Music stars hit by recession

Music stars have been badly hit by the recession, with the likes of Elton John and Robbie Williams losing around a quarter of their personal wealth over the past year, it was revealed today.

According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Tom Jones, Phil Collins and Engelbert Humperdinck all lost substantial sums.

Even evergreen Wimbledon rainbreak crooner Sir Cliff Richard was caught in the economic storm - his personal fortune was down a fifth from £50m (€55.6m) to £40m (€44.5m).

The plummeting value of property investments and share portfolios is the main reason for the stars faring so poorly, though John's generous charitable donations contributed to his fall.

The list of the top 50 music millionaires, published along with the full list on Sunday, shows his fortune to have fallen 26% from £238m (€265m) in 2008 to £175m (€195m).

His lucrative contract at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas ends this month, and his recent donations to humanitarian and HIV/Aids charities added up to £42m (€46.7m), according to the Sunday Times Giving List, also out on Sunday.

Paul McCartney saw £60m (€66.8m) wiped off his fortune thanks to falling property and share values.

Tom Jones, saw his wealth fall 24% from £170m (€189.2m) last year to £130m (€144.7m).

Former Take That star Williams lost £25m (€27.8m) over the year, to be left with a trifling £80m (€89m).

Ian Coxon, who edited the list, said stars who relied on investments for their wealth had been the hardest hit.

"Robbie Williams is run as a business, and there has been a profit fall in 2007, so that's had a knock-on effect, and he's not been doing so much recently," he said.

"He's never quite fulfilled the promise that he had a few years ago.

"The ones where there's no change are the Beckhams, who although their property value has gone down, they're earning so fast there's no change."

The Beckhams' wealth remained steady at £125m (€139m) over the last year.

Amy Winehouse suffered a dramatic fall in her wealth, which dropped by half from £10m (€11m) last year to £5m (€5.56m) this year, mostly because she has done little recording this year, concentrating instead on performing at festivals and other less lucrative pursuits.

The phenomenal success of Abba musical 'Mamma Mia!' over the last year sees the wealth of Judy Craymer, the producer of the show and film, buck the trend and grow by more than a quarter to stand at £79m (€88m).

:: The full list is published in the Sunday Times this Sunday.

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