Friday, April 25, 2008

Hard times in the Mull of Kintyre: Rich List 2008

This Sunday, The Sunday Times is publishing the latest edition of its rich list - it's even going multimedia this year, what with Duncan "I have one of those in my living room" Banatyne having chugged an hours' worth of ITV airtime over it yesterday evening. As usual, they've crunched the numbers through some magic spreadsheets and boiled down some specialist lists about which musicians have got the most cash.

The good news for Paul McCartney is that - having shared some of his fortune with that woman whose name escapes us for the moment - he's managed to hold on to the number three slot (behind Lloyd-Webber and Clive Calder of Zomba - so, top, if by "musician" you mean "person who makes living by playing music"). The paper seems to have taken his claim that he didn't have as much money as Heather might have thought at face value, and marked him down from £725 to £500 million. That's a drop in value equivalent to David and Victoria Beckham's entire fortune. Or the annual income for about six and half thousand people at the top end of the now-defunct 10p tax band.

At long last, the purchase of EMI has brought some glory to Guy Hands, as he's the highest new entry on the music list: he's worth £250m, when you factor in Julia Hands' money as well.

As you head down the list, some strange anomalies manifest - not least musicians who are loaded this year and who didn't register last year. Like Engelbert Humperdink, at 36 this year with £79million he apparently didn't have in 2007.

Cliff Richard, who you'll remember was pleading that we think about poor musicians with nothing but a piece of sheet music between them and the workhouse, turns out to have £50million quid to call on. Admittedly, that's about what the PRS levies in six weeks, but we still figure he could do a lot of good for the musicians he cares so much about without even having to reduce the thread count in his own bedding.

Over on the "young musician" list, Dhani Harrison is at the top of the tree - which means, we suppose, if the drummer from Does It Offend You, Yeah, wins a Euromillions treble rollover he could find himself there next year. Vanessa Mae is the 'richest young musician who's done something to earn her money', with £32m. Surprisingly, Craig David is still worth ten million - which must help when people point and laugh at him. Karen Elson is at number six, on the basis that if you fold her money in with Jack White, and his career in with hers, she's a really rich musician. In the same way that if you take me and add my money to Rupert Murdoch's, I suddenly become a multi-billionaire sinophile.

Oddly, James Blunt - who last year appeared on the "young list" with £18m - has vanished; presumably because he's too old for the list this time round. Although as he's 34, wouldn't he have been too old for it last year?

The other thing we can't work out is why members of Coldplay are listed seperately while Liam and Noel are hoiked together like a single entity.

[Last year: 2007 Rich List]

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