While it's generally assumed that Metallica are the biggest metal band on the planet, plenty of hard rock and metal fans -- contrarians by nature -- could argue that a band like, say, Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden deserves that title. But a new report has run the numbers of Metallica's ticket sales and financial earnings since 1982, and it's official: Metallica are the biggest metal band in the world, hands down.
According to Pollstar, Metallica have sold approximately 22.1 million tickets since 1982, bringing in around $1.4 billion. This is in comparison to AC/DC (14 million tickets sold) and Ozzy Osbourne (13.2 million tickets if one combines both Ozzy and Black Sabbath sales). The only band who comes close to Metallica are Guns N' Roses, who've made $800 million dollars -- and even that is due largely to their Not In This Lifetime… reunion tours.
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To be fair, though they've conquered the world of heavy metal, Metallica are still not the biggest touring band in the world -- that distinction falls on U2, who currently hold the top spot. However, Pollstar notes, when taking into account the band's rabid fanbase, their massive album sales, their international reach, and their constant sale of merchandise, Metallica might be the biggest musical group on the planet.
“I keep thinking and forcing myself to think all our best years are still ahead of us. We may even turn professional and do this full time one day,” said Lars Ulrich. “That’s the MO. It’s always, ‘What’s your favorite record?’ It’s the next one, the one we haven’t recorded yet. it’s always about the possibilities, always about what can be, what’s coming.
"That, to me, is what this is all about," says the drummer, "and I think that attitude is a big part of the why Metallica still connects to so many people around the world.”
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