Unveiling Ringo Starr's Legendary Beatles Royalties


Ruben G. Vasquez

Beatles Historian


Ringo Starr

The Beatles revolutionized popular music in the 1960s and continue to captivate audiences to this day. However, a question often arises: Does Ringo Starr, the band’s drummer, receive royalties for Beatles songs? We will explore the complexities of music royalties and explore Ringo Starr’s financial involvement in the Beatles’ musical legacy.

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The Role Of Royalties

To understand whether Ringo Starr receives royalties for Beatles songs, it is essential to comprehend what royalties entail. Royalties are payments made to creators for the use of their intellectual property, such as songs, films, or books. In the context of music, royalties are typically generated through various channels, including radio airplay, streaming services, record sales, and licensing for commercials, films, or cover versions.

The Beatles’ albums consistently rank among the best-selling records of all time, ensuring a steady stream of royalties for each member, including Ringo Starr. The enduring popularity of albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Abbey Road” means that royalties from physical sales and digital streaming platforms continue to flow in. As technology has advanced, so too has the accessibility of The Beatles’ music, leading to a surge in streaming revenue that contributes to Starr’s ongoing financial success.

Songwriting Credits in the Beatles

One crucial aspect to consider is the songwriting credits within the Beatles. The majority of Beatles songs were credited to Lennon-McCartney, signifying the collaborative songwriting efforts of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Ringo Starr’s contributions to the songwriting process were comparatively limited, although he did occasionally co-write songs with Lennon and McCartney, such as “Octopus’s Garden.” As a result, the division of songwriting royalties primarily revolves around Lennon and McCartney.

Performance and Mechanical Royalties

While Ringo Starr’s involvement in the songwriting process may affect his eligibility for songwriting royalties, he is entitled to receive performance and mechanical royalties. Performance royalties are paid to artists whenever their songs are performed or played in public, such as on the radio or during live performances. Mechanical royalties, on the other hand, are generated through the sale or streaming of recorded music. As the drummer of the Beatles, Ringo Starr receives his share of these royalties based on his contributions as a performer.

The Beatles' Business Arrangements

The Beatles’ financial affairs were managed through various business entities, most notably Apple Corps Ltd. and Northern Songs. Apple Corps, founded by the band in 1968, serves as the Beatles’ multimedia corporation, overseeing their recorded music, films, and other ventures. Northern Songs, a music publishing company, was initially established to handle the Beatles’ song copyrights. While the ownership and distribution of royalties have undergone complex negotiations and changes over the years, these entities play a crucial role in ensuring that the Beatles’ members, including Ringo Starr, receive their fair share of royalties.

Ringo’s Solo Career

Apart from his contributions to the Beatles’ discography, Ringo Starr has enjoyed a successful solo career and has released numerous albums and singles. As a solo artist, he would receive royalties for his own compositions and recordings. It is important to note that while his solo work may generate substantial income, the Beatles’ songs continue to be a significant source of royalties for all members, including Ringo Starr.

Beyond music sales and royalties, The Beatles’ brand has been successfully licensed for various merchandise, further bolstering Ringo Starr’s earnings. From t-shirts and posters to lunchboxes and even LEGO sets, the band’s cultural impact has translated into a vast array of lucrative licensing opportunities. Ringo Starr, alongside his fellow band members, benefits from these ventures, as the enduring popularity of The Beatles ensures a steady demand for Beatles-themed merchandise.

Royalties Paid to Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr (birth name: Richard Starkey) has earned royalty income from his work with The Beatles over the years. This includes his share of the royalties from the band’s album sales, streaming revenue, and licensing fees. In addition to his work with The Beatles, he continues to tour and record music, and is considered a legend in the music industry. The exact amount of royalty income that Ringo Starr has earned from The Beatles is not publicly disclosed, but it is estimated to be in the millions of dollars annually.

Replacement Drummer

Ringo joined the Beatles in 1962 as a replacement for their previous drummer, Pete Best. He played on most of the band’s albums and was known for his steady and innovative drumming style. After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Ringo embarked on a successful solo career, releasing numerous albums and collaborating with other musicians. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 2015. 

From the early days in Liverpool to the heights of Beatlemania and their groundbreaking albums like “Please Please Me” and the “White Album,” Ringo Starr, along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, crafted timeless songs that have become an essential part of music history. Despite their individual talents, it was the synergy between the band members that truly made The Beatles extraordinary.

Ringo’s Style

Ringo Starr’s distinctive drumming style, characterized by its rhythmic precision and solid foundation, provided the backbone for many of The Beatles’ biggest hits. His contributions can be heard in classic songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “Eight Days a Week.” Ringo’s drumming served as the driving force behind the band’s infectious melodies and energetic performances.

As the Beatles rose to international fame, their popularity soared to unprecedented heights. The band’s appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and their historic Shea Stadium concert showcased their immense appeal. Ringo Starr, alongside his bandmates, captured the hearts of millions and ushered in the era of Beatlemania.

After their final January 1969 performance on the rooftop of Apple Records,  later that year, John Lennon privately decided to part ways. Ringo Starr, like the rest of the band, pursued individual projects, but their time together would forever be cherished. Despite their separation, the bond of love and friendship remained strong among the members.


Over the years, Ringo Starr continued to contribute to the music scene, releasing solo albums and collaborating with other renowned artists. His distinctive voice from an old demo of John Lennon’s “Life with the Beatles” resonated with fans, reminding them of the magical times they shared.

Ringo’s royalties from The Beatles’ extensive back catalog and his own successful solo career provided him with financial stability and allowed him to pursue his passions. Beyond music, Ringo Starr embraced philanthropy and advocated for peace and love, embodying the spirit of the ’60s counterculture.

Today, nearly 50 years after the band split, The Beatles’ music remains as popular as ever. Their contributions to the world of music continue to inspire new generations, and their status as one of the greatest bands of all time remains unchallenged.

Music History

Ringo Starr’s journey with The Beatles was a remarkable chapter in music history. From their early days in Liverpool to the grandeur of Abbey Road Studios, Ringo’s drumming and camaraderie with his bandmates helped create a sound that defined an era. His collaboration with Paul McCartney and the other members resulted in numerous number-one singles and marked the end of an era that left an indelible mark on the music industry.

As we look back on their legacy, we celebrate the lasting impact of The Beatles and the influential role that Ringo Starr played in their success. His unique style and contributions as a drummer continue to resonate with fans worldwide. Ringo Starr’s Royalties with The Beatles is a testament to the incredible talent, dedication, and friendship that defined this iconic band.

The Beatles, a band that needs no introduction, revolutionized the music industry and left an indelible mark on popular culture. Among the Fab Four, Ringo Starr, often overshadowed by the iconic John Lennon and Paul McCartney, played a crucial role in driving the band’s success. Beyond his rhythmic prowess, Starr’s journey as a member of the Beatles has also brought him substantial royalties throughout the years.

While Lennon and McCartney were the primary songwriters, Starr’s drumming provided the backbone of the band’s sound. His unique style and impeccable timing complemented the group’s innovative compositions, contributing to the Beatles’ distinctive sound.

The Impact of Ringo Starr's Contributions

Starr’s presence in the Beatles’ discography is evident in numerous timeless classics. From the energetic beats of “I Saw Her Standing There” to the melancholic introspection of “In My Life,” his drumming elevated the band’s songs to new heights. Notable tracks like “Strawberry Fields Forever” showcased Starr’s versatility and ability to adapt to various musical styles.

Behind the scenes, Ringo Starr’s role extended beyond his instrumental talents. He contributed to the band’s camaraderie, often serving as the mediator during internal conflicts. When tensions arose, Starr’s jovial personality helped maintain the Beatles’ harmony, ensuring their creative endeavors remained intact.

Ringo's Royalties: A Reward for a Legendary Partnership

Ringo Starr’s Beatles royalties are a testament to the enduring popularity and commercial success of the band’s music. The Beatles’ catalog continues to generate substantial revenue, with their songs regularly featured in films, advertisements, and cultural events.

The business acumen of the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, and their label, Parlophone (later acquired by EMI), played a significant role in securing favorable royalty deals for the band members.

Beyond the Beatles: Ringo Starr's Post-Beatles Career

After the Beatles disbanded in 1970, Ringo Starr released multiple albums and enjoyed moderate success as a solo artist. Collaborations with his former bandmates, particularly Paul McCartney, yielded memorable hits like “Photograph” and “It Don’t Come Easy.” Starr’s solo endeavors, while not reaching the same heights as the Beatles, allowed him to continue earning royalties from his musical ventures.

In recent years, Ringo Starr has embarked on tours, showcasing his talent and entertaining audiences with a blend of Beatles classics and his solo material. These performances not only provide an opportunity for fans to relive the magic of the past but also generate additional revenue for Starr.

Author's Summation

Ringo Starr’s Beatles royalties serve as a reminder of the band’s impact and enduring popularity. Their music continues to resonate with new generations, transcending time and remaining relevant in today’s musical landscape.

As the years go by, the Beatles’ legacy remains unparalleled. The contributions of Ringo Starr, along with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, have shaped the world of music and inspired countless artists. Their influence can be heard in genres ranging from rock to R&B, showcasing the breadth of their innovation and creativity.

Ringo Starr’s journey as a member of the Beatles has not only left an indelible mark on music history but has also provided him with a steady stream of royalties. Beyond his role as the band’s drummer, Starr’s contributions as a performer, collaborator, and driving force have earned him his rightful share of the Beatles’ success. As fans, we continue to cherish the timeless music created by the Beatles, ensuring that Ringo Starr’s royalties are a testament to their everlasting impact.

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