Mick Jagger and co have got the most satisfaction from live shows – over £1.8billion worth.
The Rolling Stones have topped the charts for concert earnings of music acts over four decades.
Jagger, 79, Keith Richards, 78, Ronnie Wood, 75, and the late Charlie Watts sold 22 million tickets in that time.
Close behind the wizened rockers were Irish stadium favourites U2.
Sir Elton John, 75, came third with his £1.4billion in earnings.
He will likely reach the Stones’ milestone by the end of his current Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
The Stones’ old Beatles rival and this year’s Glastonbury sensation Sir Paul McCartney, 80, was the third Brit in the top 10, raking in just under £1billion.
Metallica’s position at number nine made them the must lucrative heavy metal live act. The rest of the top 10 were fellow American legends Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Bon Jovi and the Eagles, plus Canadian Celine Dion.
The chart was created by US music magazine Pollstar by analysing ticket sales since 1981. In the top 20 were Rod Stewart (£659million) and younger acts like Coldplay (£861million), Beyoncé (£836million) and Ed Sheeran (£802million).
Brodie Cooper, of US marketing firm PRrppd, said: “This poll demonstrates the staggering appeal that UK artists have in the music business.
“For a small set of islands these have achieved astonishing success given all the other countries with enormous selling acts.”
Top ten ticket sales
The Rolling Stones $2,165,280,638
Elton John $1,748,183,036
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band $1,527,407,373
Celine Dion $1,354,352,578
Bon Jovi $1,329,891,400
Paul McCartney $1,193,812,645