The latest edition of the paper’s annual focus on the world’s wealthiest people has been published today (May 21), with special attention being devoted to examining the wealth of some of the biggest music acts from the UK and Ireland.
The Sunday Times notes that despite the lack of lucrative revenue from touring during the majority of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, streaming figures hit record numbers last year.
Three of the world’s biggest record labels – Sony, Universal and Warner – boasted streaming revenues of $2.21 billion (£1.55 billion) during the first three months of the pandemic in 2020, according to the paper.
Such profitable streaming figures have contributed to a big increase in how much publishing and master rights are now worth, which has already prompted the sales of some major back catalogues in the past year – such as Bob Dylan’s to Universal Music back in December.
McCartney has been named in the Rich List 2021, along with his wife Nancy Shevell, as the UK and Ireland’s richest musician with a net worth of £820 million – an increase of £20 million from the 2020 list.
U2 are placed second with a combined fortune of £620 million (up £37 million from last year), while Lord Lloyd-Webber (£525 million, down £275 million from 2020) rounds out the top three.
Other artists who feature in this year’s top 10 of the UK and Ireland’s wealthiest musicians are Elton John (4th with a fortune of £375 million), Mick Jagger (5th, £310 million), Keith Richards (6th, £295 million) and Sheeran (joint 9th, £220 million).
A new documentary series featuring McCartney with producer Rick Rubin is set to premiere in July.