Adele named Britain's richest ever woman musician


Adele has been named Britain's richest ever female musician - but is one of only three solo women to make it on to a new list of the top 50 wealthiest pop stars in the British Isles.

The Hello singer is estimated to be worth £85 million, £35 million up from a year ago, putting her in 30th place on the Music Millionaires Top 50 list from The Sunday Times.

She is also ranked at the top of the Young Music Rich List of performers aged 30 and under this year.

Adele on stage at the Brits
Adele is estimated to be worth £85 million (Joel Ryan/AP/PA)

"It is men that dominate the list, and members of male bands by and large," said Ian Coxon, who has edited The Sunday Times Rich List for 20 years.

"Adele is the exception. No woman has been increasing her wealth like Adele - she's even outstripping young male performers."

Enya is still Ireland's wealthiest female performer with a fortune of £91 million, earning her the 28th spot, while Australian singer Kylie Minogue is worth £55 million and at position number 42.

Kylie is tied alongside Coldplay's Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion, and The Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood.

Kylie Minogue at the Brits
Kylie Minogue made the list (Ian West/PA)

British Phonographic Industry spokesperson Gennaro Castaldo said: "We all want to see much stronger female representation in such lists to reflect the major contribution they make, but with Adele one of the world's most successful artists and the likes of Taylor Swift, Beyonce, Grimes and Paloma Faith also hugely influential in inspiring not just fans, but a whole new generation of female performers and songwriters, I'm optimistic that a shift is gradually taking place and that we'll start to see things change in future."

Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell top the list once again, with a joint fortune of £760 million, which is up £30 million from last year.

New York native Nancy has her own fortune in the form of a £150 million stake in her father's trucking business.

Ian explains: "McCartney has got an additional £150 million from his wife but he's still worth £610 million in his own right. I don't think ... anybody will catch him soon.

Paul McCartney performing on stage
Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell topped the list (Gary Wiepert/AP/PA)

"We obviously include composers like Lord Lloyd-Webber (in second position on the list with £715 million) and Bernie Taupin at the bottom (49th position) who writes a lot of material with Sir Elton John."

Irish rockers U2 share a worth of £500 million landing them in third position, with Sir Elton ranked fourth with his fortune of £280 million.

The Rolling Stones - Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood - have a combined fortune of £630 million, making them the wealthiest band in Britain and Ireland.

The Rolling Stones on stage
The Rolling Stones are the wealthiest band in Britain and Ireland (Keith Srakocic/AP/PA)

New additions to the list are former Beatles star George Harrison's widow Olivia, and his son Dhani, in sixth position with a combined family fortune of £220 million.

David Bowie's widow Iman Abdulmajid, and his son Duncan Jones (from his first marriage), are also new with a joint family fortune of £90 million. The amount is made up of money left to them in the late star's will (£70 million), as well as their own personal fortunes and royalties from his music since his death.

DJ Calvin Harris has more than tripled his wealth since landing on the list in 2014 with a fortune of £30 million. This year he is in 27th position with a fortune of £95 million.

Calvin Harris performing on stage
Calvin Harris is in 27th place (Yui Mok/PA)

"Calvin is a surprise - he's so successful and gets paid so well," Ian said.

"People get in fashion and have a great success. I don't know whether his success will continue at quite the same rate."

Apart from Adele, the likes of Ellie Goulding and Florence Welch both feature on the Young Music Rich List of performers aged 30 and under.

Ed Sheeran also features on the list, but has made the move to the Top 50 list for the first time, with a fortune of £45 million.

One Direction's four members - Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne - are all in joint third position with a fortune of £33 million.

One Direction at an awards show
One Direction made the list ( Joe Giddens/PA)

Former member Zayn Malik, who left the band last year to launch a solo career, is behind them with £30 million.

Ian said: "Potentially if he (Zayn) can follow the success he had with his first single and his first album, he may well overtake his former band members from One Direction. He's just starting a solo career so he could potentially climb up above them."

The Music Millionaires list is released ahead of the 28th annual Sunday Times Rich List which will be published this weekend. The full list charts the wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the United Kingdom and Ireland's 250 richest.

The list is based on identifiable wealth which includes property, land, assets and shares in publicly held companies, but excludes bank accounts.