Sir Paul McCartney has become the first billionaire musician from the UK, according to the 2024 Sunday Times Rich List.

The Beatles star, 81, has entered the rankings of the wealthiest at new heights following his 2023 Got Back Tour, the increase in the value of his back catalogue and Beyonce covering his band’s song Blackbird on her latest album Cowboy Carter.

Last year, the two Beatles compilation albums – 1962-1966, The Red Album, and 1967-1970, The Blue Album – were re-released featuring 21 newly added tracks.

A new song by the Liverpool-formed band, Now And Then, was put out in 2023 as the final Beatles track.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore world premiere
JK Rowling (Ian West/PA)

It reached number one in the UK charts, and was written and sung by John Lennon in the late 1970s and later developed by the other band members – including George Harrison.

The song was finished by the remaining Beatles Sir Paul and Sir Ringo Starr decades after the original recording thanks to audio restoration technology.

Sir Paul’s wealth has risen by £50 million to hit the £1 billion figure, and claimed the musician top spot in 2022 – when his fortune was put at £865 million.

Also making the rich list was Harry Potter series author JK Rowling, who has an estimated wealth of £945 million and also wrote the Cormoran Strike series under the name of Robert Galbraith.

The 58-year-old Scotland-based writer, who penned the Fantastic Beasts screenplays and co-wrote the West End play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, also made the Sunday Times’ top 30 giving list

Placed in the 22nd spot, the newspaper revealed she had donated £17.9 million to causes relating to children and women in the past 12 months.

Rowling has set up social deprivation trusts Volant and Lumos, which work to transform the lives of institutionalised children – along with beginning a women-only service, for those who have experienced sexual violence or abuse, called Beira’s Place in Edinburgh in December 2022.

Elton John – Farewell Yellow Brick Road show – Stockholm
Sir Elton John performs on stage during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road show. (Yui Mok/PA)

Sir Elton John, whose fortune has been estimated at £470 million, has donated £26.6 million over a one-year period to a variety of causes including HIV/Aids, medical, humanitarian and the arts.

The musician, who ended his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour last year by playing his last date in Stockholm, Sweden, set up the Elton John Aids Foundation in 1992, and outside of that work has formed the Elton John Charitable Trust, which donates to multiple causes.

He has also previously created the Elton John Sports Fund, and given scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music as well as raised money through work with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Rainforest Foundation, and the Robin Hood Foundation.

Sir Elton came eighth in the rankings of the proportion of wealth given or generated for charity.

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