LONDON (Reuters) - British singer Amy Winehouse joined the elite ranks of music millionaires on Friday but she may struggle to reach the dizzy heights of “wrinkly rockers” like Paul McCartney, the editor of an annual rich list said.
The bee-hived soul singer, whose troubled private life and battle against drug addiction have overshadowed her recording success, is now valued at 10 million pounds ($19.72 million).
“Winning Grammys have given her a really good profile in the United States. She has such a smooth voice but let’s hope she doesn’t blow it all,” Sunday Times Rich List editor Philip Beresford said as the latest millionaire tables were published.
Reality TV winner Leona Lewis is another new entry in the Under-30 category. She was valued at six million pounds after topping the singles and album charts in the United States.
Leading the young millionaires thanks to inherited Beatle wealth is the late George Harrison’s guitarist son Dhani. His 160 million pound fortune prompted newspaper headlines like “While their bank accounts gently leap...”
But Beresford told Reuters: “None of these young singers will ever make it to the main rich list as they don’t have the legs of the wrinkly rockers.”
The young guns are dwarfed by the fortunes of veteran stars like Mick Jagger and Sting, he said.
“They have developed this new industry of massive stadium tours around the world full of relatively wealthy middle-aged fans trying to recapture their youth paying extortionate prices for the privilege,” Beresford said.
“Their tours are their pension funds,” he said.
Beresford did admit to one Beatle miscalculation over Paul McCartney’s fortune which was set at 725 million in last year’s list.
“He is now down at 500 million because we over-egged it in the past. But we are not as severe as the judge in his divorce case (against Heather Mills) who put it at 400 million pounds,” he said.
Beresford hailed the 300 million pound fortune of Madonna and her film director husband Guy Ritchie as “almost unique.”
“She has joined the wrinkly rockers with the big touring income but she also has the record sales which they are not getting anymore,” he added.
But Madonna’s fortune is dwarfed in Britain’s top 50 music millionaires list which is topped, like last year, by Clive Calder, founder of Zomba Records, who is valued at 1.3 billion pounds.
Editing by Paul Casciato