Entertainment Music

Monday 26 February 2018

Singing for their supper . . . our richest entertainers

U2 topped the Irish music rich list with €487m
U2 topped the Irish music rich list with €487m

Ken Sweeney and Laura Noonan

The make-up of Ireland's Top 10 list is expected to be overhauled this year, reflecting the tumult

of 2009

SINGING for your supper pays off even during a recession, judging by the latest financial assessment of Ireland's richest entertainers.

While this weekend's 'Sunday Times' Rich List is expected to show another sharp fall in the collective weight of the country's business greats, figures released yesterday show many of our pop stars are far better at hanging on to their money.

In spite of the downturn, U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness have enjoyed a 1pc increase in their overall wealth, according to a preview of the list, which will be published in full this weekend.

The Dublin rockers were the highest earning act in the world last year, which means that with a combined wealth of €487m, they retain their top spot in the Irish Music Millionaires list.

Reclusive singer Enya, number three on the list, is also up 1pc from 2009 to €97m; but doing even better is number five placing, Chris de Burgh, up 3pc from last year to €35m.

However, the real surprise is Westlife.

This year the ageing boyband has parachuted into Ireland's rich entertainers list with its €35m fortune.

Holding his own on the list at number four is Van Morrison, who managed to hold on to all of his €57m fortune.

The only loser this year is Michael Flatley, who is down 2pc on last year with €274m. Despite this he manages to hold on to his number two position,

This week it was announced he would be returning to star in his 'Lord Of The Dance' stage show, but in recent times the Cork-based dancer has been concentrating on family life with his wife Niamh O'Brien and their son Michael, who will be three later this month.

But the collective fortunes amassed by Irish entertainers are nothing compared with those on the Top 50 International Music Millionaires list.

Number one on that list is Edgar Bronfman, the chairman and chief executive of the Warner Music Group, with a fortune worth a staggering €1.8bn.

He is followed by the former Zomba Record company owner, Clive Calder, the man behind pop acts such as Britney Spears and N'Sync, with €1.5bn.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is number three on the list with €795m, and theatre producer Cameron McIntosh has €721m.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney is number five on the list with €539m.

The 'Sunday Times' was keeping schtum on the broader rich list last night, but it is understood that the collective wealth of our richest 250 has taken another tumble, following the eradication of €13.3bn of their financial fire power in last year's list.

The year's instalment is also expected to include an unusually high number of newcomers, reflecting the exit of several property developers who have cleared the way for a new generation of wealth.

The newcomers' line-up is set to be unveiled tomorrow.

Having remained almost intact last year, the make-up of Ireland's Top 10 list is expected to be overhauled this year reflecting the tumult of 2009.

Sean Quinn, whose fortune dropped from €2.55m in 2008's list to €1.59m in last year's following an ill-fated punt on Anglo Irish Bank shares, was still listed as Ireland's second wealthiest man in 2009.

The recent descent of Quinn Insurance into administration, coupled with revelations of a €2.8bn debt pile across his wider Quinn Group, is likely to drive him substantially further down the 2010 rankings.

But it's unlikely to be all doom and gloom in this year's listings, as recent share price rallies are expected to have pushed up the wealth of some of Ireland's richest.

Irish Independent

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