Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$500 Thousand
Jan 31, 1956 (68 years old)
5 ft 7 in (1.72 m)
Singer-songwriter, Musician, Record producer, Actor, Presenter, Visual Artist, Television presenter
💰 Compare Johnny Rotten's Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What is John Lydon's Net Worth?

John Lydon is an English singer-songwriter who has a net worth of $500 thousand. John Lydon is better known as Johnny Rotten. He earned fame as the lead singer of the Sex Pistols. Rotten fronted the punk rock band from 1978 until 1978 and then for reunions in the 1990s and 2000s. The band's only studio album "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" was released in 1977 and hit #1 on the UK charts. Their most popular songs include "God Save the Queen", "Anarchy in the U.K." and "C'mon Everybody".

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 but refused to attend the ceremony. From 1978 to 1993 Rotten was the lead singer of the band Public Image Ltd. The band has released nine studio albums and their 1989 single "Disappointed" hit #1 on the US Alternative chart. Lydon has turned down an MBE for his contributions to music. He was named one of the 100 Greatest Britons in 2002. His autobiography "Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs" was published in 1993. He has hosted television shows in the US, UK, and Belgium. Lydon's only solo studio album "Psycho's Path" was released in 1997.

Early Life

Lydon was born on January 31, 1956 in London, England to parents Eileen Mary and John Christopher Lydon. Both his mother and father were working class immigrants from Ireland who moved to London for work. Lydon grew up in the Holloway area of north London near Highbury Stadium, the former home of the football club Arsenal F.C. Lydon was an avid fan of the team since childhood. The neighborhood primarily was made of up of Irish and Jamaican immigrants and was largely impoverished. Lydon grew up with his three younger brothers and often had to look after them as his mother was often sick. At the age of seven, he contracted spinal meningitis and was ill for a year. He was left with permanent spinal curvature and significant memory loss that lasted for years. Lydon began working at the age of 10 in order to help his family with money.

Lydon's career in music was heavily inspired by some of his experiences in youth. He was bullied in school, attending St. William of York Roman Catholic School, until he began to fight back against classmates and teachers who Lydon felt were oppressive towards anyone who was a bit alternative. He died his hair bright green as a teenager and was later kicked out of school at the age of 15. He then attended Hackney College where he befriended John Simon Ritchie before attending Kingsway College. He began hanging out at London reggae and gay clubs, as well as the fetish clothing shop SEX which was run by Vivienne Westwood and the artist and musician Malcolm McLaren.


In 1975, McLaren had recently returned from the United States where he had travelled with the protopunk band the New York Dolls. He was also working as a promoter for a new band, the Sex Pistols, which was looking for a lead singer. McLaren took notice of Lydon, as Lydon was often handing out at SEX, and had developed a unique personal style. Lydon was chosen as the front man of the Sex Pistols after performing a rendition of "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper for McLaren accompanied by the shop's jukebox.

The band released the song "God Save the Queen" during the week of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. It attracted significant media attention, much of which was negative given the country's love of the Queen. Lydon and a couple of the producers for the Sex Pistols were subject to a razor attack outside of a pub in London due to the track.

After the band's bassist, Glen Matlock, quit the band due to tensions between him and Lydon, Lydon recommended his friend, John Simon Ritchie, as a replacement. Ritchie was chosen as the new bassist despite the fact that he lacked skill with the instrument because he had the aesthetic look that the band wanted. Shortly after, the band released their only studio album, "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols." The album went on to become a highly influential staple in the development of the punk music scene.

However, the Sex Pistols did not last long, largely due to tension in the band and Ritchie's worsening heroin addiction. Lydon was very critical of the band's decision to travel to Brazil to record with the former criminal Ronnie Biggs, and declined to participate. He also refused to participate in the satirical film, "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle," in which the other band members took part. Lydon left the band in 1978 though he did later agree to participate in the documentary film, "The Filth and the Fury," directed by Julian Temple. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, though the members refused to attend the ceremony as they complained they had been asked for large amounts of money in order to attend.

Johnny Rotten

Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

In 1978, Lydon formed the post-punk band Public Image Ltd with bassist Jah Wobble and guitarist Keith Levene. The band released their first album, "Public Image: First Issue," the same year. The following year, they released "Metal Box" followed by a live album, "Paris au Printemps" in 1980.  After Wobble left, Lydon and Levene released several more albums together. Their 1984 album, "This Is What You Want…This Is What You Get" featured their biggest hit, "This Is Not a Love Song." The band's lineup switched in 1987, with only Lydon remaining. The newly formed group released a number of other albums until 1993, when Lydon put the band on indefinite hiatus.

Lydon focused on solo music in the decade that followed. He also got involved in reality television, appearing on "I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!" in 2004. In September of 2009, Lydon announced that Public Image Ltd would be reforming. The band has remained together since then.

Personal Life

Lydon was married to Nora Forster, a German publishing heiress, for 44 years until her death in April of 2023. She was 14 years older than Lydon and Lydon became a stepfather to her daughter, Ari Up. In 2000, the couple had become the legal guardians for Ari's twin teenage boys. Throughout their marriage, the couple primarily resided in Venice, California though they also kept a residence in London.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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