Last Updated: October 23, 2023
Info
Category:
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$1.2 Billion
Date of Birth:
Jun 18, 1942 (81 years old)
Place of Birth:
Walton, Liverpool
Gender:
Male
Height:
5 ft 10 in (1.803 m)
Profession:
Singer, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Artist, Drummer, Guitarist, Keyboard Player, Pianist, Social activist, Poet
Nationality:
England
đź’° Compare Paul McCartney's Net Worth

What is Paul McCartney's net worth?

Paul McCartney is British musician who has a net worth of $1.2 billion. That net worth makes him one of the wealthiest musicians and celebrities in the world. As everyone knows, McCartney first became a worldwide phenomenon as a member of The Beatles. McCartney also enjoyed success as a solo artist and the founder of the band Wings. McCartney and the Beatles burst onto the scene in the 1960s and immediately caused a frenzy. During the decade that the Beatles were together, the band released 12 studio albums 13 EPs and 22 singles. Overall, they also released 12 live albums, five compilation albums, and 15 box sets. Every single Beatles release went at least gold and most of them went platinum.

McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. More than 2,200 artists have covered his Beatles song Yesterday, making it one of the most covered songs in popular music history. Needless to say, he earns money almost every time it is covered. Paul McCartney has won 18 Grammy Awards. He has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1965, McCartney was appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire and knighted in 1997 for his services to music. He is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with The Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999. He continues to be one of the top earning celebrities year after year.

In touring years, Paul easily earns $50-70 million personally. Outside of touring years he earns tens of millions per year in royalties and licensing fees earned from both his own music and an incredibly valuable portfolio of publishing copyrights from other artists through his publishing company MPL Communications. MPL owns the copyright of songs from artists including Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins and many many others.

Beatles Wealth

At the time of his death in 1980, John Lennon's net worth was worth $200 million. That's the same as being worth $620 million in today's dollars after adjusting for inflation. At that point, Paul McCartney was worth around $400 million. That's the same as being worth $1.4 billion in today's dollars. George Harrison was worth $100 million in 1980, Ringo Starr was worth $80 million. At the time of his death in 2001, George Harrison was worth $400 million, which is the same as around $700 million in today's dollars.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Early Life

Sir James Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942 and raised in Liverpool, England. McCartney's mother, Mary, died of a brain embolism when McCartney was 14. His father (James, or "Jim") was a trumpet player and pianist. The family had an upright piano and Paul was encouraged to practice often. McCartney composed an early tune that would later become "When I'm Sixty-Four" on the piano. McCartney wrote his first song "I Lost My Little Girl" on a Zenith acoustic guitar when he was 14 years old.

The Beatles

He met John Lennon and the Quarrymen at the age of fifteen and soon joined the band as a rhythm guitarist. The band was renamed The Beatles in 1960. The band's original lineup featured Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best on drums. In 1962 Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr.

"The Beatles" pose for a portrait in 1963. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

By early 1964, the Beatles were sparking "Beatlemania" worldwide, dominating the U.S. and UK pop markets, and breaking multiple sales records. McCartney and Lennon co-wrote their early hits, including "Love Me Do" and several others. The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time, with certified sales of over 183 million units in the U.S. and estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide. They hold records for most number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart, most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and most singles sold in the UK. In 1988, The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. Between 1964 and 1970, the Beatles appeared in five major motion pictures.

Between 1960 and 1970, McCartney performed on twelve studio albums and wrote or co-wrote some of the most popular songs in pop music history, including "Yesterday", "Can't Buy Me Love", and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." In 1965, Queen Elizabeth II appointed McCartney and the other Beatles as Members of the Order of the British Empire. The band performed their last commercial concert at the end of their 1966 U.S. tour. The band's last recorded album was 1969's "Abbey Road." The Beatles then fell out over business disagreements. McCartney announced his departure from the group on April 10, 1970. A suit was filed for the band's formal dissolution on December 31, 1970.

Solo Career and Wings

After the break up of the Beatles in 1970, McCartney started a solo career with the release of "McCartney", which went on to be a number one album in the U.S. He was also one of the founding members of the band Wings from 1971 to 1981. His wife, Linda McCartney, played keyboard in the widely-successful band. Since 1989, he has toured consistently as a solo artist. He found more solo success than any of the other former Beatles. McCartney continues to be one of the world's most popular acts, with his concerts selling out almost instantly and drawing in millions of dollars.

He has released twenty-two studio pop albums and five classical albums since the breakup of the Beatles.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Losing the Beatles Catalog

For most of his adult life, Paul McCartney has actually not owned the rights to the incredible catalog of music he co-wrote for the Beatles with John Lennon. If you would like a detailed explanation please read this article:

How Paul McCartney and John Lennon Lost Ownership Of The Beatles Catalogue

To summarize, in February 1963 Beatles manager Brian Epstein told Paul and John that they needed to form a company to hold and protect their publishing rights. Epstein also encouraged the duo to bring on an established publishing company as a co-owner to help them secure radio airtime and club gigs around England an on television. The publisher they chose to partner with was named Dick James and the company they formed was named Northern Songs. For reasons that are not clear to this day, the corporate structure was divided as:

  • Dick James and a partner named Charles Silver: 50%
  • Brian Epstein: 10%
  • John Lennon: 20%
  • Paul McCartney: 20%

After being incorporated, Northern Songs was officially the owner of more than 50 Lennon/McCartney compositions that today are considered among the most popular songs ever written. Even better, according to the terms of their contract with Northern Songs, Lennon and McCartney were contractually obligated to write a minimum of six new tracks per year. One month after Northern Songs was formed, The Beatles' first album "Please Please Me" was released in England. Beatlemania would sweep the United States and then the globe in short order.

In 1965, Dick James and Charles Silver learned that by taking Northern Songs public, the two could avoid a large tax bill. After Northern Songs began trading on the London Stock Exchange, Lennon and McCartney's stakes were reduced to 15% each.

In August 1967, Dick James and Charles Silver sold all of Northern Songs to a company called ATV Music Publishing for a grand total of $2.5 million. That's the same as around $20 million in today's dollars. Lennon and McCartney were furious, and to make matters worse, they were still contractually obligated to write six songs for the company, through 1973. On the other hand they still owned their publishing rights, which entitled them to around 25 cents for every dollar ATV earned. To get out of the contract and away from ATV, in 1969, the Beatles agreed to sell all of their remaining rights to ATV for a total of $5.738 million (roughly $40 million today).

Jumping ahead…

In 1980, Paul was hosting a 25-year-old Michael Jackson at his house while they recorded music. One fateful night, Paul explained to Michael how he had been buying the rights to other artist's catalogs. To find out what Michael did next, please read this article:

How Michael Jackson Bought The Beatles Catalogue And Turned It Into A Billion Dollar Music Empire

Regaining his Beatles Rights

Under UK law, an artist has the ability to regain their rights 56 years after the copyright was registered. For the songs that Lennon and McCartney wrote in the early 1960s, which would include the vast majority of their most important early Beatles work, the rights would start to revert around 2018. By this time, Michael Jackson was dead for nearly a decade and his former music empire was mostly owned by Sony which paid his estate $750 million for the rights. To prevent what would have been a contentious and complex legal drama, McCartney and John Lennon's heirs reached a settlement with Sony ATV in June 2017.

Musical Style

McCartney was primarily influenced by American rhythm and blues and Motown. He cites Little Richard as having been his idol in grade school. He was mostly a self-taught musician and mastered many instruments over the years including bass, acoustic, and electric guitars, as well as piano and drums. He's also famous for his range and the belting power in his vocals, and has developed and utilized a wide range of singing styles over his career.

Touring Earnings

With the enormous catalog of music that McCartney has, he has the ability to roll out world tour after world tour. From the Beatles in the 1960s to today, the now 76-year-old has been wowing audiences for 50+ years. During his 2015-2016 tour, for instance, McCartney grossed an astounding $4 million PER CITY. That was significantly more earned by fellow superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Jay-Z, all of whom toured during the same period. McCartney also delivers, which brings fans back again and again. He typically plays a three-hour set when he tours, giving audiences a lot of bang for their buck.

Paul performed at Live Aid. He played halftime at Super Bowl XXXIX. In 2002, his tour brought in $126 million. His 2010 tour grossed $93 million. In 2014, he earned $71 million on an 80-date tour that spanned 20 countries. In 2016, he earned $56.5 million. In 2017, he earned $54 million with his 15 city tour in the U.S. and Brazil. In the fall of 2018, he headlined the annual Austin City Limits music festival. Paul McCartney is a machine that shows no signs of slowing down.

Personal Life

McCartney married photographer and animal rights activist Linda Eastman (later Linda McCartney) in 1969; the couple had four children and remained married until her death in 1998. He married Heather Mills in 2002, and the two had a daughter, but they divorced in 2008. On October 9th, 2011, Paul McCartney married Nancy Shevell.

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McCartney is known for his political and social activism, including work for animal rights and against landmines and genetically modified foods. He has been a vegetarian since 1975.

McCartney and the other Beatles were introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan in 1964, and from then McCartney became a habitual and recreational user. He has made his pro-marijuana attitude public over the years. As a result of two minor drug convictions and fines for possession and growing marijuana plants, the U.S. government repeatedly denied him a visa until 1973. He was arrested a few more times throughout the '70s and '80s for possession of marijuana. In 1997, he announced his support of the decriminalization of the drug. He regularly used cocaine and LSD during the recording of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band", but stopped shortly after recording was wrapped.

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Relationship with John Lennon

It's widely known that McCartney had a strained relationship with Lennon during the time the two were bandmates and collaborating extensively on lyrics and music. They briefly reunited in the mid '70s, then drifted apart again. McCartney has stated that his last phone call to Lennon was friendly and left on good terms. On December 8, 1980, Lennon was murdered. McCartney was criticized by the media for having what was interpreted as a "superficial" response to reporters who asked for his reaction to the news while leaving an Oxford Street recording studio. He said he returned home that evening to watch the news on television and cry most of the evening for the loss of his friend and former collaborator.

Real Estate

Paul owns at least $100 million worth of real estate around the globe. Here's a breakdown of his real estate portfolio:

  • In 1984, Paul spent $1.88 million to acquire a townhouse in New York City that overlooks the Museum of Modern Art
  • In 1998, Paul spent $495,000 to acquire a home in East Hampton, Long Island
  • In 2001 Paul bought Courtney Love's Beverly Hills mansion for $4 million
  • In 2015 Paul and wife Nancy spent $15.5 million on a Manhattan penthouse. This property requires a reported $13,000 in monthly maintenance costs alone. They sold this home in 2022 for just $8.5 million.
  • He owns a 190-acre ranch outside of Tucson, Arizona.
  • He owns a half dozen properties (that we know of) in his native United Kingdom, including a 1,500-acre estate in East Sussex, a London flat and a country estate in Scotland.

Total it all up and Paul owns at least $100 million, perhaps $150 million worth of real estate around the globe.

Childhood Home

In February 2015, Paul McCartney's childhood home went up for auction. Located at 72 Western Avenue in Speke, the home ultimately sold for $231,000 – $70,000 over asking – to an anonymous buyer, presumably a big Beatles fan. Since 1995, the National Trust has owned it, and the historical spot can be toured by the public:

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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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