The most famous Canadian musicians have made a name for themselves by getting onto your playlists, but they also earned a pretty penny in the process. But just how wealthy are they?
Through the years, Canada has given the world some amazing musicians across many different genres. For this list of the richest musicians born in Canada, we excluded rich musicians considered Canadian but born elsewhere — think Rufus Wainwright, who was born in New York City; K’Naan, who was born in Somalia; or actor-musician Kiefer Sutherland, who was born in the UK.
Here are 21 of the richest musicians in the world who were born in Canada, ranked by estimated net worth in US dollars, according to available online sources like Celebrity Net Worth and Wealthy Gorilla.
21. Robbie Robertson (Estimated net worth: $50 million)
As lead guitarist and songwriter for the Band, Robbie Robertson brought us iconic songs like The Weight. It is said that he honed his guitar-playing skills while visiting his Indigenous mother’s relatives on the Six Nations Reserve near his hometown of Toronto.
Outside of the Band, he’s played with some of the richest rock stars and released his first solo album in 1987. He’s also contributed to the soundtracks of several Martin Scorcese movies and wrote/co-wrote three books, including his autobiography. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Celebrity Net Worth estimates his fortune at $50 million.
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20. Anne Murray (Estimated net worth: $50 million)
Nova Scotia-native Anne Murray had already gained popularity in Canada when, in 1969, she released the song Snowbird. This hit made her the first Canadian artist to receive a gold record in the United States and catapulted her to fame. The hits kept coming throughout the 1970s and ’80s, as did the awards, among them 24 Juno Awards — more than any other artist — and four Grammys. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and has been awarded the Order of Nova Scotia.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, this trailblazer for female Canadian singers has an estimated net worth of $50 million.
19. Sarah McLachlan (Estimated net worth: $50 million)
You can’t think of female musicians of the ’90s without Angel playing in your head. Sarah McLachlan’s most famous song wasn’t her first hit, though.
The singer, who was born in Halifax and adopted by the local McLachlan family, had already made her mainstream breakthrough in Canada seven years earlier, in 1991. Around the same time, she released Angel, she launched the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians only, in response to concert promoters and radio stations that wouldn’t feature two female musicians in a row.
Among Sarah’s awards are three Grammys and 12 Juno Awards. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of British Columbia. Wealthy Gorilla estimates her net worth at $50 million.
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18. Mylène Farmer (Estimated net worth: $50 million)
French superstar Mylène Farmer actually hails from Canada. She was born in Pierrefonds in Quebec.
She started her career as a model and with small acting parts before releasing her debut album in 1986. She’s since had a record-breaking 21 number-one singles in the French charts, among them a duet with Sting, Stolen Car. She regularly plays to packed stadiums.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, she has around $50 million to her name.
17. Alanis Morissette (Estimated net worth: $60 million)
If you were old enough to sing in the mid-’90s, you probably belted out “You, you, you oughta know!” at least once. Ottawa native Alanis Morissette was a child star and had two pop albums to her name when, in 1995, Madonna’s Maverick Records signed her on and released Jagged Little Pill. The album has become such a classic that it spawned two re-releases, an acoustic re-recording and a musical nominated for 15 Tonys.
She was the leather-clad ‘It Girl’ of the decade. She even played God in Kevin Smith’s Dogma. There have since been more acting roles, including a stint in Weeds, a podcast, seven more albums and a total of seven Grammys and 14 Juno Awards, among others.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, she’s worth around $60 million.
16. Avril Lavigne (Estimated net worth: $60 million)
Born in Belleville and raised in Napanee, Ontario, Avril Lavigne was only 14 when she won a radio competition and got to perform with Shania Twain in front of 20,000 people. The next year, she landed a record deal and at the age of 17 in 2002, she released her debut album, Let Go, which would become the best-selling album of the 21st century by a Canadian artist.
Just like her subsequent albums, her style evolution has been reflecting the different points in her life’s journey since then. She launched her own clothing line, Abbey Dawn, in 2008, has released three fragrances and has a few acting roles under her studded belt. Celebrity Net Worth estimates her fortune at $60 million.
Related: Juno Awards 2022: the best-dressed celebs.
15. Ryan Peake (Estimated net worth: $65 million)
Considering how many people claim they hate Nickelback, the band’s members are doing quite well for themselves, thank you very much. Ryan Peake isn’t even the leader of the band, and he’s made it onto our list of the top richest Canadian-born musicians.
He was born in Brooks, Alberta and grew up some 130 km to the north in Hanna, where he met Chad and Mike Kroeger. Their first band played mainly Metallica covers.
It was Ryan who took out a $30,000 loan to fund the group’s new band, Nickelback, in the early days. With the $65 million the guitarist, keyboardist and singer has to his name now, as estimated by Celebrity Net Worth, it’s safe to say going into debt back then was well worth it.
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14. Bryan Adams (Estimated net worth: $75 million)
Think of celebrities rocking the Canadian tuxedo through the years, and chances are that an image of Bryan Adams pops into your head.
Born in Kingston and raised in Ottawa and North Vancouver, the rocker bought his first guitar when he was 12. He dropped out of school to play in a band and used his college fund to buy a grand piano. His first three solo albums did well but it was the fourth, Reckless — released in 1984 — which spawned the megahits and the comparisons to Bruce Springsteen.
Alongside his prolific career as a musician – he has a Grammy and 18 Juno Awards to his name – he’s had a successful second career as a photographer. He’s received the Order of British Columbia and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Wealthy Gorilla estimates his fortune at $75 million.
13. Chad Kroeger (Estimated net worth: $80 million)
Singer and guitarist (and former Mr. Avril Lavigne) Chad Kroeger was born and raised in Hanna, Alberta.
In 1995 he co-founded Nickelback with his brother Mike, their cousin Brandon and their friend Ryan Peake. While Brandon was later replaced by Daniel Adair, the band is still going strong. Chad also plays in another band, The Suits XL, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Carlos Santana and Timbaland. He also co-wrote hits for Daughtry and Tim McGraw.
In 2001, he co-founded 604 Records, whose artists have included My Darkest Days, Carly Rae Jepsen and Tommy Lee.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has an estimated $80 million to his name.
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12. Michael Bublé (Estimated net worth: $80 million)
It took a Canadian to help make the Great American Songbook popular again. Born and raised in Burnaby, BC, young Michael Bublé originally wanted to play professionally for the Vancouver Canucks. His musical talents won in the end, though.
Initially he sang wherever he got a paying gig, did some acting and released three indie albums. He later convinced producer David Foster to sign him on to his record label, 143 Records. In 2003, Michael Bublé was released, followed by a Christmas EP and a live DVD/CD, earning him a Juno Award for Best New Artist of the Year in 2004.
Since then, he’s released one chart topper after another, won four Grammys and multiple Juno Awards, and received the Order of British Columbia. He has a fortune of an estimated $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
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11. Paul Anka (Estimated net worth: $80 million)
The son of Syrian and Lebanese immigrants, Paul Anka was born and raised in Ottawa.
When he was 15, his uncle gave him $100 and he used it to travel to New York, where he recorded Diana. The song became a smash hit and is still one of the most successful songs ever by a Canadian artist.
Subsequent hits turned him into a teen idol. He also wrote songs for other artists: among these were the theme tune for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s signature song, My Way.
He made a comeback in the 1970s and another one in the ’90s. He’s also done quite a bit of acting, had a nightclub in Las Vegas and is co-founder of a tech startup. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Celebrity Net Worth estimates his net worth at $80 million.
10. William Shatner (Estimated net worth: $100 million)
Captain Kirk is a musician? Some might call it a stretch but yes, he’s worked with artists ranging from Brad Paisley to Iggy Pop.
Born and raised in Montreal, William Shatner graduated from McGill University with a degree in economics, but the stage was his calling. His acting career is still going strong, as is his career in music. He released his first album in 1968, introducing the world to his dramatic, somewhat-bizarre spoken-word covers of hit songs, with musical accompaniment.
His music hasn’t raked in awards like his acting has — he has two Emmys and a Golden Globe — but his other side gig has earned him several awards: he breeds champion horses on his farm in Kentucky.
He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Celebrity Net Worth says he’s worth an estimated $100 million.
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9. Joni Mitchell (Estimated net worth: $100 million)
Joni was born in Fort Macleod, Alberta and grew up in Saskatoon. After dropping out of art school, she played in folk clubs in Calgary and Toronto. In 1965 she left for the United States, where her first big successes came from other artists recording her songs. Her debut album was released in 1968.
She’s received 10 Grammys, three Juno Awards and a Kennedy Center Honor. She is also a Companion of the order of Canada. According to Wealthy Gorilla, she has an estimated net worth of $100 million.
Her songs have been so influential that Chelsea Clinton was even named after one of them.
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8. David Foster (Estimated net worth: $150 million)
Victoria-born David Foster isn’t famous so much for his own music — although he has recorded some hits earlier in his career — as for the music he composed and produced for others. His songwriting credits include Earth, Wind and Fire’s After the Love Has Gone, Peter Cetera’s Glory of Love, several songs for Chicago, the Canadian charity single Tears Are Not Enough and the themes for the 1988 and 2002 Winter Olympics and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
He’s produced music for a wide range of artists, including fellow Canadians Michael Bublé, Celine Dion and Bryan Adams. He’s also appeared in several reality TV shows, including an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills back when then-wife Yolanda joined the cast.
Among his awards are 16 Grammys and a Golden Globe. Plus, he is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his fortune at $150 million.
7. Neil Young (Estimated net worth: $200 million)
Born in Toronto, Neil Young grew up in several places in Canada and even spent a stint in Florida to recover from polio. He started playing in bands in high school in Winnipeg and after dropping out, played the city’s folk circuit. After moving to Los Angeles in 1966, he found his first chart success as a member of Buffalo Springfield.
He went on to write and record a string of what would become classics as a solo artist, with Crazy Horse, and as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. In the 1990s, he became known as the “Godfather of Grunge.”
In addition to his music, he’s been co-owner of a model-train manufacturer and developed a digital media player. He also co-founded Farm Aid and the Bridge School.
He has multiple Grammys, seven Juno Awards, the Order of Manitoba and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Wealthy Gorilla puts his estimated net worth at $200 million.
6. Drake (Estimated net worth: $250 million)
Born and raised in Toronto, Drake began his career as a teen actor in Degrassi: The Next Generation. Five years later, he released his first mixtape and in 2010, his debut album, with the singles Over and Find Your Love, confirming that he had joined the big leagues. He’s since gone on to win, among others, four Grammys and multiple Juno Awards.
He’s a co-founder of the record label OVO Sound, the production company DreamCrew and the gaming organization 100 Thieves, and has business partnerships and endorsement deals with a range of companies. He’s still acting too.
According to Wealthy Gorilla, he has an estimated net worth of $250 million, making him one of the world’s richest rappers.
5. Dan Aykroyd (Estimated net worth: $250 million)
Born and raised in Ottawa, Dan Aykroyd is best known for an illustrious movie and TV career, which helped make him one of the wealthiest Canadian actors.
He started his comedy career as a member of the cast of The Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, which starred Lorne Michaels. This opened the door for him to join Saturday Night Live, where he and John Belushi created a musical sketch that would lead to a band, hit singles like Soul Man, several albums and two movies. The Blues Brothers Band still tours.
Among Dan’s awards are an Emmy, a Member of the Order of Ontario and a Member of the Order of Canada. He is co-founder of the House of Blues chain, Crystal Head Vodka and has stakes in several wineries too, earning him an estimated net worth of $250 million, according to Wealthy Gorilla.
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4. Justin Bieber (Estimated net worth: $285 million)
When the London-born Justin Bieber was 12, his mom posted a video of him performing in a local singing competition on YouTube and the rest is history. Among his many awards are two Grammys and eight Juno Awards.
His business ventures include a nail polish line, a fragrance line, a clothing line, a deodorant line, clean water tech and limited-edition Crocs, Vespas and Timbits. He also tops the list of richest YouTubers, with an estimated net worth of $285 million, according to Wealthy Gorilla.
3. The Weeknd (Estimated net worth: $300 million)
The Weeknd was born in Toronto and raised in Scarborough as Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, the son of Ethiopian immigrants.
After dropping out of school at 17, he later began releasing his music on YouTube. In 2011, he co-founded the record label XO and released his debut mixtape. His first album Trilogy, was released in 2012. It went platinum and set the tone for things to come. When he performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2021, he was the first Canadian solo artist to headline the show.
He’s done a bit of acting and has had several partnerships and endorsement deals bringing in extra income. Among his awards are four Grammys and 17 Juno Awards. He also holds multiple Guinness World Records. According to Wealthy Gorilla, he has an estimated net worth of $300 million.
2. Shania Twain (Estimated net worth: $400 million)
Born in Windsor and raised in Timmins, Ontario, young Eilleen Twain started singing in bars as a child to help her family pay the bills. After graduating high school, she joined a cover band and performed all over Ontario. In the early ’90s, she landed a record deal, changed her name to Shania and in 1993, released her debut album. Her second album produced some country hits, but it was the third, Come On Over, that made her a crossover star.
Two additional studio albums, two Las Vegas residencies and a string of awards that include mulitple Grammys and 13 Juno Awards later, she is an Officer of the Order of Canada with an estimated net worth of $400 million, according to Wealthy Gorilla.
1. Celine Dion (Estimated net worth: $800 million)
Celine Dion was born and raised in Charlemagne, Quebec. At 12 years old, she co-wrote her first song with her mother and one of her brothers. Another brother sent a recording of her singing the song to her future husband René Angélil, who then mortgaged his home to finance her first record. This record became a hit and soon Celine became the first Canadian to get a gold record in France. She learned English and two years later, released her English-language debut.
She now has 15 French and 12 English albums in her discography and has, among others, five Grammys and 20 Juno Awards to her name. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a cultural icon.
Business ventures like her own perfume line and the Nickels restaurant chain have helped build her fortune to what Wealthy Gorilla estimates at $800 million.