Robert Plant "tore up" a deal worth more than £500m (€630m) to reform Led Zeppelin.
The 66-year-old legend stunned promoters of a proposed tour that would have saw the group - who split in 1980 and reformed for a one-off gig in London in 2007 - perform 35 dates in three cities for the staggering pay cheque by refusing the deal, even though bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had signed on, as had Jason Bonham, who replaced his late father John on drums for their previous reunion show.
A source said: "Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately.
"It was a no-brainer for them but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock.
"There is no way they can go ahead without him.
"They have tried to talk him round but there is no chance.
"His mind is made up and that's that."
Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson made the offer, which would have seen one of his Jumbo jets rebranded The Starship to carry the group for the tour and the back 20 rows would have been sold for £100,000-a-seat (€127,000).
The source added to the Sunday Mirror newspaper: "Branson tried to pull out all of the stops. But even his money was not enough to get Plant to sign up. He is gutted."
An insider said while Jason would receive a wage, the three founder members would receive £250m (€318m) for 35 shows in London, Berlin and New Jersey and an additional £70m (€89m) in merchandise profits. There was also an option to do 45 more gigs in five venues.
The 'Stairway to Heaven' singer has previously insisted he isn't interested in getting back on stage with his bandmates again.
Speaking about the chances of a reunion happening, he said: "If I really wanted to be loved by the public, I know what I'd have to do, which I'm not going to do - so I have nothing to lose.
"Anyone who is famous is dealing with the same s**t. It's just a question of how you deal with it. Now I can see how ridiculous I am, or at least, was. Am I a pop singer, a rock singer, the guy from Led Zeppelin? Actually I'm just a bloke with the facility to get out all these emotions within the musical company I'm keeping. And I'm burning every bridge as I go."