The top 10 world’s richest musicians in the world all have something in common – the time they are all time-served at the top of their profession.
Every performer who has made the top 10 makes hundreds of millions of pounds every year- while the top three have amassed fortunes of more than £1 billion.
These old stagers are all household names finding ever profitable ways to increase their wealth while younger artists have to bide their time to build their fortunes.
Some notable names are missing – Chris Martin, of middle-of-the-road rockers Coldplay; the lascivious Lady Gaga and the sensational Beyonce.
However, one or two unexpected names do make the grade.
Despite the hundreds of thousands of musicians performing every day, few go on to rake in the big bucks and even fewer climb to the top of the pile.
So, read on to find out who is the world’s richest musicians in reverse order.
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Rihanna famously said she never thought she would make as much money she has in the bank, but lots of noughts after a number won’t stop her from working.
Her fortune is estimated at £468 million and sets the bar for the other top 10 contenders.
Still hungry for success, Jamaica-born Rihanna –real name Robyn Fenty – is America’s wealthiest female artist. Still, most of her money comes from selling make-up and beauty products rather than performing.
Rihanna, 33, from Barbados, has gone three years without releasing new material or performing on stage.
Her Fenty Beauty line generates more than $500 million a year, while she has launched into fashion with luxury clothing and spirits brand Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesey.
Love him or hate him, Irish rocker Bono formed the Irish band U2. Better known as Bono, Paul Hewson, 62, has penned a string of hits that have grossed him a £508 million fortune.
Bono is an artist who harnesses his celebrity and fortune as an influencer and political activist.
In 2014, Bono bucked the trend by allowing Apple to offer the album Songs of Innocence for free on the firm’s iTunes website.
Bono has financial interests outside music. He invests in property and real estate and sits on the private equity firm Elevation Partners board. Bono is also rumoured to be a significant investor in FaceBook.
Outside of business, Bono is married with four children. In addition, he donates large sums to charity.
8. Celine Dion
Celine Dion is Canada’s evergreen top-selling and wealthiest musician who has spent years at the top of the charts to accrue a £581 million fortune.
Dion is probably best known for winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland while aged 20 and the haunting My Heart Will Go On, the love theme from the blockbusting movie Titanic.
For a decade from 2000 onwards, she was the biggest earning music star in the world.
Besides music, Dion has dabbled in the restaurant and nightclub trade, owning eateries with tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graff.
Born in 1968, Dion is married with three children. Her husband, Rene Angelil, died in 2016.
7. Dr Dre
Historians and fans laud Dr Dre as one of the most influential performers in the short history of hip hop.
As a rapper, actor, producer and entrepreneur, he has raked in wealth of £600 million – but although his music set new standards, much of Dr Dre’s money comes from an outside business venture.
Dre is one of the key men behind the launch of Beats headphones in 2008 – sold to Apple six years later for $3 billion.
That’s not to say his body of work blazed the way for a generation of other legendary hop hop performers. His album The Chronics praised as one of the best hip hop albums of all time
6. Herb Alpert
Herb Alpert had a glittering career as the trumpet playing the leader of his band Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass – perhaps the biggest hit in the Sixties was the song This Guy’s In Love With You.
The band prospered, playing a jazz fusion blend heavily based around a Latin American brass sound.
However, most of Alpert’s wealth comes from the sale of iconic A&M Records. He founded the label in 1962 with Jerry Moss and signed stars like The Carpenters, Liza Minelli and Janet Jackson. More prominent label PolyGram bought the company in 1987 for a reported $500 million, which was topped up by another $200 million from a lawsuit against PolyGram in 1998.
Alpert was born in Los Angeles in 1935.
Known as the Queen of Pop – and Madge by the British – Madonna has adapted to survive and astonish as a major artist.
She has reinvented herself time after time to stand at the cutting edge of pop and dance music.
Although her music career has been outstanding, she courted controversy with risqué song lyrics and skimpy costumes, often leaving little to the imagination.
Born in 1958, Madonna spent her early years performing with bands, mainly in New York. Her breakthrough came with the single ‘Like A Virgin’.
Madonna has flirted with movies but followed her main career is as a singer and dancer. Since 1979, she has sold millions of albums and singles, ending up breaking sales records as the best selling female artist of all time.
Throughout her career, Madonna has amassed a wealth of £620 million.
P-Diddy is another unsung hero of hip hop who has a high profile but is omitted from most people’s top 10 rich list.
P-Diddy – born Sean Combs – is one of the richest musicians in the world after a lifetime as a rapper, actor and fashion designer. He has managed to stash more than £625 million in the bank.
P Diddy hit hip hop with a bang – his first album No Way Out included the single I’ll Be Missing You, the first hip hop single to top the charts in the USA before turning seven times platinum.
Besides fashion design, P Diddy has several business interests outside music. He owned two restaurants, helped develop the Ciroc vodka brand, and has a men’s perfume. I Am King.
3. Jay Z
Jay Z is the first of music’s top three billionaires and youngest of the trio at 51 years old.
Not just an outstanding musician, Jay Z is also the first hip hop artist to break the billion-dollar earnings ceiling (£725 million).
Jay Z is married to singer Beyonce and dabbles with other business interests outside music, including liquor, clothing, real estate, sports and record labels. The rapper also has a music streaming service called Tidal.
Jay Z is associated with dozens of chart-topping acts through his labels, including Murder Inc, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Rihanna, and P Diddy.
2. Andrew Llyod Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber is a famous name in musicals in London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.
The list of hit stage shows is almost endless – Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Starlight Express, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar, to name a few that delight audiences worldwide.
As a writer, producer and impresario, Loydd Webber has built a fortune of $1.2 billion (£875 million).
The Phantom is Broadway’s longest-running show ever, racking up more than 10,000 performances from a seemingly insatiable public.
Aged 73, Webber lives just a stone’s throw from London’s Theatre Land in Kensington.
1. Paul McCartney
At last, the top of the tree and the world’s richest musician – billionaire Sir Paul McCartney.
Vying for top place with a similar fortune (3875 million) to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Paul McCartney’s story is well-known. Born in Liverpool in 1942, he and John Lennon met as teenagers to form The Quarrymen. That group eventually become the Beatles – and the rest is history.
Lennon and McCartney were the brains behind a musical revolution in the Sixties that gave the world songs like Let It Be, Hey Jude, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane and All You Need Is Love.
McCartney went on to form Wings and then a solo career after the Beatles imploded in the late Sixties.
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