MUSIC

10 Richest Musicians of All Time

Discover which celebrity musician has the highest net worth.

Kevin Mazur--Getty Images

Musicians love money so much that they're always singing for it.

While some musicians sing in the subway for very small amounts of money, other musicians sing on big stages for whole piles of the stuff. Some of them even have a billion dollars. That's so rich! Here at Popdust, we love music and money, so we're putting them together to make a list of the richest musicians in the whole world.

10. Julio Iglesias

julio iglesias

$600 Million

Julio Iglesias is a Spanish singer and songwriter known for being the most commercially successful singer/songwriter in Continental Europe. His bank account reflects that success because it's full of sweet, sweet dough.

9. Jimmy Buffett

jimmy buffett

$600 Million

Dads love Jimmy Buffett because he sings all about cheeseburgers. But when Jimmy Buffett says "cheeseburgers," what he really means is that he has so much money.

8. Bono

bono

$700 Million

U2's Bono loves charity almost as much as he loves having loads of money. He's probably the most charitable musician in the whole world, mainly because he's always telling everyone how much money he has. It's 700 million dollars!

7. Celine Dion

celine dion

$800 Million

Celine Dion sang the big song in Titanic, which makes sense because she has a titanic amount of money! She never has to worry about sinking either, unless she's sinking into a big tub of coinage.

6. Dr. Dre

dr dre

$820 Million

In spite of his name, Dr. Dre has never received his doctorate degree. He has, however, received stacks and stacks of real fat cash.

5. Herb Alpert

herb alpert

$850 Million

We Googled Herb Alpert and, according to Wikipedia, he is "an American jazz musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass." We've never heard of them before, but he sure has a lot of moolah!

4. Madonna

madonna

$850 Million

Madonna is no virgin when it comes to having lots of money. While she may be best known for her many controversies, maybe she should be best known for being very rich.

3. P. Diddy

p diddy

$855 Million

With his own record company and a men's fashion line under his belt, it's no wonder that P. Diddy is rolling in the green.

2. Jay-Z

jay z

$1 Billion

Jay-Z is extra rich because he's not just a rapper, he's also a music mogul. Even better, he's married to Beyonce, and if the two pooled their money together, they'd even be able to buy the #1 spot on this list!

1. Paul McCartney

paul mccartney

$1.2 Billion

Paul McCartney from The Beatles has the most money of any musician. He could even buy two of the smaller musicians if he wanted, like Jimmy Buffet and maybe Bruce Springsteen. who didn't even make this list.

Arts

The Hypocrisy Of Saint Bono

He talks the talk, but doesn't really walk the walk....

Dubbed Saint Bono for his long running ONE campaign crusade, U2 frontman, Paul David Hewson, is very outspoken when it comes to advocating an end to extreme poverty.

Bono has regularly called for greater transparency from foreign corporations operating throughout Africa, slamming companies such as Exxon Mobil for not paying taxes in countries where they operate, or not fully disclosing what they pay governments for contracts.

"The countries of Africa are extremely rich in resources, but why are they poor?" Bono asked during a speech at last year’s Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

"These rich extractive industries aren't returning the wealth to the people in any kind of fair measure. You can't have it both ways. You can't give alms to the poor on one hand and have your hands on their throat on the other."

Can’t disagree with that logic or sentiment, but….. hold on one minute, does the Irish-born musician, who has an estimated personal net worth of $600 million, just talk the talk, or does he also walk the walk, when it comes to his own tax affairs?

That’s a subject that came under the spotlight once again last month, after Bono defended Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5%, claiming it’s brought the country “the only prosperity we’ve known.”

“We are a tiny little country, we don’t have scale, and our version of scale is to be innovative and to be clever, and tax competitiveness has brought our country the only prosperity we’ve known,” Bono said.

“That’s how we got these [tech] companies here. Little countries, we don’t have natural resources, we have to be able to attract people. We’ve been through the 50s and the 60s, and mass hemorrhaging of our population all over the world. There are more hospitals and firemen and teachers because of [Ireland’s tax] policy.”

However, one of the major workers’ unions in Ireland sees things rather differently to the musician.

“The one in four who suffer deprivation as well as the tens of thousands of others having to put up with six years of austerity will regard Bono’s remarks with total derision, it is the only word anyone could use to describe what he has said,” Unite spokesman and economist, Mike Taft, told the Guardian.

“Where else can you begin with his defense of this low corporation tax regime? As well as the one-in-four, it is worth pointing out that wages in Ireland are well below the European average and for six years we have seen public services smashed apart due to austerity cuts, and here we have Bono talking about low corporation tax bringing us prosperity.”

Yeah, and then there’s the fact that U2 doesn’t actually pay any tax itself in Ireland—seems Bono is confident that the 12.5 % tax (and often way lower courtesy of controversial “double Irish” tax avoidance schemes) his pals at Apple and Google pay, is way more than enough to keep his fellow Irish in the prosperity he believes they currently live in—because, back in 2006 the band moved their global music empire to the Netherlands, where they pay an even lower rate of tax, and enjoy the benefits of less stringent transparency laws.

Just like Exxon Mobil! They too pay taxes in the Netherlands—the very subject Bono took umbrage at during his speech at the Clinton Global Initiative last year!

Popdust spoke to Media Finance expert, Mandy Calder, who weighs in on the Bono tax hypocrisy controversy.

“It's hard not to notice the credibility gap that's presented by being an ‘international’ multi-millionaire who pays such a low rate of tax, whilst also being an anti-poverty campaigner," Calder says.

“For twenty years U2 used a tax exemption scheme in their native country Ireland. The scheme was introduced in the ‘60s to help indigent artists and it significantly reduced the band’s tax bills. When this exemption was curtailed in the ‘90s U2 moved the lucrative publishing arm of its operation to the Netherlands. As a result they now enjoy a much lower tax rate—between just 3-5 percent.

“Bono defends the decision to move the band’s business side out of Ireland by explaining they were simply acting like any other business and that there’s a ‘social benefit’ to paying low taxes. He claims U2 is in total harmony with the Irish Government’s philosophy and that tax 'competitiveness' has taken Ireland out of poverty. He blames the ‘cranky left’ for not appreciating the band’s position. Odd then that he would criticize governments around the world for not giving enough to help bail out the poorer nations, all while denying his own government in Ireland U2’s tax dollars to help his own people—It’s worth noting Ireland was hit hard by the Global recession, and has been suffering an economic crisis since 2008, resulting in a 67.5 billion Euros bailout by the IMF."

That’s a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by many in the Republic. Former Irish Junior Health Minister Roisin Shorthall spoke out on the subject back in 2006, after U2 announced their business move to the Netherlands.

“I think there is that issue about loyalty to the country you are born in and I think it would show a tremendous example to everybody if they were to bring back their tax affairs to Ireland. In any modern democracy people pay their fair share of tax.”

“Another example of Bono’s hypocrisy is his criticism of extractive companies such as Exxon Mobile opposing transparency laws aimed at forcing companies to report how much they pay to African States on oil, gas and mining projects,” Calder continues. “It’s a very valid criticism, until you realize that those companies use the very same Dutch tax avoidance schemes that enable U2 to pay such low tax on their earnings.

“At last year’s Clinton Global Initiative Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese Telecoms billionaire, stated that the first thing global tech corporations could do to benefit Africa is to ‘pay their taxes’ and he referred to Ireland as an example of how the global taxation system was broken—it’s estimated that tax avoidance costs the developing world at least $160m every year—yet, Bono, who professes to care so much about eradicating poverty continues to defend Irish tax laws, and to use other, even lower rate tax havens to protect his own massive wealth.

"Now, no-one is saying that U2 and Bono are doing anything illegal in any way, because they’re not—many companies in the U.S. employ similar tax-reduction tactics, such as registering in Nevada to take advantage of the state’s low corporate tax rates—however, if you are going to play world savior and point the finger of blame at others, you may want to take check of your own moral affairs first."

Bono says he may never play the guitar again thanks to a titanium elbow he sustained after a New York City cycling accident.

The U2 frontman was in what doctors referred to as a "high-energy bicycle accident" in Central Park in November, and suffered fractures to his left eye socket, shoulder blade and left elbow. This required hours of surgery and the aforementioned titanium elbow.

"On the day of my 50th birthday I received an injury because I was over indulging in exercise boxing and cycling, which was itself an overcompensation for overindulging on alcohol coming up to the big birthday," Bono wrote on the band's website.  "I promised myself I would be more mindful of my limits, but just four years on, it happened again - a massive injury I can't blame on anyone but myself, mainly because I blanked out on impact and have no memory of how I ended up in New York Presbyterian with my humerus bone sticking through my leather jacket. Very punk rock as injuries go.

"Recovery has been more difficult than I thought... As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again. The band [The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen] have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this.

"I personally would very much miss fingering the frets of my green Irish falcon or my (RED) Gretsch. Just for the pleasure, aside from writing tunes. But then does the Edge, or Jimmy Page, or any guitarist you know have a titanium elbow, as I do now? I'm all elbows, I am."

Poor Bono! To read the rest of his message (including a very blatant 'sorry I'm not sorry' about the iTunes Songs of Innocence debacle) click here!

U2 will be going on tour in the beginning of May with the first stop occurring at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver on May 14th. According to TiqIQ.com, the average ticket price for the opening show is $184 with the cheapest tickets beginning at $33. Room rates for Vancouver hotels located near the arena begin at $90, according to Hipmunk, so it's possible to get a room and a ticket for less than $125.  Fans who are discussing flying into Vancouver for the opening show should make sure to check out Hipmunk for information on Vancouver flights and any other potential travel options.

Bono's bicycle accident in Central Park turns out to be much worse than first reported by his band.

The U2 frontman broke his arm in six places and fractured his eye socket, hand and shoulder blade in a 'high-energy bicycle accident when he attempted to avoid another rider' according to New York's Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

A fracture in his upper arm required six hours of surgery, three metal plates and sixteen screws. Dr Dean Lorich, an orthopedic trauma surgeon, said the extent of Bono’s injuries would require “intensive and progressive therapy' but a full recovery was expected.

Poor Bono! How awful. Anyone who has ever had emergency surgery knows the horror of the experience, and this seems well beyond horrible. Luckily, he doesn't need his arm to play lead guitar.

Cunt or not, we are wishing Bono a speedy recovery! No one deserves this much suffering except, of course, Sting.

For those of you who have misguidedly labored under the impression Bono always wears sunglasses because it’s an asshole rock star thing—well, you’re wrong!

The 54-year-old may well (or may well not) be an asshole rock star, but he wears those sunglasses for a real, valid, medical reason—he has glaucoma.

Bono opened up about his condition—which is caused by a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, and can lead to blindness if not treated—during an interview with Graham Norton, which aired in the U.K. today.

Norton quizzed the U2 frontman, real name, Paul David Hewson, about why he always wears shades, and the singer revealed, "This is a good place to explain to people that I've had glaucoma for the last 20 years.

"I have good treatments and I am going to be fine. You're not going to get this out of your head now and you will be saying 'Ah, poor old blind Bono'."

Poor old blind Bono also addressed the Songs of Innocence iTunes fiasco, which, as Popdust previously reported, he recently explained away as, “a drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn't be heard.”

This time round there was no hint of self-deprecation though, as he told Norton, "We wanted to do something fresh but it seems some people don't believe in Father Christmas.

"All those people who were uninterested in U2 are now mad at U2. As far as we are concerned, it's an improvement."

Ah, now, that’s the Bono we love/hate (make your choice) so much!

Bono is apologizing for forcing Apple users to have U2's new album for free, saying it was a misjudgement.

As Popdust previously reported, the band caused controversy when Songs Of Innocence automatically downloaded onto iTunes without giving users the option to make the choice for themselves on September 9.

Due to immense backlash against the company, Apple was forced to release a tool that allowed people to delete the album off their playlists, something they weren't able to do before.

During a Facebook chat on Tuesday, a woman called Harriet Madeline Jobson asked the band never to pull a stunt like that again.

"Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to peoples playlists ever again? It's really rude," she wrote, to which Bono apologized in response.

"Oops," he said, "I'm sorry about that. We had this beautiful idea—we got carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing. [It was] "a drop of megalomania, touch of generosity, dash of self-promotion and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn't be heard. There's a lot of noise out there. I guess we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it."

Which really is an honest and direct an apology as anyone could wish for. By the way - complaining about getting a free album you didn't ask for? TOTAL first world problems.

Just sayin'!