Most Successful Metal Musicians


The Top Ten

1 Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture more.

@IronSabbathPriest - I agree, Dio was in it for the music and this is how things should be in metal. It's absolutely inappropriate to measure success in metal by measures applied to commercial music. Talent is the most important criterion in metal. Then comes influence - if you're a singer, how many metal singers have learned from you?

Popularity, big number of sold copies and views on YouTube don't speak success in metal - they usually speak commercial metal / pop metal /sell outs, and the only exception is Iron Maiden. Even though pop /commercial metal bands get more YouTube views than Maiden, I can't say that A7X, Slipknot, Korn, Disturbed, etc. are more successful metal bands than Maiden, or Blind Guardian, COB, Megadeth, Helloween, Iced Earth, etc., to name a few. - Metal_Treasure

I love him but he was never overwhelmingly successful. He was in it for the music, so he went from band to band. - IronSabbathPriest

2 Ozzy Osbourne Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath more.

Ronnie James Dio may be a much better singer but really I think Ozzy Osbourne was more successful. - Powell

No matter what anyone says, Ozzy had one hell of a career, with Black Sabbath and when he was solo. And the don't call him the Prince of Darkness or the Godfather of Heavy Metal for nothing. And Black Sabbath practically started heavy metal.

3 James Hetfield James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.
4 Tony Iommi Tony Iommi Anthony Frank "Tony" Iommi is an English guitarist, songwriter and producer. Best known as lead guitarist and founding member of the pioneering heavy metal band Black Sabbath, he has been the band's sole continual member and primary composer. At age 17, he accidentally lost the fingertips of his middle more.
5 Dave Mustaine Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own more.

That's great

Original lead guitarist of Metallica, and went on to front the legendary Megadeth - ryanrimmel

6 Bruce Dickinson Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.
7 Dave Lombardo Dave Lombardo David "Dave" Lombardo is a Cuban American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

The legendary drummer for a number of popular bands like Slayer, Testament, and Apocalyptica - ryanrimmel

8 Steve Harris Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

I think he's the most successful, #1 - talented bassist and songwriter; founder and excellent leader of the best metal band. Very good decision-maker. - Metal_Treasure

9 Dan Lilker Dan Lilker Dan Lilker is an American metal bassist. He co-founded the influential thrash metal band Anthrax with Scott Ian. Lilker was fired after the first album, and founded Nuclear Assault, as he was interested in faster, more aggressive style of music. He then reunited with Scott Ian and Charlie Benante and more.

Hear me out here.
-He was the original bassist of Anthrax
-He left Anthrax and made a Thrash/Crossover band called Nuclear Assault
-Joined another Crossover Thrash band called Stormtroopers of Death
-Started a Grindcore band called Brutal Truth - ryanrimmel

10 Gene Hoglan Gene Hoglan Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II is an American drummer. He is acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including use of odd devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms.

He played drums for an overwhelming amount of metal bands, like:
-Dark Angel
-Strapping Young Lad
-Devin Townsend
-Old Man's Child
-and many more
-He also did backing vocals on a Slayer song - ryanrimmel

This guy is really very good. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Rob Halford Rob Halford Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.
12 Lars Ulrich Lars Ulrich Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica.
13 Chuck Schuldiner Chuck Schuldiner Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck more.
14 Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson Brian Hugh Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, actor, painter, multimedia artist, author, and former music journalist.

Despite the criticism he gets, he doesn't care what others think and continues to make music to this day. Although many people don't like him, there are still a good number of people who do like him and respect him. And his music has inspired people who actually understand. He's still a huge star to this day, whether you're a fan or not. Personally, I love Marilyn Manson!

15 John Petrucci John Petrucci John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.
16 Lemmy Lemmy Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.
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Related Lists

Top Ten Most Successful Musicians Top Ten Musicians That Had Success After Being In a Successful Band Top 10 Musicians who Have Been Successful as Solo Artists and in Groups Top 10 Musicians Who Are/Were Successful in a Completely Different Field Top 10 Musicians Who Had Successful Songs with Two or More Bands

List Stats

16 listings
4 years, 137 days old

Top Remixes

1. Ozzy Osbourne
2. Ronnie James Dio
3. James Hetfield
1. Ozzy Osbourne
2. Ronnie James Dio
3. Dave Lombardo
1. Steve Harris
2. James Hetfield
3. Bruce Dickinson


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