Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Feb 23, 1962 (62 years old)
San Francisco
Guitarist, Musician
United States of America
馃挵 Compare Michael Wilton's Net Worth

What Is Michael Wilton's Net Worth?

Michael Wilton is an American musician who has a net worth of $5 million. Michael Wilton (aka "The Whip") is famous for being a guitarist and songwriter for the Grammy-nominated progressive metal band Queensr每che. Michael co-founded the band in 1982, and they have released 16 studio albums, including the Platinum albums "Operation: Mindcrime" (1988) and "Promised Land" (1994) and the 3脳 Platinum album "Empire" (1990). "Empire" and "Promised Land" both reached the top 10 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. Queensr每che's 1990 single "Silent Lucidity" reached #9 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart and #1 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart, and it was ranked #6 on "Glide Magazine's" list of "Favorite Hair Metal Power Ballads," #21 on VH1's "Greatest Power Ballads" list, and #36 on "Classic Rock" magazine's list of "The 40 Greatest Power Ballads." Wilton has also released albums with Aury Moore (2002's "Just A Taste), Soulbender (2004's "Soulbender"), Pamela Moore (2006's "Stories from a Blue Room"), and Ronnie Munroe (2009's "The Fire Within").

Early Life

Michael Wilton was born Michael F. Wilton on February 23, 1962, in San Francisco, California. When Michael was 6 years old, his family relocated to Seattle, Washington. Wilton began attending concerts with his father at an early age, and he started playing the bass guitar at the age of 8, learning songs by artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan. When Michael was 13, his aunt gave him a nylon string acoustic, which resulted in him accidentally blowing his father's speaker. Wilton later talked his father into giving him a speaker cabinet and Fender Bassman that he inherited from an uncle. While attending Interlake High School, Michael began listening to heavy metal and hard rock and playing guitar, practicing for two hours per day. His guitar teacher said that 16-year-old Wilton "whipped on the guitar," which earned him the nickname "Whip." After buying a fuzzbox and a Les Paul copy, Michael joined several garage bands, such as Joker, with his classmates. In 1979, future Queensr每che guitarist Chris DeGarmo was briefly a member of Joker. The group disbanded in 1980. After graduating from high school, Wilton studied music theory, gamelan music, jazz improvisation, and classical music at Seattle's Cornish Institute of Allied Arts.


Michael ran out of money before graduating from the Cornish Institute of Allied Arts, but by that point, he had met drummer Scott Rockenfield and bassist Eddie Jackson. In 1980, he founded the band Cross+Fire with Rockenfield, and Jackson and DeGarmo later joined. They started playing at parties under the band name The Mob, and in the summer of 1982, vocalist Geoff Tate recorded a four-song demo with them. The group became known as Queensr每che.

They released the demo as a self-titled EP in 1983. They released their debut album, "The Warning," on September 7, 1984, and it reached #61 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and was certified Gold in the U.S. Their second album, 1986's "Rage for Order," also went Gold, and it reached #47 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. Next, Queensr每che released 1988's "Operation: Mindcrime," which peaked at #50 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and was certified Platinum. The single "Eyes of a Stranger" peaked at #35 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart and #59 on the UK Singles Chart. Queensr每che's fourth album, 1990's "Empire," reached #7 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and the top 20 in Canada, Finland, Japan, Norway, and the U.K. The album was certified 3脳 Platinum in the U.S., Platinum in Canada, and Silver in the U.K. The singles "Silent Lucidity," "Jet City Woman," and "Another Rainy Night (Without You)" were top 10 hits on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart (with "Silent Lucidity" reaching #1), and "Silent Lucidity" also reached #9 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart.

(Photo by Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic)

The 1994 album "Promised Land" reached #3 on the "Billboard" 200 chart, #4 on the Official Finnish Charts, and #6 on the Swedish Albums chart. The Platinum album featured the singles "I Am I" and "Bridge," which were top 10 hits on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart. Next, the band released "Hear in the Now Frontier" (1997), "Q2K" (1999), and "Tribe" (2003), which reached #19, #46, and #56, respectively, on the "Billboard" 200 chart. The single "Sign of the Times" from "Hear in the Now Frontier" reached #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart, and "You" peaked at #11. The ninth Queensr每che album, 2006's "Operation: Mindcrime II," reached #14 on the "Billboard" 200 chart, and they followed it with 2007's "Take Cover" (#173), 2009's "American Soldier"(#25), 2011's Dedicated to Chaos" (#70), and 2013's "Queensr每che" (#23). The single "Get Started" from "Dedicated to Chaos" reached #26 on the "Billboard" Heritage Rock chart. The 2015 album "Condition H眉man" reached #27 on the "Billboard" 200 chart, and 2019's "The Verdict" reached #2 on the "Billboard" Top Tastemaker Albums chart, #6 on the Top Hard Rock Albums chart, and #18 on the Top Rock Albums chart. In 2022, Queensr每che released the album "Digital Noise Alliance," which peaked at #12 on the German Albums chart and #15 on the Swiss Albums chart. In 2002, Wilton formed the band Soulbender with former Alice N' Chains guitarist Nick Pollock, and they released a self-titled album in 2004.

Personal Life

Michael is a guitar collector and a sports fan, and in high school, he was known for playing baseball, football, and basketball. Wilton was part of an all-star youth baseball team that played in Europe, and during a 2016 interview on the "White Line Fever" podcast, he said, "Before I became a musician, I was a jock. I played baseball, I played football, I did all that stuff in school. I was actually pretty good. I played second base and I played third base. I had quick hands and good eyes." Michael revealed that he decided to pursue a music career after attending a Black Sabbath concert, stating, "It happened when I was in high school and I went to the Black Sabbath concert 鈥 I think it was the Never Say Die Tour, where Van Halen opened for them. I had never seen them live. They opened with a song called 'On Fire' and that moment 鈥 I think I was a bit hazed at that concert too but it just amplified the surroundings鈥 when that song started and I saw him on stage, I knew that's what I wanted to do."

Awards and Nominations

Queensr每che has earned three Grammy nominations: Best Metal Performance for "I Don't Believe in Love" (1990) and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Rock Song for "Silent Lucidity" (1992). In 1991, they won a "Billboard" Award for #1 Album Rock Track for "Silent Lucidity," Concrete Foundations Awards for Best Hard Rock Band and Top Retail for "Empire," and Northwest Area Music Awards for Best Metal Group and Best Metal Recording for "Empire." That year they also received five MTV Video Music Award nominations for "Silent Lucidity," winning the Viewers' Choice Award. Their other nominations were for Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, and Best Direction in a Video.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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