Paul McCartney Owns The Back Catalog Of This Rock Icon

Paul McCartney is possibly the wealthiest rock star in the world, with an estimated net worth of about $1.2 billion, according to Parade. There are, of course, many reasons why a former Beatle would be fabulously wealthy, but part of his fortune has been accumulated through his music publishing library: MPL Communications.

McCartney has always had the keenest business sense of the Beatles, which may have kick-started the Beatle breakup. The Wall Street Journal reports that McCartney was rightly suspicious of the band's new financial manager, Allen Klein, and ended up suing the Beatles just to untie himself from Klein.  

McCartney eventually regained publishing rights to much of the Beatles back catalog in 2017, which had previously been owned by Michael Jackson and Sony ATV (via Market Realist). However, McCartney also obtained the back catalogs of a few artists that he looked up to when he was first writing songs alongside John Lennon.

Buddy Holly and Blue Suede Shoes

One of those artists is the iconic rocker Buddy Holly, who influenced early Beatles songs and even the way they dressed, according to Texas Tech Today. "One of the main things about the Beatles is that we started out writing our own material," Paul McCartney said in "The Beatles Anthology" (via Beatles Bible). "People these days take it for granted that you do, but nobody used to then. John and I started to write because of Buddy Holly. It was like, 'Wow! He writes and is a musician.'" The Beatles would go onto cover Holly's song "Words of Love" on their early album "Beatles For Sale."

McCartney bought the international rights to more than 40 of Holly's songs in 1976, according to Medium. Considering that Holly tragically died at the age of 22, this makes up the bulk of his catalog.

Holly is not the only back catalog owned by MPL. In 2003 McCartney bought the rights to 23 of Carl Perkins' songs as well, including hits like "Blue Suede Shoes" (via ABC). McCartney also bought the rights to many of the cover songs the Beatles performed over the years, such as "Twist and Shout," which was written by Bert Berns, according to Parade