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Baby, You're A Rich Man

POP MUSIC | POP EYE

August 02, 1998|Dave Jennings, from London

"I don't care too much for money," the Beatles sang in 1964. But Paul McCartney has made enough of it to top a survey of the 100 wealthiest British and Irish pop musicians by a comfortable margin.

In an article, just published in the U.K. music monthly Q and compiled by music-business accountant Cliff Dane via research into record company accounts, record sales and royalty rates, opens with the disclaimer that "except where massive cash leakages or rip-offs have escaped public record, most figures err on the conservative side."

Even so, Sir Paul is reckoned to be worth a cool $750 million. His fellow knight, Sir Elton John, is a relative pauper in second place with $225 million.

Rounding out the top are Mick Jagger ($182 million), Phil Collins, David Bowie and Keith Richards (tied at $150 million), the four members of U2 and Sting ($135 million each), George Harrison ($120 million), Eric Clapton ($112 million) and the third and final surviving Beatle, Ringo Starr ($105 million).

It's not until much further down that there are any women, with Enya--who, the story notes, has just become Bono's neighbor by plunking down nearly $4 million for Ayesha Castle in Dublin Bay--and Irish compatriot Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries among a group tied at a worth of $45 million.

And if the Gallagher brothers of Oasis keep battling, it could be over money. Noel, who gets most of the songwriting royalties, weighs in with $37 million, while Liam, along with the two other band co-founders, is way down at just $15 million--where they have the added indignity of being behind the Spice Girls, who are estimated to be worth $18 million each.

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