Simon Cowell ups fortune by $69 million in past year

Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:42am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - British TV personality and music producer Simon Cowell increased his personal fortune by 45 million pounds ($69 million) in the past year, according to The Sunday Times' annual rich list.

Cowell, best known for his roles as a brutally honest judge on TV talent shows "The X Factor" and "American Idol," earned more than half of his 165 million pound fortune from television work alone over the past two years, the paper said.

Cowell's fellow X Factor judge Cheryl Cole saw her personal wealth increase 150 percent to 10 million pounds.

The rich list, which profiles the 1,000 richest people and families in Britain, is based on identifiable wealth, such as land, property and significant shares in publicly quoted companies, and excludes wealth held in bank accounts.

It includes anyone born in Britain, based in Britain, or who has a major share of their wealth in Britain.

Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood, who was divorced by his wife of 24 years Jo last year on the grounds of his admitted adultery, dropped out of the list's top 50 music millionaires after his fortune fell to 20 million pounds from 35 million.

Warner Music Group chairman and chief executive Edgar Bronfman, the 25th richest person in Britain, topped the chart of music millionaires with a fortune of 1.6 billion pounds.

Former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were also among Britain's richest 50 musicians, with McCartney seeing his fortune increase 8 percent to 475 million pounds over the year, while Starr's wealth rose by 17 percent to 140 million pounds.