Sunday Times Rich List 2018: Ed Sheeran climbs rankings after making more money than any other UK star this year

Martin Coulter

Ed Sheeran’s wealth has risen by more than any other British musician this year after enjoying record-breaking chart success, the Sunday Times Rich List 2018 has revealed.

The Shape of You singer is now the UK’s second wealthiest musician under the age of 30, with his estimated wealth rising by £28m to £80m.

His ÷ (Divide) album was the UK’s biggest selling record of 2017 and featured more top 10 singles than any other album in UK chart history.

He came in 35th in the overall list, which is topped by Sir Paul McCartney. The former Beatle's £820m worth, shared with trucking heiress wife Nancy Shevell, makes him the richest musician in the history of the Sunday Times Rich List.

Sir Paul topped the overall list (Getty Images)
Sir Paul topped the overall list (Getty Images)

Composer Lord Lloyd-Webber is the second richest musician in the UK, with £740 million, followed by U2, up £21 million to £569 million.

UK's richest musicians

1. Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevel £820 million

2. Lord Lloyd-Webber £740 million

3. U2 £569 million

4. Sir Elton John £300 million

5. Sir Mick Jagger £260 million

6. Keith Richards £245 million

7. Olivia and Dhani Harrison £230 million

8. Sir Ringo Starr £220 million

9. Michael Flatley £202 million

10. Sting £190 million

Sir Elton John, who recently announced a three-year tour, is in fourth place with £300 million.

The Rolling Stones are up a collective £40 million, while Robbie Williams also enjoyed a big boost from touring, contributing to a £15 million rise in his net wealth to a total £165 million.

Meanwhile, Adele kept her spot at the top of the under-30 list despite not releasing an album since 2015, with her wealth estimated at £140.

Zayn Malik is the only member or ex-member of One Direction not to have increased their wealth in the past year - although he is still worth an eye-watering £35 million.

Adele was among musicians paid a record £605m in royalties this year (PA Wire/PA Images)
Adele was among musicians paid a record £605m in royalties this year (PA Wire/PA Images)

Malik did not tour after leaving the boyband due to anxiety.

Harry Styles is up £10 million to £50 million, Niall Horan up £6 million to £46 million, and Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson are both up £2 million to £42 million.

Female artists have seen the biggest gains in the youth list.

UK's richest musicians under 30

1. Adele £140m

2. Ed Sheeran £80m

3. Harry Styles - £50m

4. Niall Horan - £46m

5= Liam Payne - £42m

5= Louis Tomlinson - £42m

7. Little Mix - £40m

8. Zayn Malik - £35m

9. Sam Smith - £24m

10. Jessie J - £18m

Little Mix increased their wealth to £40 million, partly thanks to the girl band's album Glory Days.

Robert Watts, compiler of The Sunday Times Rich List, said younger musicians would soon eclipse the veterans, despite not having been on the music scene for long.

"For years our music millionaires list has been dominated by older acts, such as the Rolling Stones and Sir Elton John, who have older audiences able to pay a premium to see their favourite acts," he said.

"But some of the biggest risers over the past year have been amongst younger acts such as Ed Sheeran, Adele and Calvin Harris.

"Streaming services, the internet and income from endorsements are helping today's young musicians build an international following - and with it their fortunes - far quicker than the older rockers.

"We think it won't be long before some of these relative newcomers will surpass the wealth racked up by rock legends who in some cases have been on stage for nearly half a century."

Sheeran is worth today what Sir Paul McCartney was worth in the very first Rich List published in 1989. Since then, McCartney has seen his wealth rise by 925 per cent.

Sir Elton is the only other musician featured in the current list who was also featured in the original '89 list - then valued at £40m.

The top 40 have an accumulated wealth of more than £7bn and not one among them has seen their wealth decrease since last year.