Most of the following artists have been around for quite a while but are amongst some of the most famous names, faces and voices on the planet not to mention the richest! These stars have, and are still, raking it in by the millions and none of them show any sign of slowing down in the near future. We wonder how long it will be before the likes of Miss Swift will be joining the big leagues of the Top 10 Richest Recording Artists right now…
10. BEYONCÉ KNOWLES: $440 million
The more attractive half of the super-couple that are Queen B and her beau Jay-Z are worth a royal $950 million plus between them. Scraping the billionaire mark as a couple the two do not fare badly as individuals (both appear on this list). Beyoncé, 33, has made a huge name for herself as a solo recording artist since her split with Destiny’s Child back in 2005, as well as having her own clothing brand, and entertainment and management company Parkwood Entertainment, plus starring in blockbuster movies as a little sideline. On stage, her dynamic, highly choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in the pop world. Her career is to date 18 years old, during which she has sold over 75 million records as a solo artist, and that’s not including the 60 million sold with Destiny’s Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She has won 20 Grammy Awards making her the most nominated woman in the award’s history. Add it all together and you’re looking at the 10th richest person in the recording world.
9. ELTON JOHN: $450 million
Four decades on and the Rocket Man is still knocking out tunes like there’s no tomorrow at age 67. He has worked on around thirty albums, had countless top 10 hits, wrote the score to The Lion King, he has the best selling single of all time (Candle In The Wind) under his belt, six Grammys, five Brits, he hosts the annual Oscars party, he has won an Oscar (and many more movie related awards), he is one of the most successful and influential music stars of all time, he is in a couple of halls of fame and oh did we mention the OBE? He has a penchant for splashing out and doesn’t mind spending his hard earned cash; Elton is reported to spend around 1.5 million per month, so we could safely say he’d be higher up this list if he were better at saving!
8. JAY Z: $520 million
Thanks to his rapping skills, entrepreneurialism and record producing, Jay Z not only manages to top the charts but also comes 8th on the rich list. He has sold over 100 million records and won 19 Grammys! Aside from his countless Nº1 tracks his head for business has earned him his own chain of clubs (40/40), a clothing brand Rocawear (which he sold back in 2007 for around $200 million!), a record label; Roc-A-Fella Records and he is the founder of Roc Nation. Sports agency Roc Nation Sports also has the Jay Z stamp on it and Mr. Carter also happens to be a certified NBA and MLB agent. Oh yeah and he bagged one of the hottest women on the planet to boot. Now that’s rich.
7. MARIAH CAREY: $530 million
Back in the 90’s Miss Carey was Columbia Records hottest property selling millions of records, everything she touched, or rather sang, turned to gold. She dipped a toe into the acting world, most of which went terribly wrong but she did get a shining moment when she earned herself a couple of awards for her supporting role in Precious. Mimi, as she is affectionately known, has had 18 Nº1’s in America (a record breaker), has now sold over 200 million records, has won over 60 music awards, she was honored as the world’s best-selling recording artist of the 1990s at the World Music Awards in 1998, she was named best-selling female artist of the millennium in 2000 and she is the third-best-selling female artist in the US. Not a bad résumé.
6. BONO: $590 million
Paul David Hewson, much better known as Bono and the lead singer of U2, has sold over 150 million records, earned 22 Grammy awards and sells out in seconds whenever U2 go on tour. Bono’s work extends farther than the reaches of his band as he also does a lot of charity work (he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on several occasions) having co-founded the organizations DATA, EDUN and the Red Project, which fights the battle against third-world debt and AIDS in Africa. Obviously this is not a money earner for Bono, he is also a businessman having co-founded Elevation Partners – a private equity firm which has investments in some of the biggest business in the world; Forbes Media Group and Facebook to name but two. He also owns The Clarence (five star) Hotel in Ireland with ‘The Edge’.
5. CELINE DION: $630 million
The Canadian songstress famous for her powerful voice has come a long way since her early fame in the French speaking world. Since the 90’s and her launch into global success she has become one of most successful artists of all time, being named best-selling Canadian artist of all time, and one of the best-selling artists of all time. In 2002 she was contracted to perform in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace which sold out practically every show in its five year run. Other Dion business endeavours include Feeling Inc. her artist management company based in Laval, Québec, she also owned and sold Nickels Restaurant food chain, Le Mirage Golf Club and Schwartz’s Restaurant. Following the success at Caesar’s Palace she, alongside Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Shaquille O’Neal opened a popular night club called Pure, located at the Vegas landmark. Celine Dion Parfums has grossed over $850 million in sales! Due to the declining health of her husband and emotional difficulties Dion has indefinitely recoiled from the limelight but she retains her position as 5th wealthiest singer.
4. PAUL MCCARTNEY: $660 million
The Liverpudlian goes from strength to strength, not only famous for his Beatles days, Macca has helped write and continues to write countless songs, collaborated with every name in the industry, is involved in production, film, concerts, cartoons, and many businesses. His achievements are overwhelming and could not possibly fit into a couple of paragraphs. All this rightfully earns him the Nº3 spot on the rich list, but probably also the accomplishment and popularity list too.
3. SEAN JEAN COMBS: $700 million
Harlem born boy Combs, aka Puff Daddy, Diddy and P. Diddy founded Bad Boy Records in 1993. Since then he has made a fortune from the artists he signed but also released his own music to contribute to his super success story. Three Grammys and two MTV awards later he also dipped his fingers into some non-music oriented pies. Clothing line ‘Sean John’ and ‘Sean by Sean Combs’, a movie production company, music cable network Revolt TV, an alliance with Ciroc Vodka and two restaurants make our ‘Daddy’ one of the richest music stars on the planet.
2. DR. DRE: $780 million
Despite being a successful rapper, hip hop artist, DJ and being famous for making some groundbreaking music in the hip-hop world Dre’s fortune really came when, in 2008, he was commissioned by Monster Cable Products to design a line of premium headphones. He would eventually co-found and co-own the headphone company Beats by Dre. On May 28, 2014, Apple Inc officially confirmed that it was acquiring Beats by Dre for $3 billion ($2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock). At the time of the sale, Dre owned 25% of Beats. When combined with Dre’s separate $280 million fortune from music, he is now officially worth $780 million!
1. MADONNA: $800 million
The original pop chameleon has changed her image so many times in her 4 decade spanning (so far) career, yet each persona is just as recognisable as the last. From her early True Blue days to Vogue, Material Girl, Like a Prayer, Justify my Love, Music, American Pie, Evita…the list is endless as are her costume and image changes. She has sold over 300 million records, is the best-selling female recording artist, top touring female artist, and most successful solo artist in the history of the American singles chart. Her music has managed to adapt throughout the years to be on point and up with change, bringing her pop background and combining it with the sounds of the times. R&B, Hip Hop, Dance, Electronic Dance, there’s nothing Madge cannot conquer. Business wise she has achieved so much having turned her hand to writing children’s books, acting, charity work, fashion, a chain of fitness centres, directing movies, and so on and so forth. She has become a business machine and one of the most successful and well known women in history.
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