Simon Cowell has raked in a further £50 million over the past year thanks to his music and TV hits, according to a new wealth list.
The mogul has seen his worth swell to £300 million to put him in eighth place in a league of music millionaires compiled for the new Sunday Times Rich List, which will be published at the weekend.
Topping the music list – as he did last year – is London-based Ukrainian businessman Len Blavatnik, whose empire includes the Warner Music Group which was acquired in 2011. He is estimated to be worth £10 billion, way ahead of nearest rival Clive Calder – the boss of the Zomba group of music companies – who is worth around £1.4 billion.
Simon’s value will have been boosted by a new deal with ITV for further series of The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, and appears not to have been seriously dented by the stage flop of spoof musical I Can’t Sing! – for which he was one of the backers – which closed after a matter of weeks.
He remains behind his media mogul rival Simon Fuller – a one-time colleague – who is at seventh place in the list on £382 million, up £7 million on last year.
Third in the list for the UK and Ireland is theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh, whose worth has shot up by £175 million to make him a billionaire for the first time.
Sir Paul McCartney remains in fourth place with his and wife Nancy Shevell’s fortune said to be at £710 million, up £30 million on last year.
In a largely static top 10 Lord Lloyd-Webber retains fifth place on £640 million – up £20 million – and Irish rock band U2 are sixth with a combined wealth of £428 million. Their figure is down £92 million on last year due to their former manager Paul McGuinness no longer being included in the total. He is separately listed at 32.
Take That star Gary Barlow is estimated to be worth £65 million – more than doubling the £30 million he held five years ago. Compilers of the list said they have not made any reduction to take into account the recent court ruling on tax avoidance and will not do so until the matter is resolved.