Ringo Starr was born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940. He’s best known as the drummer for The Beatles and his work in the group is still debated by many. Starr was the last member to join the group, coming in after Pete Best was fired. After the group broke up in 1970, Starr had a surprisingly successful solo career, with hits like “You’re Sixteen,” “Photograph” and “It Don’t Come Easy.” However, that period of success was brief and mostly over by 1975. During the late 1980s, he went to rehab to treat his alcoholism. He came out a changed man and in 1989, he launched the first All-Starr Band tour, where he got together with some of his famous friends and toured the world.
Now at 76, Starr has shown no signs of stopping. In 2015, he recorded Postcards from Paradise and is still touring with his current All-Starr Band. He’s also busy promoting “Peace and Love” wherever he goes. Also in 2015, he became the last member of the Beatles to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist.
Starr’s net worth is estimated to be at $350 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. True, that’s nothing compared to Paul McCartney‘s net worth, but it’s still much more than many other musicians’.
Here’s a look at how Starr earned his money and what he does with it.
1. He Has Three Gold Singles, a Gold Album & Platinum Album
Starr’s early solo success came as a complete surprise. He’s only credited with writing two songs (and co-writing one) while with The Beatles, but had three consecutive solo singles become smash hits from 1970 to 1973. “It Don’t Come Easy” and “Back Off Boogaloo” were both written by Starr, while he wrote “Photograph” with fellow former Beatle George Harrison. He also had a big hit with “You’re Sixteen,” a song written by Robert & Richard Sherman. Other early hits for Ringo included “Oh My My, “No No Song” and “(It’s All Down To) Goodnight Vienna.”
“You’re Sixteen,” “Photograph” and “It Don’t Come Easy” have all been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, meaning that they each sold at least 500,000 copies.
Starr’s 1973 album Ringo (which is really his third solo album, following Sentimental Journey and Beaucoups of Blues) is certified Platinum (1 million copies sold). The 1974 album Goodnight Vienna is also certified Gold.
2. He Has the Most Extensive Acting Career of all Beatles Members
In the late 1960s, Starr broke into acting outside of The Beatles’ movies. He made his non-Beatles movie debut in 1968’s Candy and was in The Magic Christian a year later with Peter Sellers.
Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Starr had a very active acting career, appearing in That’ll Be The Day, Lisztomania, Mae West’s infamous Sextette and Caveman. He also appeared in Give My Regards to Broad Street with McCartney in 1984. His most recent appearance in a film was a cameo in 2012’s Saint Street.
“I haven’t really given it up,” Starr told Tom Petty in an interview for Interview Magazine when asked about acting. “I’m just refocusing on being a drummer again. Back to the dream, you know, of when I was 13.”
Starr is also an Oscar winner. Every member of the Beatles won Best Original Song Score for Let It Be in 1971.
3. For a Generation of Children, Starr is the Narrator of ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’
Beginning in 1984, Starr started narrating the British TV series Thomas & Friends, the famous series starring Thomas The Tank Engine, introducing his unique voice to a new generation of children. He has periodically returned to the franchise, even narrating Thomas & Friends: 1st Class Stories in 2015. The series is based on books by the Reverend W. Awdry.
In 1989, a new Thomas series, Shining Time Station launched on PBS. The series brought on two child voice actors, Jason Woliner and Nicole Leach.
“Now, Ringo is not just a big celebrity to the older generation; he’s a big celebrity to me and kids of my generation, too,” Woliner told the Christian Science Monitor in 1989, when he was just 8 years old.
When Eddie Redmayne joined the franchise in 2015 for the direct-to-video movie Thomas & Friends: Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure, he fondly remembered Starr’s performance on the show in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“For me, it’s Ringo Starr — that was the old school Thomas the Tank Engine,” Redmayne said. “It’s woven into our upbringing and it’s got such a unique heritage that it felt like a fun thing to be a part of.”
4. He Sold His Monte Carlo Apartment & Lives in Beverly Hills
Starr has left his native England far behind. He also recently listed his other homes, so he lives in Los Angeles when not touring. In 2005, he moved to Mont Carlo to avoid tax laws. However, a 2015 San Francisco Chronicle profile noted that he and wife Barbara Bach moved out of their apartment there.
In September 2014, the Los Angeles Times reported that Starr listed a Snowmass, Colorado horse ranch – dubbed Shoot N’Starr Ranch – for $3.85 million. Starr and Bach, who starred in the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me, also put their Surrey, England estate up for sale for at least $23.5 million.
Starr and Bach have lived in their Beverly Hills home since 1997, reports Rolling Stone. The couple have been married since 1981. Starr was previously married to the late Maureen Cox from 1965 to 1975.
5. Starr Auctioned off His Famous Beatles Drum Kit for $2.2 Million
in December 2015, Starr and Bach teamed up with Julien’s Auctions for a record-breaking sale that raised an astonishing $10 million for The Lotus Foundation. The couple founded the charity to focus on family and child welfare around the world.
The star of the auction was Starr’s first Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit, which he used during the Beatles’ recording sessions in 1963 and 1964. The kit sold for $2.2 million and is now owned by Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Ersay.
Starr’s copy of The Beatles (also known as The White Album), with the serial number 1, sold for $790,000. It broke a record for an auction price for a record, passing an Elvis Presley acetate that sold for $310,000.
Another high-priced item was a Rickenbacker guitar John Lennon gave Starr, which sold for $910,000.