Movie Songs

Highest-Grossing Musician Biopics

April 8, 202414 Mins Read

Bob Marley: One Love grossed $607,000 in its eighth week at the box office, which was enough to enable it to pass the 2019 Elton John biopic Rocketman as the fifth highest-grossing biopic of a musician in domestic box-office history. Bob Marley: One Love, which stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as reggae legend Bob Marley, has grossed $96.6 million in the U.S. and Canada through Sunday (April 7), according to

Rocketman grossed $96.4 million during its run. Marley and Elton John both achieved global fame in the 1970s. But while Rocketman was a celebration of an artist who conquered his demons and has a long and multi-faceted career, Bob Marley: One Love is inherently a sadder story. Marley died of an aggressive type of skin cancer in 1981. He was just 36.

Here are the 25 highest-grossing biopics of musicians in terms of domestic box office. These films cover a remarkably wide range of genres. Pop/rock artists are the focus of seven of the 25 films, followed by R&B (five); rap and traditional pop (three each); country and classical (two each); and Latin, contemporary Christian and reggae (one each).

Methodology: maintains lists of top-grossing films searchable by dozens of “genre keywords.” Under “music,” we extracted biopics, which we define as films in which actors portray the musicians. Five of the biopics listed here aren’t listed under music on the site, so we manually inserted them, using box-office figures found elsewhere on the site.

We didn’t include some high-grossing films about real-life music personalities because they’re not biopics in the traditional sense. These include The Sound of Music (which tells the story of Maria von Trapp and the Trapp Family Singers); Green Book (which deals with a road trip taken by pianist and composer Don Shirley); Florence Foster Jenkins (about an heiress and hopelessly untalented soprano by that name); and Music of the Heart (about violinist and music educator Roberta Guaspari). Meryl Streep starred in the latter two films.

Here are the 25 biopics of music stars with the highest domestic (defined as U.S. and Canada) grosses:

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