• UK’s Richest Rock Stars

    It should come as no tremendous surprise, given his legendary business smarts, but Paul McCartney has been named the U.K.’s wealthiest musician by the British magazine, Business Age. The magazine estimated the ex-Beatle’s personal fortune to be $750 million dollars. The figure includes his album sales, royalties, investments and property holdings. It would be about $100 million higher if not for his divorce to Heather Mills.

    McCartney’s nearest rival is Elton John, who falls behind him by about $250 million, with a fortune estimated by Business Age at $500 million.  Rated at No. 3 and No. 4 are Rolling Stones Mick Jagger ($225 million) and Keith Richards ($220 million), respectively. Tied for fifth are Las Vegas stalwarts Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck ($149 million each).

    David Bowie is ranked at No. 7, with a fortune estimated at $145 million. In 1997, Business Age rated Bowie the world’s richest musician, due to the hoopla at the time regarding his “Bowie bonds.” In the new report, Business Age editor Chris Butt claimed those 1997 figures were “inflated,” and that “Bowie’s Internet ventures, such as Bowienet and Bowiebanc.com, have failed to deliver,” accounting for his diminished rating.

    Sting, Phil Collins, and George Harrison round out the top 10 at No. 8, No. 9, and No. 10, respectively.

    Since the demise of the Beatles, McCartney has proved to be as shrewd a businessman as he is a talented songwriter. Although Michael Jackson‘s estate continues to own Northern Songs, the publishing company that supervises the Beatles catalog, McCartney has profited massively from investments in music publishing, controlling the copyrights to such Broadway hits as Grease and Hello Dolly!, as well as the catalog of the songs of Buddy Holly and standards like “Autumn Leaves.”

    Here are the 40 richest British rock stars according to net worth, estimated by Business Age:

    1. Paul McCartney, $750 million

    2. Elton John, $500 million

    3. Mick Jagger, $225 million

    4. Keith Richards, $220 million

    5. Tom Jones, $149 million

    5 &6. (tie). Engelbert Humperdinck, $149 million

    7. David Bowie, $145 million

    8. Sting, $143 million

    9. (tie). Phil Collins, $143 million

    10. George Harrison, $128 million

    11. Ringo Starr, $111 million

    12. Eric Clapton, $108 million

    13. U2, $105 million each

    14. (tie). George Michael, $105 million

    15. Rod Stewart, $101 million

    16. Charlie Watts (Rolling Stones), $96 million

    17. Cliff Richard, $89 million

    18. David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), $86 million

    19. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), $85 million each

    20. Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones), $82 million

    21. (tie). Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), $82 million

    22. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), $74 million

    23. John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor (Queen), $67 million each

    24. Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), $64 million

    25. Rick Wright (Pink Floyd), $61 million

    26. Jim Kerr (Simple Minds), $60 million

    27. Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), $57 million

    28. Van Morrison, $52 million

    29. The Bee Gees, $49 million each

    30. Chris de Burgh, $45 million

    31. Victoria Beckham (Spice Girls), $37 million

    32. Noel Gallagher (Oasis), $36 million

    33. Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), $34 million

    34. Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown (Spice Girls), $33 million each

    35. Emma Bunton (Spice Girls), $31 million

    36. Liam Gallagher (Oasis), $28 million

    37. Geri Halliwell (ex-Spice Girl), $25 million

    38. Annie Lennox (Eurythmics), $22 million

    39. Fatboy Slim, $21 million

    40. Robbie Williams, $16 million

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