Thursday, April 23, 2009

Music giants' 'fortunes dwindle'

The wealth of most of Britain's top music millionaires has fallen by at least 10%, according to the Sunday Times' annual rich list.

Singer Sir Elton John, for example, has seen his wealth drop 26%, from £235m in 2008 to £175m in 2009.

Sir Paul McCartney is worth £440m, down from £500m, while pop mogul Simon Fuller has £300m, after losing £150m.

Elsewhere the combined wealth of Cheryl and Ashley Cole sees them rated fourth in a list of young music millionaires.

Welsh pop star Duffy has also joined the wealthy young elite, her £4m fortune seeing her rated joint 16th in the rundown.

Katie Melua and Amy Winehouse fare less well, however, their respective wealths down 44% and 50% on last year's estimates.

Plummeting value

Former record label boss Clive Calder remains top of the Sunday Times' main music list, his £1.3bn fortune putting him comfortably ahead of nearest rival Lord Lloyd-Webber.

Sir Paul comes third, with fourth place held by theatrical impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose estimated wealth of £350m marks a 22% fall on last year's valuation.

The plummeting value of property investments and share portfolios is the main reason for stars faring so poorly.

Ian Coxon, who edited the list, said stars like former Take That member Robbie Williams, who relied on investments for their wealth, had been hardest hit.

"Robbie Williams is run as a business, and there has been a profit fall in 2007, so that's had a knock-on effect," he said of the singer, who has lost £25m over the year according to the list.

"He's never quite fulfilled the promise that he had a few years ago," Mr Coxon added.

But it is not all bad news. Pop mogul turned TV talent show judge Simon Cowell continues to prosper, his estimated wealth of £120m representing a 7% increase on last year.

Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer has also seen her stock rise, the huge success of her Abba film musical swelling her bank balance by 29%, to £79m.