Ringo Starr facts: Beatles drummer's age, wife, children, net worth and songs revealed

9 October 2020, 15:26

Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Sir Ringo Starr is one of the world's most famous musicians thanks to his time as a drummer with The Beatles in the 1960s.

Since then, Ringo has released 20 solo albums and remains as busy as ever after turning 80 in 2020.

But what is Ringo Starr's real name, who is his wife and how did he get his start in music? Here's your handy guide:

  1. How old is Ringo Starr and what is his real name?

    Ringo Starr in 1973
    Ringo Starr in 1973. Picture: Getty

    Born Richard Starkey, Ringo was born on July 7, 1940. He celebrated his 80th birthday in 2020.

    He was born in Dingle, an inner-city area of Liverpool. He was the only child of confectioners Richard Starkey (1913–1981) and Elsie Gleave (1914–1987).

    Growing up, Starr had several life-threatening illnesses, with various periods of hospitalisations.

    He briefly worked at British Rail, before securing an apprenticeship as a machinist at a Liverpool equipment manufacturer.

  2. How did he get his nickname Ringo Starr and when did he join The Beatles?

    In the late 1950s, Ringo was playing in various skiffle groups, and he adopted the stage name Ringo Starr.

    It came from the rings he wore at the time, and also because it gave him a country and western twang.

    Read more: Ringo Starr says the Beatles were meant to record one more album

    When the Beatles formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool group, called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. After having moderate success in the UK, he quit the Hurricanes when he was asked to join the Beatles in August 1962, replacing Pete Best, and joining up with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

  3. What are Ringo Starr's best known songs?

    Ringo only occassionally sang Beatles songs, but they included some of their best known hits, including 'Yellow Submarine', 'With a Little Help from My Friends' and 'Octopus's Garden', the latter of which he also wrote.

    After the band's break-up in 1970, he released several successful solo hits, including 'It Don't Come Easy', 'Photograph' and 'You're Sixteen'.

    His biggest UK hit was the number two single 'Back Off Boogaloo'.

  4. Who is Ringo Starr's wife and does he have children?

    Ringo and Maureen
    Ringo and Maureen. Picture: Getty

    Ringo Starr first married Maureen Cox in 1965. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was best man and George Harrison was a witness.

    The couple had three children: sons Zak (born 1965), and Jason (born 1967) and daughter Lee (born 1970).

    The couple divorced in 1975 due to Starr's repeated infidelities. He later admitted to being "a drunk, a wife-beater and an absent father". Maureen died from leukaemia in 1994, aged 48.

    Starr then met actress Barbara Bach in 1980 on the set of the film Caveman, and they married in 1981.

    Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in 2016
    Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in 2016. Picture: Getty

    In 1985, he was the first of the Beatles to become a grandfather after the birth of Zak's daughter Tatia Starkey. Zak is also a drummer and has performed with his father during some All-Starr Band tours.

    Starr has eight grandchildren in total: one from Zak, four from Jason, and three from Lee. In 2016, he was the first Beatle to become a great-grandfather.

    Starr and Bach are still together, and split their time between their homes in Los Angeles and Monte Carlo.

    Zak, Lee and Jason Starkey in 1989
    Zak, Lee and Jason Starkey in 1989. Picture: Getty
  5. What is Ringo Starr's net worth?

    Ringo was listed at number 56 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, with an estimated personal wealth of £150 million.

    In 2012, he was estimated to be the richest drummer in the world.