2016: No.49 - £70m
2015: No.49 - £60m
Birmingham-born Jeff Lynne has released a well-received album of new songs, made some acclaimed TV appearances and sold out his 2016 tour – and this modest rocker still seems surprised that people want to listen to his music, which provided the soundtrack to the 1970s and 1980s.
Jeff Lynne is not just one of the most prolific music performers and producers of the last 40 years, he is also recognised by his peers as being one of the most self-effacing. No wonder he’s in demand.
He was genuinely over-awed by the ecstatic response to his 2014 comeback concert, headlining at the Radio 2 concert in Hyde Park. It was the success of this gig that laid the foundations for his forthcoming tour.
The legendary Electric Light Orchestra front-man was born in Shard End in 1947, going to the local Alderlea Boys’ Secondary School. As a schoolboy he went to see a Del Shannon concert at Birmingham Town Hall and from that moment on was hooked on playing pop music.
In 1963 he formed a group called the The Rockin’ Hellcats. The name was changed to The Andicaps (via The Handicaps which they deemed politically incorrect even in the 1960s) and rehearsed regularly at Shard End Community Centre. The band played at the Regal cinema in Handsworth between Saturday matinee screenings.
In 1964 he joined the The Chads, and then The Nightriders who changed their name to The Idle Race and enjoyed some cult popularity.
In 1970 he joined The Move with fellow Midland rockers Roy Wood and Bev Bevan, and they went on to form The Electric Light Orchestra. Roy Wood left in 1972 leaving Jeff Lynne as the band’s creative force.
ELO became a global success through the 1970s, known for their unique sound of memorable songs laced with studio strings, complex production and layered vocals. Their concerts were huge productions featuring spaceship sets and laser shows .
Since ELO Jeff Lynne has become one of the most respected producers in rock music and has worked with the greats of music, including Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, Brian Wilson, Bryan Adams and Ringo Starr. He had more musical success with the Travelling Wilburys. More recently he worked with Take That on their 2014 album.
He has two daughters by his second marriage to Sandi Kapela. In 1995 he sold his 15th century grade II listed Walsh Hall near Meriden to UB40’s Robin Campbell. He now lives in Beverley Hills, California.