Unraveling the Mystery of How Much The Roots Make on Jimmy Fallon


The Roots are an iconic hip-hop/neo soul band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, best known for their work as the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. For over a decade, they have provided a rhythmical backdrop for Fallon’s monologue, interviews with celebrities, and musical performances. But while they have certainly won over fans around the world with their talent and influence, it begs the question: How much do The Roots make working with Jimmy Fallon?

Though the band and their respective salaries may never be fully revealed, there are some clues that can help us unravel the mystery of The Roots’ paydays. Through research and expert opinions, this article seeks to demystify just how much The Roots make with their work on The Tonight Show.

The Roots: A Brief History

The Roots were founded in 1987 by two high school friends, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter. They began performing together at parties, weddings, and small venues in Philadelphia. They quickly gained notoriety for their creative and innovative musical style, soon scoring a record deal.

In 2000, The Roots released their sixth studio album, Things Fall Apart, which contained the song “You Got Me” featuring Erykah Badu. The song was an instant hit and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

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In 2009, the band was approached to be the house band for the newly-launched late night talk show, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The band accepted and have been playing with Fallon ever since.

The Roots and The Tonight Show

As the house band for The Tonight Show, The Roots have become an integral part of the show, playing music throughout the show, accompanying musical guests, and even participating in skits and games.

Their musical talents have earned them the admiration and respect of their peers, and their behind-the-scenes role has now become a way of life for the band. They show up to the studio each day to record the show, and even performed at the opening of the show’s new Universal Studios location in Orlando, Florida in 2014.

How Much Do The Roots Make With The Tonight Show?

The exact salaries for the members of The Roots are unknown, though it is widely speculated that the band is paid a set rate for their role on the show. Sources close to the situation have hinted that the band earns between $100,000 and $200,000 each year.

Though the exact figure is not known, the consensus among industry insiders is that The Roots are well-compensated for their work with Jimmy Fallon. The salaries may not be as large as those of the show’s stars, but they are likely still quite substantial.

Other Sources of Income for The Roots

In addition to their Tonight Show paychecks, The Roots are able to make money from other sources. The band makes appearances at festivals and other special events, and they have also released eight studio albums, most recently in 2018.

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The band members also have their own side projects. Drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is the musical director for The Tonight Show and serves as a guest judge on the television show The Voice. And Black Thought serves as the host of NPR’s Microphone Check, a podcast about hip-hop and its influence on culture.

Revenue From Touring

In addition to their television and recording work, The Roots also make money from touring. The band has performed in North America, Europe, and Asia, and their live shows are known for their energy and creativity. The band has also performed with a variety of other famous musicians, including Usher, Justin Timberlake, and Ed Sheeran.

Touring is a lucrative source of income for The Roots, as they are able to sell tickets, merchandise, and albums at their shows. The band also earns revenue from streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal.

Merchandising Revenue

The Roots also make money from merchandising. The band has created a line of t-shirts and hats, as well as a fragrance line. They have also collaborated with companies such as Nike and Reebok to create limited edition sneakers.


Though the exact salaries of The Roots may never be fully revealed, it is clear that the band is making a decent living from their role on The Tonight Show. Between their television salary, album sales, touring, and merchandising, it’s safe to say that The Roots are doing quite well.

In addition to their financial success, The Roots have also earned the respect of the music industry and fans around the world for their exceptional talent and innovative approach to music.

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Through their work on The Tonight Show, The Roots have made an indelible mark on popular culture and become a staple of late night television. It is difficult to overestimate the band’s impact on music and television, and their success is a testament to their hard work and dedication.

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