Who is the richest member of The Beatles? Net worths, ranked: John Lennon and Paul McCartney made millions from music, Ringo Starr appeared on The Simpsons and George Harrison produced Monty Python
Come together! A new official music video of The Beatles’ “Taxman” was recently released to coincide with a remixed and expanded version of the 1966 album Revolver, which will launch on October 28. It follows the universally acclaimed similar Special Editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The Beatles: The White Album (2018), Abbey Road (2019), and Let It Be (2021).
Revolver is the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band’s second bestselling album with 27 million copies, only after Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with 32 million copies, per Metal Castle.
Formed in 1960, The Beatles altered the course of musical history by experimenting with different genres and instruments, and inspiring some of the biggest bands of future generations – from Nirvana to The Beach Boys and Oasis.
Active for only 10 years until 1970, the group’s music is still worshipped by millions, making them the world’s bestselling music band with over 600 million units sold worldwide, also according to Metal Castle. As a result, each of the Fab Four, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, also became wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. But who made the most?
4. Ringo Starr: US$350 million
Joining the band as the last member in 1962, Ringo Starr, or Richard Starkey, now 82, has been the beneficiary of millions per year from The Beatles’ music, making him the richest drummer of all time, per Drumming News Network, with a fortune of US$350 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
In fact, he has never really taken a career break. After the band split, the musician has enjoyed a prolific solo career, releasing 20 albums, including the latest one, What’s My Name, in 2019, when he was almost 80 years old. He also founded Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band, with whom he has earned millions from almost 200 gigs that gross an average of US$300,000 per night, according to Forbes.
Impressively, music is not his only income stream. Starr has tried his hand at acting on numerous occasions, appearing in dozens of films and TV shows, including with The Beatles, and lending his voice to popular shows The Simpsons or Thomas & Friends, according to his IMDB profile.
He has also published six books including a memoir, a children’s book and, most recently, a photo book called Lifted: Fab Images and Memories in My Life with the Beatles From Across the Universe. The book is full of photos of himself with his bandmates, and putting it together “brought back so many fabulous memories”, he said in a statement.
3. George Harrison: US$400 million
Not only a performer on all of the legendary band’s albums, lead guitarist George Harrison also penned several of their most popular songs including “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”. When he died of lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58, his net worth stood at US$400 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Much like his fellow bandmate Starr, he became a successful solo artist after The Beatles and recorded 12 solo albums, many of which achieved gold or platinum status. In 1988, he masterminded supergroup The Travelling Wilburys, which was comprised of himself, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.
He even made a name for himself in the world of film production. His company Handmade Films produced some big British comedy hits including Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) and Time Bandits (1981), grossing over US$20 million and US$42 million on budgets of US$4 million and US$5 million respectively, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
2. John Lennon: US$620 million
One of the most famous musicians of all time, late legend John Lennon amassed his huge fortune by sharing songwriting credit or singing on Beatles songs including “Yesterday”, “Let It Be” and “Help!”, as well as having solo hits like “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance”. He is estimated to have been worth around US$200 million – equivalent to US$620 million today – when he was murdered in 1980 at the age of 40, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
His legacy continues to generate hundreds of millions more dollars in royalties and merchandise, reflected in the US$700 million net worth of his primary heir, his wife Yoko Ono.
1. Paul McCartney: US$1.2 billion
The Beatles’ other singer-songwriter icon, Paul McCartney, surpassed his fellow millionaire band members to become a billionaire, and to this day is the richest rock star of all time. He earns tens of millions each year from The Beatles’ album sales, merchandise and royalties as one of the two main writers alongside Lennon, and he also has his own music publishing company, MPL Communications, per Celebrity Net Worth.
In addition, he also earns millions a year from touring. As one of the biggest names in the industry, he is able to rake in an average of US$60 million per tour. This year, at the age of 80, the Liverpudlian proved he’s still got star power with his latest tour, Got Back, from April to June, which grossed US$105 million, according to Touring Data.
Besides music, Sir Paul’s real estate empire is also reportedly worth US$100 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. His multiple properties spread from the UK to the US, including Courtney Love’s former home in Beverly Hills.
- The Beatles have inspired everyone from Nirvana to Oasis, and the two members who are still alive, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, still make millions from touring
- John Lennon’s music continues to earn his wife Yoko Ono millions per year, while George Harrison formed a supergroup with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty