & Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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