The enduring musical power of The Beatles helps carry Sir Paul McCartney to the top of the Music Rich List, according to the new edition of The Sunday Times Rich List, published today online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/richlist and in the print edition of the newspaper on Sunday, May 23.
The Sunday Times Rich List 2021: Music Rich List
1 Sir Paul McCartney £820m Up £20m
2 U2 £620m Up £37m
3 Lord Lloyd-Webber £525m Down £275m
4 Sir Elton John £375m Up £15m
5 Sir Mick Jagger £310m Up £25m
6 Keith Richards £295m Up £25m
7 Olivia and Dhani Harrison £290m Up £20m
8 Sir Ringo Starr £280m Up £20m
9= Calvin Harris £220m Up £40m
9= Ed Sheeran £220m Up £20m
9= Sting £220m Up £20m
12 Sir Rod Stewart £215m Up £15m
13= Brian May £210m Up £20m
13= Roger Waters £210m Up £20m
15 Michael Flatley £206m No change
16= Eric Clapton £195m Up £20m
16= Robbie Williams £195m Up £10m
18 Roger Taylor £190m Up £20m
19= Sir Tom Jones £175m Up £5m
19= Charlie Watts £175m Up £10m
21 Sir Tim Rice £157m Up £2m
22 John Deacon £155m Up £15m
23 Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne £150m No change
24 Phil Collins £145m Up £5m
25 Jimmy Page £142m Up £15m
26 David Gilmour £136m Up £20m
27= Adele £130m Down £20m
27= Nick Mason £130m Up £20m
29 Chris Martin £125m Up £20m
30 Robert Plant £117m Up £15m
31 Enya £112m Up £7m
32 Mary Austin £110m Up £15m
33= Guy Berryman £107m Up £15m
33= Jonny Buckland £107m Up £15m
33= Will Champion £107m Up £15m
36 Ronnie Wood £100m Up £5m
37= Gary Barlow £90m Up £8m
37= Sir Barry Gibb £90m Up £15m
39 Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller £86m Up £2m
40 Mark Knopfler £81m Up £5m
The 76-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine reveals the wealth of the 250 richest people in Britain in its 33rd annual edition. McCartney is now the only musician to be ranked among the 250 richest people in the UK this year after the pandemic knocked a considerable hole in the fortune of Lord Lloyd-Webber, the composer, theatre owner and impresario. There are a record-breaking 171 billionaires in the UK recorded in this year’s Rich List, up by 24 from 2020, a year-on-year increase that is also a record. The combined wealth of the 171 UK billionaires is £597.269 billion, up £106.582 billion, or 21.7 per cent, on the total wealth of the billionaires in last year’s Rich List.
McCartney, in common with many of the other wrinkly rockers, sees a healthy growth in his wealth this year, despite lockdown and the wider pandemic putting paid to the usually highly lucrative touring revenues generated by so-called heritage acts. Starved of tours, this older generation of performers have fared well on music streaming services instead and also seen the value of their back catalogues soar after a number of eye-catching sales in the past year. This has led our music valuer to attach greater value to the more extensive back catalogues, gains which may be realised in future years if they are sold. In the past year, McCartney has released his 18th solo album, McCartney III, which debuted at No 1 in the UK and No 2 in the US just before Christmas. He plays all the instruments on the album. McCartney’s wealth goes up by £20 million this year.
The extra value in back catalogues sees our estimate of the wealth of Irish superstars, U2, rise by £37 million to £620 million. Going in the other direction, however, Lord Lloyd-Webber slips from joint first with McCartney last year to third in this year’s Music Rich List. With his theatres largely closed throughout the past year – he owns seven in the West End – Lloyd-Webber has seen his income dry up and he has been forced to push back the opening of his latest musical, Cinderella. He has been forced to borrow at least £50 million to stay afloat and equity in his theatres has fallen to £110 million.
Sir Elton John’s farewell tour has been stalled for the past year, but that has not stopped his wealth rising by a further £15 million, all the more remarkable as a survey to mark the 20th edition of The Sunday Times Giving List, also published today, shows that John has gifted £395 million to charity since 2002, £20 million more than he is worth today. Much of the money has been given to his Aids Foundations in the UK and the United States, with smaller sums donated to support young musicians.
The biggest winner in this year’s Music Rich List is Calvin Harris. Our music valuer did not need to make an estimate of the increased value of Harris’s back catalogue, as the Scottish DJ and producer actually cashed his in, leading us to raise his wealth by £40 million this year, to £220 million. The deal last year with a Vine Alternative Investments, a New York private equity group, was said to be worth around £76 million before taking account of tax, more than making up for a thin year elsewhere as his lucrative residencies dried up at venues like Hakkasan in Las Vegas.
Aside from Lord Lloyd-Webber, Adele is the only other person on the Music Rich List to see a fall in her wealth. Down an estimated £20 million, the adjustment is made to take account of her recent divorce. The expected release of her long-awaited fourth album this year should more than make up for this financial setback. It is more than five years since her previous album, 25, topped the album charts in more than 30 countries and swept all before it, winning six Grammys.
The Sunday Times Rich List 2021: Wealthiest Young Musicians
1 Ed Sheeran £220m Up £20m
2 Harry Styles £75m Up £12m
3 Little Mix £54m Up £6m
4 Niall Horan £52m Up £2m
5 Louis Tomlinson £45m No change
6 Liam Payne £44m No change
7= Dua Lipa £36m Up £20m
7= Zayn Malik £36m No change
9 Sam Smith £33m No change
10 Stormzy £24m Up £4m
Ed Sheeran is the only artist aged 30 or under to make the Top 40 of the Music Rich List, ranking 9= in that list dominated by the ageing giants of the music industry. With a fortune put at £220 million, Sheeran comfortably tops the Young Music Rich List, with wealth almost three times greater than Harry Styles in second place. More than most, Sheeran has missed the earnings from touring: his Divide tour is thought to be the most lucrative in history, with box office receipts of £562 million from 255 shows spread over a 30-month period. It was so successful that Sheeran incurred a tax bill of £28 million last year, meaning he also featured in The Sunday Times Tax List, published last January, when he was named among the 50 biggest tax payers of the previous year.
Harry Styles with a fortune of £75 million features in the Young Music Rich List, alongside all of his former band-mates in One Direction. The boy band began an ongoing hiatus in 2015 and have enjoyed varying degrees of solo success since. Styles’ fortune has grown by £12m in the past year, while Niall Horan is worth £2 million more to stand at £52 million. Louis Tomlinson (£45 million), Liam Payne (£44 million) and Zayn Malik (£36 million) all see their wealth unchanged since last year. Horan and Tomlinson each put on an online show during lockdown, selling tickets to raise money for charity. Among those to benefit from the proceeds were FareShare, the charity combatting food poverty, and charities supporting workers in the music industry, such as road crew, who lost all their income during lockdown. Tomlinson is reckoned to have raised £2 million and Horan £1.9 million, ranking them 27= and 38 respectively in this year’s Sunday Times Giving List.
Please ensure to cite The Sunday Times as the source of information in any digital coverage. The correct URL for hyperlinks will be thesundaytimes.co.uk/richlist
The 2021 Sunday Times Rich List is the definitive guide to wealth in the United Kingdom. It charts the wealth of the 250 richest people in the UK. The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies. It excludes bank accounts, to which the paper has no access. The magazine includes several interviews and features, focused on some of the leading players and personalities among the richest 250, as well as a full ranking by order of wealth. The Young Rich List details the 50 individuals with the biggest fortunes aged 30 or under, and the magazine also includes the 40 richest in the music industry.
The Sunday Times Rich List is compiled by Robert Watts. The complete list will be available to the paper’s digital subscribers and will be online at thesundaytimes.co.uk/richlist.