Paul McCartney Net Worth: A Beatle by the Numbers
Paul McCartney is set to tour yet again, piggybacking on the recent success of Peter Jackson's documentary, "The Beatles: Get Back."
From his humble Liverpool beginnings to his time in the Beatles, as a member of Wings and a solo artist, check out some stories behind Paul McCartney's net worth.
McCartney Was a Failed Choirboy
When Paul McCartney was just a boy, no one knew what would be in store, but music was not a sure thing.
In fact, young Macca tried out for choir in school and failed not one but two auditions. He later revealed that he deliberately messed up because he did not want to be in choir.
However, someone must have talked him into it because he did become a choirboy eventually, and his interest in music began.
He Bought His First Guitar at 12-Years-Old
McCartney still has the first guitar he ever owned — a Zenith Model 17 acoustic.
The guitar was just £15 when he asked his father for it, and he still owns it to this day. It made an appearance in his 2013 music video, "Early Days."
If it ever goes up for auction, expect it to shatter records as one of the most valuable guitars of all time.
McCartney Was One-Half of the Most Successful Songwriting Teams of All Time
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were one of the most successful songwriting teams in pop history and one of the most prolific in music overall.
By 2004, the Beatles had sold over 600 million records worldwide.
Everything He Touches Turns to Gold
With the Beatles and on his own, McCartney has 60 gold records under his belt and has sold more than 100 million singles.
Every single the Beatles released went gold, and most actually went platinum.
The Beatles Made a Historic Impact on Music in a Very Short Time
The Beatles were together for less than a decade over 50 years ago, but their impact continues to be felt to this day.
When they were together, they released just 12 studio albums, 22 singles and 13 EPs, all of which sold by the millions.
The Group Ruled the Charts When They Came to America
By April 1964, Beatlemania was in full swing. In one week of that month alone, the band held the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me."
Seven additional songs were in lower positions on the same chart.
Introducing ... The Beatles!
Ask anyone where they were when the Beatles first appeared on U.S. television via the
"Ed Sullivan Show"— it was so iconic that people who were alive at the time are guaranteed to remember the moment.
A record 73 million people saw the boys on national television, and their appearance changed rock music forever.
McCartney Is a Prolific Storyteller
Although he was credited as one-half of Lennon-McCartney, McCartney wrote many of the Beatles classic songs on his own (as did John Lennon). "Let it Be," "Eleanor Rigby," "Hey Jude," "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Helter Skelter" are all McCartney-penned classics.
Over his career, 43 songs he's written have sold more than a million copies each.
He Wrote the Most Covered Song Ever
The most recorded song of all time was written by Paul McCartney. Between 1965 and 1986, "Yesterday" was recorded over 1,600 times.
Artists who have put out their own version include Elvis Presley, James Brown and Frank Sinatra, to name but a few.
His Is the Most Successful Solo Career After the Beatles
After the Beatles split, all four members went onto successful solo careers, but McCartney and his band, Wings, went on to superstardom.
Through Wings, McCartney released such classics as "Maybe I'm Amazed," "Band on the Run" and"Silly Love Songs," among others. Wings had 14 top 10 singles in the U.S. alone with five consecutive No. 1 albums.
Apple vs. Apple
Long before there were Apple computers, there was Apple Corps, the Beatles' record label and multimedia company. In 1977, when the computer company formed, the Beatles reunited to sue Steve Jobs for rights to the name.
In 1981, the computer company paid Apple Corps $80,000, promising to never go into the music business. Of course, it broke that promise, and in 1989, Apple owed the Beatles another $26.5 million for creating MIDI music on its computers.
When iTunes came along in the early 2000s, the two parties came to an agreement after the Beatles won an undisclosed amount believed to be in the millions. Apple Inc. could use the name and logo in return for agreeing to license some of its trademarks back to Apple Corps.
McCartney Is Also a Painter
McCartney has taken to painting in his later years — at least 70 of his paintings have been exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and in other galleries around the world.
Prices for his artwork have ranged from $75 to $81,297.
He Played One of the Biggest Rock Shows in History
McCartney's tours are major events, and he continues to play soldout shows everywhere he goes.
In 2017, he made $132 million for his "One on One" tour. At 37 shows, he averaged about $3 million a concert.
In 1990, he played a concert in Brazil to 184,000 screaming fans — the largest audience for a solo artist at the time.
He's One of Music's Few Billionaires
With a net worth of $1.2 billion, Paul McCartney is one of the few musicians to have ever made it to billionaire status.
He is just below Jay-Z, who has a net worth of$1.4 billion.
His Christmas Song Is a Major Moneymaker
"Wonderful Christmastime" has become a holiday staple since its release in 1979 and is played anywhere Christmas is celebrated.
Every year, McCartney brings in between $400,000 and $600,000 just from this classic tune.
McCartney Gives a Lot to Charity
Paul McCartney is known to be a supporter of various charities and has lent a hand and millions of dollars to several organizations over the decades.
In 2020, he was involved with 45 charities, including Cruelty Free International, PETA, Adopt-A-Minefield, the Red Cross, Everyone Matters and Greenpeace, among others.
He Owns Several Homes Around the World
McCartney owns several properties in the U.K. and the U.S. This includes a Manhattan townhouse, a home in the Hamptons, a Beverly Hills estate and a home in Arizona.
In the U.K., he lives in a gated London residence and an East Sussex farmhouse.
16. His Wife Also Has a High Net Worth
McCartney's third wife, Nancy Shevell, is a financial powerhouse all her own. She's an American businesswoman and vice president of the Shevell Group of Companies, a transportation business owned by her family.
Her net worth is about $200 million.
McCartney's Things Go for Big Money at Auction
Instruments once owned by the former Beatle typically go for big bucks at auction.
In December 2021, his Yamaha BB-1200 bass guitar, which he used in Wings, sold for nearly $500,000. U2’s The Edge and producer Bob Ezrin organized its sale and the sale of other rock memorabilia for their Music Rising charity.
His Daughter Is a Highly Successful Fashion Designer
Paul is not the only major success story in the family. His daughter, Stella, is a famed British fashion designer with a net worth of $75 million.
Her most recent design is an unusual one — she's responsible for putting Minnie Mouse in a pantsuit for Disneyland Paris' 30th-anniversary celebration in 2022.
He's Highly Decorated and Awarded
McCartney has earned 18 Grammys during his career and has been inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame twice —as a solo artist and as a member of the Beatles.
He's received an MBE in 1968 when he was with the Beatles and was knighted in 1997, earning him the moniker of Sir Paul McCartney.
McCartney Owns the Rights to Other Artists Songs
As the owner of MPL (McCartney Productions Ltd.) Communications, McCartney has purchased the right to other artists' songs, including those of Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins.
He also owns various pop standards and "Hard Knock Life" — the song from "Annie" that was sampled by Jay-Z in "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)."
McCartney brings in about $70 a million a year from his publishing and the songs he owns by other people.
He Lost the Beatles Catalog to the King of Pop but Later Regained It
After 1969, McCartney and Lennon both tried to buy the Beatles catalog, but they lost out to another publisher. When it went up for sale in the 1980s, McCartney tried to regain control of the catalog but lost out to Michael Jackson, who bought it for $47.5 million.
In 2016, Sony Music bought Michael Jackson's 50 percent stake in the catalog, then valued at $750 million, which created another opportunity for McCartney to buy a share.
He negotiated a deal with Sony, and this time, he was successful. He and the company both have a share in the catalog.
His Divorce Cost Him Dearly
After his first wife, Linda, died of cancer in 1998, Paul met former model and actress Heather Mills. They were married in 2002 but divorced just four years later.
Mills gained $48.7 million from McCartney in the divorce, which comes to about $34,000 per day for each day of their union.
The Beatles Still Enchant Audiences Around the World
The Beatles are still the biggest band in history, and anything having to do with them garners immediate interest and subsequent sales.
Even though they broke up for good in 1970, the band still makes millions in royalties — in fact, they made $67 million in 2019 alone, with McCartney and Lennon’s estate getting the lion's share as they were principal songwriters.