Old rockers don't die ... they start businesses.

Some of those businesses turn into huge successes. From their antics on stage as part of bands like KISS, Van Halen and U2, to the world of product branding, fashion merchandising and investing, these rockers know how to succeed in many venues.

TUTORIAL: World's Greatest Investors

Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons is best known for his over-the-top outfits, make-up and stage antics as lead singer for the rock band, KISS. Simmons is a success off-stage as well. His fame as a rocker certainly gives him an edge in the business of KISS-branded merchandise. There are 3,000 licensed products from condoms to caskets, said Simmons, in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek. KISS branding isn't his only business success, not by a long shot. Simmons is also the force behind Simmons Records, Moneybag clothing line and Simmons Abramson Marketing. (For related reading, see The Power Of Branding.)

Sammy Hagar
Hagar and his Van Halen bandmates ventured into business via tequila. In 1992, they opened a tequila bar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Though it took a while to get things going, by 1996 they were doing well enough for Hagar to branch into his own tequila line called Cabo Wabo. In 2007, Hagar sold Cabo Wabo to Skyy Spirits, maintaining 20% ownership in the business.

Jon Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi isn't limited to music. He also stands proudly in the ranks of celebrity sports team owners as owner of the Philadelphia Soul. The Soul were the 2008 Arena Football League champions. According to Inc.com's Adam Hanft, Bon Jovi is no absentee masthead. "Bon Jovi named the team, created the mascot (the Soul Man), has a strong hand in designing the on-field events and devotes a ton of his time to the enterprise." (For additional reading, also take a look at Managing Your Personal Brand.)

Madonna has been a savvy business woman for as long as she's been a celebrity, but her recent ventures have shown even more growth. In August of 2010, she launched a Material Girl brand of clothing, sold exclusively at Macy's. Since then, Macy's has expanded the line to 300 of its stores, up from 200 at the initial launch. Madonna's daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, is following in her mother's entrepreneurial footsteps. After helping her mom design the Material Girl collection, she is launching her own spin of the brand with the launch of Material Girl Beauty, a line of make-up and beauty products.

Part of Madonna's secret to business success is her penchant for picking the right partners. For the Material Girl line, Madonna partnered with Iconix Brand Group, Inc. to form MG ICON. The joint venture then partnered with Macy's Inc. for a distribution network already perfectly in place for the target market of teenage girls who hang out at the mall.

For her next venture, Madonna partnered with her own manager, Guy Oseary, and with the founder and CEO of 24 Hour Fitness, Mark Mastrov, to form Hard Candy Fitness. According to a Fox Business report, 24 Hour Fitness is the world's largest privately owned fitness chain.

When not writing another song or leading U2 on stage, Bono might be busy checking on new investment opportunities for Elevation Partners. He's the managing director and co-founder of this private equity firm that makes large-scale investments in market-leading media, entertainment and consumer-related businesses. Bono works with people like Fred Anderson, former CFO of Apple Computer, and Bret Pearlman, formerly a senior managing director at the Blackstone Group.

Another notable Bono business is Edun Clothing. This company focuses on lifting up developing countries through trade. According to John Tozzi of Bloomberg Businessweek, both of these enterprises are linked to nonprofits. Along with business partner, Ali Hewson, Bono founded Edun in 2005 to be a for-profit business that would encourage trade with Africa. According to the Edun website, "The company actively works to increase trade with Africa and it is aiming to have 40% of its fashion collection produced in Africa by 2013." (Learn how to trace where your tax dollars and charitable donations are going. For more, see Navigating Government And Nonprofit Financial Statements.)

TUTORIAL: Stock Basics

The Bottom Line
Financial news about old rock stars is, too often, about impending bankruptcy, expensive drug addictions or business ventures that go flop in the harsh light of the non-rocker market. It's nice to know that there are old rockers who can keep it going strong, both on the stage and in the business world.

Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    4 Things to Know About Your Company To Make a Successful Pitch to Investors

    Learn how to make a successful pitch to investors. Regardless of your industry, size or market, there are some questions all investors need to have answered.
  2. Entrepreneurship

    Top 4 Billionaires Living in Los Angeles

    Learn how these multibillionaires built their fortunes to stand out from the crowd of the countless ultra-rich who call Los Angeles home.
  3. Investing Basics

    3 Business Tips from Restaurant Reality Shows

    The reality TV shows "Restaurant Impossible" and "Kitchen Disasters" offer lessons not just for restaurateurs, but for all business owners.
  4. Entrepreneurship

    4 Most Successful Indiegogo Campaigns

    Learn about some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo, which raised millions of dollars for everything from electric bikes to beehives.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Top 10 Features Of a Profitable Rental Property

    Find out which factors you should weigh when searching for income-producing real estate.
  6. Wealth Management

    The Net Worth of the Shark Tank Cast

    Discover how the richest "Sharks" on the hit TV show amassed their vast fortunes, and learn how much they have to offer eager entrepreneurs.
  7. Entrepreneurship

    3 Ways You Can Support Small Business Growth

    Discover a number of different options available to support small business growth, including crowdfunding campaigns and shopping locally.
  8. Investing News

    SEP vs. Keogh Plans: Which is Right for You?

    SEP and Keogh plans each have their pros and cons. Here's how to choose which one is right for you.
  9. Entrepreneurship

    10 Ways to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

    Are you hoping to launch your own business and work for yourself? If so, here are the top 10 tips for entrepreneurs.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    Need a Loan for Your Startup? Here's How to Prepare a Thorough Loan Package

    Learn how to craft the vital components of a loan package for your startup small business, and how to package it to be as appealing to the lender as possible.
  1. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the benefits of prorating expenses?

    When a person prorates expenses between personal and business expenses, he is able to capture the maximum amount of tax benefits ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the relationship between research and development and innovation?

    Although it's possible to achieve innovation without research and development and it's possible to conduct research and development ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does the notion of the American Dream influence the US economy?

    The notion of the American Dream influences the U.S. economy because it creates the driving force behind the free enterprise ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup?

    Venture capitalist investors view sustainable growth in a startup as necessary when considering investing in it. Typically, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How can I protect my business from my spouse during a high net worth divorce?

    For high net worth individuals (HNWIs), deciding to end a marriage through divorce brings special circumstances to consider. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Flier

    The slang term for a decision to invest in highly speculative investments.
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center