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Metallica + Red Hot Chili Peppers Among Highest Grossing Touring Acts of 2012

James Hetfield / Anthony Kiedis
Mary Ouellette,

The numbers are in for the highest grossing touring acts of 2012, and there are a few surprises peppered into the list. What isn’t surprising, however, is that Metallica were the biggest draw of any hard rock act in 2012, followed closely by bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nickelback.

Metallica amassed a tremendous amount of wealth from their live performances in 2012, even though they didn’t tour very extensively throughout the year. With only 30 shows performed last year, including their very own Orion Festival in Atlantic City in N.J., Metallica managed to rake in $86.1 million from ticket sales. Overall, Metallica came in at No. 8 on the list of highest grossing touring acts.

Red Hot Chili Peppers toured a bit more extensively in 2012, performing a total of 77 shows and gaining a total gross of $57.8 million for their efforts. Nickelback also made a killing from their live performances. Don’t jump out of your seats, Nickelback haters, but the Canadian rock band acquired $43.6 million from their 81 live performances. Think of it this way: At least they made more than Justin Bieber did last year. We’d tell you how much the pop singer made, but if you laid your eyes on that number, you’d probably smash your computer.

Other top draws of 2012 include Paul McCartney ($56.9 million), Van Halen ($49.9 million), the Black Keys ($38.1 million) and German heavy metal veterans Scorpions, who made $32.7 million last year. The top grossing act of the year was Madonna with an astonishing $296 million.

Check out the full list of 2012’s highest-grossing musical acts at

In other Metallica news, the band were given some new certifications from the RIAA to start the new year, with their 1991 self-titled disc (aka the Black Album) hitting 16-times platinum and ‘Ride the Lightning’ attaining 6-times platinum status.

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