It'd be quite the understatement to say that Metallica is popular, but are the metal legends the biggest band in the world? Pollstar certainly thinks so.
In an article titled "Tour & Destroy: The Case for Metallica as the World's Biggest Touring Act," the concert industry trade publication argues that the "Enter Sandman" rockers top all other artists when it comes to the road.
According to Pollstar, Metallica has sold close to 22.1 million tickets since 1982, grossing about $1.4 billion. They've played 48 countries and on every continent, including Antarctica.
That 22.1 million figure is second only to the touring behemoth that is U2, but Pollstar argues that Metallica's ability to tour with no gimmicks like as a farewell tour -- as well as record-breaking attendance records and merch sales totaling $125 million in North American since 1991's Black Album -- puts them over the top to earn them the title of "biggest band in the world."
"I keep thinking and forcing myself to think all our best years are still ahead of us," drummer Lars Ulrich tells Pollstar. "We may even turn professional and do this full time one day."
"That's the MO," he continues. "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, and I think that attitude is a big part of the why Metallica still connects to so many people around the world."
Earlier this month, Metallica played two orchestra-accompanied shows in their hometown of San Francisco. They return to the road in October for a tour of Australia and New Zealand.
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