Sir Paul McCartney has topped the list of Britain and Ireland’s richest musicians.
The 79-year-old Here Comes The Sun singer has a personal fortune worth £865 million, which is up £45 million from last year thanks to his COVID-delayed Got Back tour and The Beatles: Get Back documentary.
As ranked by The Sunday Times Music Rich List, Irish rockers U2 take second place with an overall worth of £625 million, while composer Andrew Lloyd Webber sits in third position with £495 million.
Kerching! Sir Paul McCartney has topped the list of Britain and Ireland’s richest musicians. The 79-year-old Here Comes The Sun singer has a personal fortune worth £865 million
The Cats composer is followed on the list by Sir Elton John, who has seen his fortune increase by £20 million over the last 12 months, meaning he’s now worth £395 million.
Despite a rise in his personal fortune, the theatre producer’s royalties took a massive £10 million hit during the last financial year.
His musical royalties plunged from almost £13 million to less than £3 million, according to newly filed accounts for Really Useful Group Investments, the umbrella company in charge of his musical empire.
Beautiful Payday: As ranked by The Sunday Times Rich List, Irish rockers U2 take second place with an overall worth of £625 million (L-R Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton)
The composer came under fire earlier this month when it emerged the entire cast of his latest West End show, Cinderella, were sacked just minutes after a matinee performance, with future cast members claiming they only found out via social media.
The production was said to be losing as much as £100,000-a-week at its worst periods – meaning losses spiralled to some £2million.
Sources said it would be ‘unsustainable’ for Really Useful Group, to have kept the show going after suffering heavy losses during the pandemic, particularly when performances were suspended during the Omicron wave over Christmas.
Controversy: Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber sits in third position with £495 million after it emerged the entire cast of his latest West End show, Cinderella, were sacked just minutes after a matinee performance
Meanwhile, the top four places on the Sunday Times Rich List are unchanged from 2021. However, Sting has climbed from ninth to fifth, having earned as much as £100 million over the last year.
The 70-year-old musician – who had a residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2021 and sold his music rights to Universal Music earlier this year is now worth £320 million.
Elsewhere, Rolling Stones stars Sir Mick Jagger (£318 million) and Keith Richards (£303 million) are listed in sixth and seventh places, respectively.
Olivia Harrison, the widow of Beatles icon George Harrison, and their 43-year-old son Dhani Harrison are now worth £295 million, while Sir Ringo Starr’s fortune has been listed at £285 million.
Britain’s next billionaire? The top ten is rounded out by Ed Sheeran, who is notably younger than the people above him
The top ten is rounded out by Ed Sheeran, who is notably younger than the people above him.
The 31-year-old pop star – who is reported to be worth £260 million – looks on track to become the first British billionaire musician after his wealth reportedly increased by £40 million last year following the release of his fifth studio album, =.
Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, said: ‘Selling their music rights has proved extremely lucrative for many of the older acts on the Music Rich List – especially those who had quiet pandemics.
‘We expect the post-Covid return to touring will see many of these singers and bands earn well this year and next. It seems old musicians never retire, they just get richer.
‘Another golden year for Ed Sheeran leads us to believe he may in time pip Paul McCartney to become the first British billionaire musician.’
Calvin Harris finished one place outside the top ten, with £220 million, while Adele is in 23rd place, with £150 million, and Harry Styles is listed in 37th place, with £100 million.
Meanwhile, Sir Paul’s victory with the top spot comes despite the singer losing £2 million in assets after gigs including his Glastonbury headline slot were cancelled because of the pandemic.
Accounts for his touring business MPL Tours (UK) LLP showed that assets slumped from £2.8 million to £854,000 from May 2020 to May 2021.
Yet the singer will more than make up for the loss when he headlines the UK’s biggest festival this year.
Sir Paul will play Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage a week after turning 80 making him the oldest act to ever headline the west country festival.
He was meant to take the slot in 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic and his accountants say the lack of gigs explains the company’s slump.
The report for MPL Tours (UK) LLP, written before the Glastonbury gig was confirmed, said: ‘As a result of the worldwide impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, no concert and touring activity managed by the LLP was undertaken during the year and there is significant uncertainty concerning the timing of when this may be able to resume.
‘Covid- 19 has had and will continue to have a material negative impact on the LLP’s financial results and such negative impact may continue beyond the containment of the outbreak.’
The figures show that after creditors were paid, the company was left with £360,000 – a figure likely to rocket again after gigs late this year.
But the former Beatle’s touring woes mirror Ed Sheeran, who saw his tour firm slip £210,894 into the red and Sam Smith lost £29,729 from his firm SSW Live LLP.
Despite the loss in touring income Paul, worth £800 million, still came out a winner during the worst months of the lockdown.
Accounts for his main company MPL Communications Limited went up by almost £4 million to £22.6 million.
A big chunk of this was attributed to a £1 million rise in the value of a property owned by the ex Beatles legend, which went up to £8.2 million.
The Hey Jude songster is to headline Glastonbury on the Saturday with Billie Eilish topping Friday’s bill and Kendrick Lamar closing the festival on the Sunday.
Before that he will play a series of dates on a North American tour, Got Back, which is from April to mid-June.
Still doing well: Sir Paul’s victory with the top spot comes despite the singer losing £2 million in assets after gigs including his Glastonbury slot were cancelled because of the pandemic