Sisters doing it for themselves as women creep up Music Millionaires list

According to a list by the Sunday Times, a growing proportion of the richest people in the music industry are female...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 03 Jun 2011
If the music industry has been having a tough time lately, Simon Cowell probably hasn't noticed: according to the Sunday Times Rich List, the high-waist-trousered X-Factor judge’s fortune has soared by £35m over the last year, to £200m. But the square-headed music mogul isn’t the only one whose fortune has burgeoned over the last year: topping the Music Millionaires Top 50 is Clive Calder, who amassed a £1.3bn fortune from the 2002 sale of his label Zomba Records. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the list, though, is that the younger echelons are dominated by women...

Admittedly, the top 10 is entirely made up of men. As well as Calder, there’s Andrew Lloyd Webber, with £680m (although that has dropped by £20m over the course of the year - could enthusiasm for Phantom of the Opera finally be waning?), as well as theatre producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh, with £675m. Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Cowell’s old nemesis, Simon Fuller, also crop up.

Among the 30-or-under category, though, it’s a different story: heading the list is classical singer Katherine Jenkins, whose brand of opera-lite has built her a fortune of £13m. Coming in second are X-Factor songstresses Cheryl Cole and Leona Lewis, both of whom are worth £12m. And while old hands Joss Stone and Charlotte Church both feature, reasonably recent additions to the music scene like Adele, Duffy and Florence Welch have all made it into the top 10.

Despite the swelling fortunes of those at the top, it’s been a difficult few years for the music industry, which has been faced with the twin challenges of illegal downloads and sliding CD sales. There aren’t many people who can claim to have found the answer, but the general emphasis seems to be shifting from recorded music to live performances (plus the all-important merchandise stands). So it’ll be interesting to see who reaches the heady heights of the top 10 next time around. Who knows – by then, Simon Cowell might even be able to afford a decent haircut.

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