HE is one quarter of one of the most famous rock bands on the planet.

Coldplay have clocked up nearly 17 million album sales and been awarded four Grammies and four Brit awards.

And as a result, drummer Will Champion and his fellow bandmates are among the UK's richest musicians under 30.

The group are thought to be worth about £30m each, according to the Sunday Times Rich List, with their individual wealth having grown by £5m over the past year.

Avid Saints fan Champion, who was born in the city and whose father works at Southampton University as a professor of archaeology, has amassed his fortune over the seven years since the release of the band's first full-length album.

Before joining Coldplay, Champion, who was a student at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, performed in a local band called Fat Hamster.

Coldplay formed in 1996 after he met Chris Martin, Jon Buckland and Guy Berryman, at the same University College London halls of residence.

Champion, who studied anthropology, only started to learn the drums when he joined the band before that his main instrument was guitar.

The band's breakthrough single Yellow went straight into the charts at number four in the summer of 2000.

Their third and most recent album X & Y took a marathon 18 months' work before they were happy to release it.

The band say their many musical influences include Kate Bush, David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd and Depeche Mode.

Champion was the first Coldplay member to wed, marrying teacher Marianne Dark, in 2003.

Their first child, a girl called Ava, was born in April last year.

Name: Will Champion Occupation: Musician Date of Birth: July 31, 1978 local link: Southampton born and bred