Thomas Lee Bass, better known as Tommy Lee, is a well-known musician and a founding member of the legendary heavy metal band Motley Crüe. As the band’s drummer for a long time, Lee helped make some of the most famous rock and roll songs ever.
Lee has done a lot of different things in music besides working with Motley Crüe. For example, he started his own rap metal band called Methods of Mayhem and has worked on solo projects.
Tommy Lee has become a well-known name in the music industry thanks to his impressive talent and never-ending drive. He has also built up a large fortune that keeps growing. In this article, we’ll look at how Tommy Lee made his money and learn some interesting things about the famous musician.
What Is Tommy Lee’s Net Worth?
Tommy Lee is an American musician and drummer with a net worth of $70 million. Tommy Lee is best known as the drummer for the rock band Motley Crüe, which he helped start.
With Motley Crüe, he has made 20 albums (studio, compilation, and live), and six of them have been certified platinum. Tommy formed the rap-metal band Methods of Mayhem and has also had a successful solo career.
In the 1990s, Tommy’s controversial relationship with actress Pamela Anderson helped him become very famous all over the world. A home movie that the couple made while on their honeymoon in Mexico went on to become a worldwide hit, the subject of countless news stories, court cases, and a 2022 Hulu original series.
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Early Years of Tommy Lee
Thomas Lee Bass gave birth to Tommy Lee in Athens, Greece, on October 3, 1962. His father was a US Army sergeant. His mom was Miss Greece in 1960. He is named after his younger sister, Athena.
His family moved to California when Lee was about a year old. When Lee was four years old, he got his first set of drumsticks. When he was a teenager, he got his first real drum set and started listening to hard rock and heavy metal bands like Kiss, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple.
Lee was a drummer in the high school marching band until his senior year when he quit focusing on his goal of joining a rock band.
Lee’s first band, Studio 19, played on the Sunset Strip at the beginning of the 1980s. After Lee played at Studio 19, he met Nikki Sixx, who would later join Motley Crüe. At the time, there were also less well-known bands like Van Halen and Quiet Riot playing on the Sunset Strip.
From Studio 19 to Motley Crüe: The Rise of Tommy Lee
When Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx first met, Sixx wanted to start a band that was very theatrical and focused on strong metal anthems. When Sixx saw Lee perform with Studio 19, he knew he had found his drummer. When Sixx convinced Lee to leave Studio 19, they started the first version of Motley Crüe.
Soon after, guitarist Mick Mars joined the new group. Lee suggested that singer and high school friend Vince Neil join the new band. The band’s first album, Too Fast For Love, came out in 1981 and was released on the band’s own independent label.
Soon after, Elektra Records signed Motley Crüe, and in 1982, Too Fast For Love was re-released. During the next ten years, Motley Crüe had a lot of success with albums like “Shout at the Devil” (1983), “Theatre of Pain” (1985), “Girls, Girls, Girls” (1987), and “Dr. Feelgood” (1989).
Lee was known for doing a lot of amazing things during his drum solos, like floating his drum set above the crowd. The Dirt, a 2019 Netflix movie about the band, shows that Tommy Lee and Motley Crüe were known for throwing wild parties on and off stage and drinking a lot of drugs and alcohol.
How Did Motley Crüe Help Tommy Lee Make Millions?
Since Tommy Lee was one of the first people to join Motley Crüe, he is now the richest member of the band. When the band’s first album, Too Fast for Love, came out in 1981, the rock star is said to have made around $1 million from record sales.
The group’s second album, Shout at the Devil, came out two years later. It made Lee an amazing $4,335,000, and the RIAA eventually certified it as a 4x platinum album.
After their first big hit, Lee kept working with the group and made even more money. He made an estimated $4.3 million from 1985’s Theatre of Pain, $4.2 million from 1987’s Girls, Girls, Girls, and an amazing $6.4 million from 1989’s Dr. Feelgood.
But Lee and his bandmates made hundreds of thousands of dollars more by selling compilation and live albums. For example, their 1998 Greatest Hits album is said to have made Lee an extra $500,000.
The Richest says that Lee has made about $26 million as part of Motley Crüe over the years. On the other hand, his ex-wife Pamela Anderson made about $300,000 per Baywatch episode and over $6.6 million at the peak of her career.
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Look at some of Tommy Lee’s musical side projects
Lee started Techniques of Mayhem in 1999. It is a rap-metal supergroup. Techniques of Mayhem came out the same year that the band went on tour to promote its self-titled debut album. Lee’s first solo album, called Never a Dull Time, came out in 2002. In the same year, Lee’s solo band was added to the heavy metal music festival Ozzfest.
Lee and the other original members of Motley Crüe got together in 2004 to record a double-CD album called Red, White & Crüe.
Fans of the band were looking forward to the new album, which went triple platinum and was followed by a big tour. Better Live Than Dead was the band’s first tour in six years. It included 81 shows. It had the name Red, White, and Crüe.
In his 2005 reality show, Tommy Lee Goes to College, he played the drums in the school marching band and went to school at the University of Nebraska. Lee’s autobiography, Tommyland, and his second solo album, Tommyland: The Ride, both came out in the same year.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Motley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard, Joan Jett, and the Blackhearts have had to cancel a series of 2020 stadium shows.