From early days in skiffle bands to being a member of one of the most influential rock outfits of all time, Ringo Starr has amassed a career that has spanned over 60 years. CelebrityNetwork.com counts Starr as one of the wealthiest drummers in the world, projecting his net worth to be $350 million.
On top of millions of records sold worldwide, Starr has wealth invested in properties around London, Los Angeles, and Monte Carlo. In 1971, Starr purchased Tittenhurst Park, John Lennon’s home in Sunninghill in Berkshire, for him and his family. Later the drummer sold the estate in 1988 for $5 million to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi.
Becoming a Beatle
Hailing from Liverpool, England, Ringo Star was born as Richard Starkey in July of 1940. Frequently ill, he spent a year in the hospital with complications from a burst appendix when he was just six years old. He spent a further two years in a sanatorium for pleurisy at the age of 13. During his latter stay, a health care worker introduced Starkey to the drums, and the rest is history.
He first became the drummer for two separate skiffle bands, most notably Rory Storm and the Hurricanes—where he adopted his stage name, Ringo Starr. During a 1960 concert in Hamburg, West Germany, Starr became acquainted with The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best).
In 1962, Starr replaced Best as the drummer for the Beatles. He underpinned the band with a straightforward steady beat and won over fans with his trademark humor. He also took the lead on a handful of songs including “Boys” on Please Please Me, “Honey Don’t” on Beatles ’65, “Act Naturally” on Help!” and “With a Little Help from My Friends” on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
In the late ’60s, Starr started songwriting for the group contributing “Octopus’s Garden” for Abbey Road in 1969.
Before the famed outfit’s breakup in 1970, The Beatles became the best-selling music act of all time with estimated sales of 500 million units worldwide.
They hold the record for most No.1 albums on the UK Albums Chart, Most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, and most singles sold in the UK. Together they share seven Grammy awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award, and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, with each member being inducted individually between 1994 and 2015.
Starr’s Solo Career
Though The Beatles officially broke up in 1970, all four members began launching their own solo ventures a few years earlier. Starr took several satirical film roles, including The Magic Christian (1969), putting his comedy chops to good use.
His first two solo albums, Sentimental Journey and Beaucoups of Blues were both released in 1970. The first consisted of standards from the 1930s and ’40s while the latter saw a collection of country music. Throughout the ’70s Starr had several hit singles, notably “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Back Off Boogaloo” and “Photograph.” While releasing his solo material, Starr continued to play on records for former bandmates John Lennon and George Harrison.
He formed his first All-Starr Band in 1989 and embarked the following year on a series of tours featuring various incarnations of the All-Starr Band. Starr and his band went on to create Choose Love (2005), Postcards from Paradise (2015), Give More Love (2017) and What’s My Name (2019).
Starr was personally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, receiving the Award for Musical Excellence. Starr received a knighthood from the British Empire in 2018.
Starr’s playing style, which emphasized feel over technical virtuosity, influenced many drummers of the early ’60s to reconsider their playing from a compositional perspective. That influence carries on today in a few techniques, such as matched grip, tuning the drums lowers, and using muffling devices on tonal rings.
His accolades as a drummer have spanned the length of his continuing career. In 1999, he was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame.