Last Updated: August 14, 2023
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$22 Million
Date of Birth:
Dec 22, 1946 (76 years old)
Place of Birth:
Elmhurst, IL
Songwriter, Guitarist, Musician, Singer
United States of America
💰 Compare Rick Nielsen's Net Worth

What Is Rick Nielsen's Net Worth?

Rick Nielsen is an American musician and songwriter who has a net worth of $22 million. Rick Nielsen is best known for being the lead guitarist, background vocalist, and primary songwriter of the rock band Cheap Trick. He is also noted for designing his own guitars and for the use of multi-neck guitars. With Cheap Trick, Nielsen has released 20 studio albums, including the Platinum albums "In Color" (1977), "Heaven Tonight" (1978), "Dream Police" (1979), and "Lap of Luxury" (1988) and the Gold albums "All Shook Up" (1980) and "One on One" (1982). Cheap Trick is known for singles such as "I Want You to Want Me," "Dream Police," "If You Want My Love," "The Flame," and "Can't Stop Fallin' into Love." Rick composed the song "Baby Mumbles" for the Comedy Central series "The Colbert Report," and it served as the show's theme song during its entire 11-season run. Cheap Trick has sold over 20 million albums, and in 2016, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nielsen has also appeared in the film "Disorderlies" (1987) and the television series "Boy Meets World" (1994), "The Drew Carey Show" (1998), and "TV Funhouse" (2001), and he was featured in the 2013 documentary "Sound City."

Early Life

Rick Nielsen was born Richard Alan Nielsen on December 22, 1948, in Elmhurst, Illinois. Rick's parents were opera singers, and his father, Ralph, directed choirs and symphonies and recorded more than three dozen solo albums. When Nielsen was a teenager, his parents opened a music store in Rockford, and Rick learned to play several instruments. He played drums for six years, then he decided to learn how to play keyboards and guitar. His first band, The Phaetons, later turned into The Grim Reapers, then Fuse, and they disbanded in 1970 after releasing one album.


Nielsen briefly replaced Todd Rundgren in the band Nazz before forming the group Sick Man of Europe with Tom Petersson and Bun E. Carlos in 1972 in Philadelphia. In 1973, Nielsen and Carlos formed Cheap Trick, and Petersson and Robin Zander joined the band later. Rick wrote most of the songs that appeared on the first few Cheap Trick albums. After the band signed with Epic Records in 1976, they released their debut self-titled album the following year. Their second album, 1977's "In Color," reached #73 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S. and Canada. The album featured the single "I Want You to Want Me," which became a hit after a live version was released in 1979. The live version of the song went Gold in the U.S. and Canada and reached #1 on the charts in Belgium, Japan, and the Netherlands and #7 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart. The 1978 album "Heaven Tonight" was certified Platinum in the U.S. and Canada, and it reached #48 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. The single "Surrender" was a top 10 hit in Belgium and the Netherlands. Cheap Trick's fourth studio album, 1979's "Dream Police," went 3× Platinum in Canada and Platinum in the U.S. and Australia, and it reached the top 10 on the charts in five countries. The album's title track reached #5 on Australia's Kent Music Report, #7 on New Zealand's Recorded Music NZ chart, and #9 on Canada's "RPM" chart.

Rick Nielsen

Mike Coppola/

Getty Images

The 1980 album "All Shook Up" was certified Gold in the U.S. and Canada and peaked at #24 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. They followed that album with 1982's "One on One," which also went Gold in the U.S. "One on One" featured the single "If You Want My Love," which reached #2 on Australia's Kent Music Report. Next, Cheap Trick released the albums "Next Position Please" (1983), "Standing on the Edge" (1985), and "The Doctor"(1986), and "Tonight It's You" from "Standing on the Edge" reached #8 on the "Billboard" Top Rock Tracks chart. In 1988, they released "Lap of Luxury," and it reached #16 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and went Platinum in the U.S. and Canada. The single "The Flame," which was written by Nielsen, topped the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart, "Cash Box" Top 100 Singles chart, Australia ARIA chart, and Canada's "RPM" chart. The band's cover of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" was also a hit, reaching the top 10 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Cheap Trick's 1990 album "Busted" was certified Gold in Canada, and the single "Can't Stop Fallin' into Love" reached #4 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and #6 on the Canadian "RPM" Top Singles chart.

In the '90s, Cheap Trick also released the albums "Woke Up with a Monster" (1994) and "Cheap Trick (1997) and singles such as "You're All I Wanna Do," "Didn't Know I Had It," "Say Goodbye," and "Carnival Game." Next, they released "Special One" (2003), "Rockford" (2006), and "The Latest" (2009) and the singles "Scent of a Woman," "My Obsession," "Too Much," "Perfect Stranger," and "If It Takes a Lifetime." The band wouldn't release another album until 2016's "Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello," and in 2017, they released two: "We're All Alright!" and "Christmas Christmas." "Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello" featured the single "When I Wake Up Tomorrow," which peaked at #24 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart. In 2021, Cheap Trick released their 20th studio album, "In Another World," and it reached the top 10 on the "Billboard" Top Album Sales and Top Tastemaker Albums charts as well as the Scottish Albums chart. Nielsen has also performed on songs by John Lennon, Glen Campbell, Hall & Oates, The Yardbirds, Foo Fighters, Mötley Crüe, Dusty Springfield, Gene Simmons, and Alice Cooper.

Personal Life

Rick and his wife, Karen, have four children, Scarlett, Daxx, Miles, and Erron. Nielsen has reportedly owned around 2,000 guitars, and in 2002, 34 of his guitars were included in the "Customised Culture – Cars, Guitars, and Lowbrow Art" exhibition at the Rockford Art Museum in Illinois. From August 2012 to April 2013, Rockford's Burpee Museum of Natural History hosted the exhibition "Rick's Picks: A Lifelong Affair with Guitars and Music," which featured "a huge collection of Nielsen's guitars, personal items, stage clothing and Cheap Trick memorabilia." Rick is a co-owner of the Piece Brewery & Pizzeria in Chicago as well as the alcohol brand ROCK'N Vodka.

Award Nominations

In 1980, Cheap Trick earned an American Music Award nomination for Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group.

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.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction