Paul McCartney becomes the first ever UK billionaire musician in updated rich list

17 May 2024, 13:51 | Updated: 17 May 2024, 13:53

Paul McCartney in 2023
Paul McCartney in 2023. Picture: Alamy

By Tom Eames

In a landmark achievement, Sir Paul McCartney has become the first UK musician to attain billionaire status, according to the 2024 Sunday Times Rich List.

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The legendary Beatles member, aged 81, saw his wealth surge by £50 million over the past year, bringing his total fortune to a staggering £1 billion.

This milestone follows his previous ranking in 2022, when his wealth was estimated at £865 million.

Paul McCartney's financial ascent can be attributed to several factors, notably his Got Back tour in 2023 and the rising value of his extensive back catalogue.

Additionally, Beyoncé's cover of the Beatles' classic 'Blackbird' on her recent album Cowboy Carter significantly boosted the song's popularity and value.

The past year has been momentous for McCartney beyond his billionaire status. The Beatles' two iconic compilation albums, 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album), were re-released with 21 newly added tracks.

Among these additions was a new song, 'Now And Then', which was heralded as the final Beatles track. Originally written and sung by John Lennon in the late 1970s, the song was completed by McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr using advanced audio restoration technology.

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The release of 'Now And Then' was met with immense enthusiasm, propelling it to the No 1 spot on the UK charts. This track holds special significance as it showcases the collaborative spirit of the Beatles, with contributions from the late George Harrison before being finalized by the remaining members.

Sir Elton John also made headlines with his philanthropic efforts, donating £26.6 million over the past year to various causes, including HIV/AIDS, medical research, and the arts.

The renowned musician, whose fortune is estimated at £470 million, concluded his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in Stockholm, Sweden, last year. Sir Elton has been a longstanding advocate for numerous charitable initiatives, having established the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 and the Elton John Charitable Trust. His contributions have earned him eighth place in the rankings for the proportion of wealth given or generated for charity.

This recognition of McCartney and John's achievements highlights their enduring impact on music and society, reflecting their continued influence and dedication to both their craft and charitable endeavours.