Bob Dylan Net Worth

How much is Bob Dylan worth?

Net Worth:$200 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:May 24, 1941
Country:United States of America
1.71 m

Who Is Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan is a music legend and a pioneer in the genre of folk music, and he is best known for popularising protest songs. The songwriter is one of the most respected musicians in the world with dozens of classics that still rack up hundreds of millions of plays on streaming services today, and he continues to spit out modern classics 50 years later. Thanks to his poetic lyrics that contain social commentaries, Dylan is one of the few songwriters to be awarded a Nobel Prize, which is generally reserved for literary artists. Dylan’s biggest songs include “Like A Rolling Stone”, “Hurricane”, and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”.

American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist Bob Dylan has a net worth of $200 million dollars, as of 2021. He’s been a major pop culture icon for more than 50 years and is one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

How did Bob Dylan earn his net worth?

Few people have been through the trials and tribulations that Dylan has, especially early is his career and his divorce from Sarah Lownds, which reportedly cost the poet $36 million. However, through ups and downs, Dylan has found himself as one of the richest living rockstars in the world, and he reached that stature though not only his sales figures, but mostly through royalties and live performances.

Dylan owns the publishing rights to all of his music, which means he has the final say on where his music gets played, and he gets 100% of the profit too. Dylan is surprisingly very open to his music being used in TV and movies, as his songs have over 500 credits on those mediums. Though it isn’t exactly clear exactly how much it costs to use a Dylan song in TV or a movie, they are reported to be the most expensive songs that aren’t by The Rolling Stones, and they reportedly net Dylan $4 million per year.

When it comes to playing live, it’s rumored that Dylan makes around $250,000 on average for one performance. However, when the group behind Coachella expanded and created the new Desert Trip festival, which featured a legendary line-up of The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and the lizard tongued folk singer himself, it was reported that Dylan could be earning upwards of $7,000,000 for that one festival.

In 2016, the songwriter won one of the most celebrated awards an artist can ever receive, a Nobel Prize. He won it for “creating new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Upon winning the Nobel Prize in 2016, Dylan’s sales boosted significantly, as winners of the literary award usually see a massive spike in sales figures.

Why is he so famous?

After playing in tiny taverns in New York where folk music was still a niche type of music that hadn’t yet become mainstream, Dylan was the breakout star and led the way for other folk artists to garner recognition. But none would reach the heights of Dylan’s fame, as he quickly became world-known despite being somewhat of a recluse. Dylan’s early hits “The Times They Are A Changing” and “Blowing In The Wind” became anthems for Civil Rights and anti-war movements and are now used endlessly in movies soundtracks.

Dylan became known for being a renegade and subverting the expectations of his fans, for better or worse. As he became a folk music icon overnight, he started playing gigs with an electric guitar, which was a big no-no in the folk community, and fans even stormed the stage in anger. But that’s when it became clear that Dylan really was a trendsetter, as many other folk groups followed in his footsteps. He was such an Enfant terrible that critics adored him for sticking up his middle finger to both the political and musical system. The biggest music publication in the world, Rolling Stone, even named the magazine after Dylan’s most famous song.

Though he has never reached number one on the Billboard Hit 100 (but he has reached number two a coupled of times), five of his albums have peaked at the top of the Billboard 200 album chart, with many of them, along with several compilation albums, being certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits sold an astonishing five million copies worldwide, and Blonde on Blonde is his best selling album of original material, going double platinum and selling more than two million units. In total, the singer has sold close to 50 million copies globally.

Most recently, Dylan saw somewhat of a comeback after he released Rough and Rowdy Ways, his first album of completely original material in more than 10 years. Having not a care in the world for radio play, Dylan’s first single from the new album was “Murder Most Foul”, a 17 minute piano ballad that took the form of a eulogy to John F. Kennedy. Despite the lack of radio play for its singles, the album was popular with both seasoned fans and millennials, and the success the record had makes the 80 year old one of the most ageless musicians in history.

What makes Dylan so successful?

Though smoking has not impacted the life of anyone positively, Dylan’s croaky voice, which has been that way since his twenties and only continues to get croakier, is thanks largely to his smoking habit. Dylan’s throaty lyrical delivery is one of the greatest and most alluring parts of his music, and he oddly enough has smoking to thank for the record sales he has amassed over the past 50 years. On his newer music, it literally sounds like Dylan has physically turned in to a burning cigarette.

In an era when most folk music was made up of songs of love and loss, and Dylan was admittedly no stranger to that too, the singer was pursuing much more relevant lyrical content than his peers. Dylan might have been the very first socially conscious mainstream musician. He sang about the death of the boxer Rubin Carter in “Hurricane”, and he sang about the civil rights movement in “The Times They Are A Changin’”. To this day he is still following this same style of storytelling and poetry in his music.

Bob Dylan’s Best Moments

Bob Dylan is one of the most influential singer/songwriters ever, whether you’re looking at Folk, Pop, or Rock. His career has enjoyed several twists and turns that have kept fans (and often Bob himself) on their toes. If you don’t have the patience for Scorsese’s very long Documentary on Dylan, have no fear. I’ll sum it up for you by ticking off the ten biggest moments at the start of his career.

1. Bob Goes to College

For Bob Dylan, going to college was more about heading to a larger city and becoming inundated with the Minneapolis music scene. He made some important strides in Minneapolis, but continued to remain mediocre as a performer. Still, it was the first time he really set out on his own once and for all to be a musician. It was also the time when he dropped his last name (Zimmerman) to go by the name of Bob Dylan. Of course, he quickly dropped out of school.

2. Bob Dylan Moves to New York

Bob headed to New York because he wanted to find Woody Guthrie. He’d never been there, and probably didn’t even realize he would find himself in a town where everyone was doing what he was. His move to New York challenged him to be a better performer, and as the story goes, he managed to buck up to the task within a couple of months. Soon, he had even stopped playing other people’s songs altogether, and was writing his own tunes.

3. Bob Dylan Meets Woody Guthrie

Bob had discovered Woody Guthrie’s music while he was a teenager, and had been singing and immitating Woody’s style ever since. By the time he got to New York and found his hero, Woody was in a psychiatric clinic. It wasn’t what Bob expected, but at Woody’s request, Bob wound up visiting regularly and playing old Folk songs for his hero.

4. Bob Dylan Signs With Columbia Records

Over a few months, Bob had begun drawing attention to himself with his renditions of Folk songs he picked up from records, as well as from other artists on the scene. He was one of the first of his crowd to start playing gigs at Gerde’s Folk City, and had a friend who was shopping him around to the major labels. Thanks to some luck (and the reputation of John Hammond), he gained the attention of Columbia Records.

5. Bob Dylan Plays with Pete Seeger

By the time his second album had come out, Bob had been forever dubbed (whether he liked it or not) a Folksinger. As he started writing his own tunes and moving away from being dubbed a Woody Guthrie wannabe, the folks at Columbia records encouraged him to spend some time with Pete Seeger singing at Civil Rights rallies in the south. Being that Pete was Woody’s biggest protege, it seemed only natural.

6. Bob Dylan Plays at Newport Folk Festival

In 1963, riding on a high from the seemingly sudden success of his second record, Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, Bob was invited to play amid the bluegrass jammers, Gospel groups, and world music dancers at the hugely popular Newport Folk Festival.

7. Bob Dylan and Joan Baez

It all started at some West Village dive bar where someone was gushing to Joan Baez about Bob Dylan’s work. Once the duo met, they were (at least apparently) inseparable for the next few years. They played music together, they toured together, they even showed up at the historical march on Washington, DC, together. Their voices blended famously, and Joan went on to have hits with several of Bob’s original tunes.

8. Bob Dylan Goes Electric

After making several solo acoustic records, and being hailed for his earnest, insightful Folk songs, Bob showed up at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 with a Rock band backing him up. Many of the fans who’d been following his career since the early 1960s were disappointed and uninterested in his new sound. And the traditionalists at Newport were appalled. Still, his first electric record, Bringin it All Back Home was one of his best ever.

9. Bob Dylan Gets in a Motorcycle Accident

In 1966, Dylan was in an accident while riding his motorcycle in Woodstock, New York. After the accident, he became even more elusive. During the next year, he recorded a stack of demos with his band, which were never meant to be released commercially. Eventually, however, his record company released them, and they wound up being the first ever recordings that were illegally bootlegged.

10. Bob Dylan Makes a Comeback

After not making any big waves for a year, Dylan returned in 1968 with the release of John Wesley Harding, which could easily be considered one of the earliest Alternative Country records. Folk and Rock and Roll had changed during the year of Dylan’s seclusion, and this time Dylan was able to startle his audience with yet another direction. This record would eventually prove a great influence on the Byrds and later Alt Country bands.


Thanks to Dylan’s poetic lyricism that is rarely heard in music, and especially not today, they became world anthems that millions of people can scream along to. The singer was a voice of a generation and continues to inspire other musicians more than 50 years in to his career. For these reasons, Bob Dylan has a reported net worth of more than $200 million. It won’t stop there, as Dylan has licenced his songs to Amazon, which is creating a TV show called Time Out Of Mind, named after Dylan’s 1997 album with each episode being about one of Dylan’s songs in his discography.

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