Business is booming.

How the Rolling Stones Became the World’s Biggest Live Giant


  • Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger celebrated his 80th birthday on July 26.
  • The Stones are the highest-grossing live act since 1980, per Pollstar, taking $2.1 billion.  
  • Two Stones tours are on Billboard Boxscore’s top 10 list and it’s the only act to appear twice.

The Rolling Stones were formed in 1962 and are still one of the world’s most famous and adored rock bands.

Mick Jagger’s band is big business, selling tickets worth more than $2 billion since 1980. 

The Stones have also sold over 66 million albums in their career, per RIAA figures, placing them 16th on the top 50 best-selling artists list.

As Jagger celebrates his 80th birthday, we take a look at how the Stones became a musical — and commercial — juggernaut. 

Correction: July 18, 2023 — An earlier version of this story imprecisely described the origins of the Rolling Stones. The initial lineup included Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Dick Taylor, Tony Chapman, and Ian Stewart, not just Jagger and Richards.



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