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Friday 22 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
# rolling in the dough
Here's how much U2, Paul McCartney and Adele are worth
The Sunday Times Music Rich List is out.

bono Admedia, Inc / SIPA USA/PA Images U2 frontman Bono at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in LA last November Admedia, Inc / SIPA USA/PA Images / SIPA USA/PA Images

SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY has topped the Sunday Times Music Rich List, which will be published at the weekend.

The former Beatle and his wife Nancy Shevell are worth an estimated €918 million, a decrease of €56 million compared to 2016.

McCartney, 74, is still recording music and touring, most recently playing three concerts in Japan last month. His biggest pay cheque in the last 12 months likely came from October’s Desert Trip festival in California where he earned an estimated €9 million.

A deal was also signed in 2015 to allow The Beatles’ 13 albums be sold on streaming services and, as one of the group’s main songwriters, he earns a lot from such sales.

Shevell, 56, is worth €176 million with income from her father’s New England Motor Freight trucking company.

image004 The Sunday Times The top 20 music millionaires in the UK and Ireland The Sunday Times

Note: All values are converted from Sterling at a rate of €1 = 85p. In 2016, the conversion rate was €1 = 78p.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber takes the second spot – he’s worth €871 million, down by €46 million compared to last year.

Lloyd-Webber, 69, is still heavily involved in musical theatre. He has 30 productions running around the world this year and is working with Sir Elton John on an animated film version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

U2 are in third place, with an estimated wealth of €645 million, up by €4 million since 2016.

Some 40 years after the group formed in Dublin, they continue to sell out concerts worldwide. The band’s Joshua Tree tour begins this month and includes 33 concerts in nine countries.

The Sunday Times notes that the band’s royalty income has also been largely tax-free since they moved operations to the Netherlands in 2005. During their career, U2 have sold more than 170 million records worldwide and won 22 Grammy awards, more than any other band on record.

John and Jagger

Musical knights Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger make up the remainder of the top five. They are worth €341 million and €294 million respectively.

The Sunday Times said a dip in the Sterling’s value has impacted British-based musicians and composers.

The newspaper notes that Jagger and fellow Stones Keith Richards (€276 million), Charlie Watts (€153 million) and Ronnie Wood (€76 million) have largely ridden the slide in Sterling thanks to the huge income generated by their 14 live shows in North and South America, with each show netting €8.8 million on average.

Other notable inclusions in this year’s music millionaires list include Robbie Williams, worth €176 million and 16th on the list, and Sir Tom Jones who is worth €188 million and 14th on the list. Ex-lead singer of The Police Gordon Sumner, better known by his stage name Sting, is 10th on the list with a personal fortune of €218 million.

Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley is joint 8th on the list with another former Beatle Ringo Starr – both are worth €235 million.

Adele and Enya 

Adele is the richest musician under 30 years of age. She’s in joint 19th place on the list with Queen rocker Brian May, both are worth €147 million.

Adele, 29, also appears in the main UK Rich List for the first time this year, having first appeared in The Sunday Times Young Rich List in 2011.

adele2 PictureGroup / SIPA USA/PA Images Adele at the Grammys in LA in February PictureGroup / SIPA USA/PA Images / SIPA USA/PA Images

The singer followed her phenomenally successful 2015 album 25 with an ongoing 122 date world tour, taking in around €162 million. Her main company’s financial statements show profits of almost €24 million in 2015 and hold assets of €15 million. In February, Adele won five Grammy Awards, taking her to 15 in total.

Robert Watts, who compiled the rich list, said:

What a year for Adele. Such strong record sales and a busy touring schedule propel her into our main list for the first time. Still in her 20s, if Adele’s career lasts as long as many of the other entries in our list, she has the potential to be the highest-earning British musician of all time.

Enya, with a €117 million fortune, ranks joint 28th on this year’s list. The 55-year-old singer has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide in a career spanning nearly four decades. Her eighth album, Dark Sky Island, was released in late 2015.

The 160-page special edition of The Sunday Times Magazine, published this weekend, will document the wealth of the 1,000 richest individuals and families in the British Isles. The Irish edition of the Rich List was published on 5 March.

The list is based on identifiable wealth, including land, property, assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies.

It excludes bank accounts, to which the newspaper has no access. The Young Rich List will detail the 50 individuals aged 30 or under with the biggest fortunes.

Read: U2 top Irish Rich List with a combined wealth of €645 million

Read: These are the four richest counties in Ireland

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