Adele’s music mogul is on Sunday Times pop rich list
Adele’s music mogul who made one of the 1990s’ most annoying songs joins Enya, Michael Flatley and a lesser-known Mumford as the more unlikely names on Sunday Times pop rich list
- Record label boss and DJ Richard Russell has amassed a fortune of £127million
- He co-owns record label XL which signed megastar Adele when she was 18
- The singer is said to be responsible for up to 80 per cent of the label’s turnover
- Other unlikely names on the run down of Britain’s wealthiest include Enya, Michael Flatley and Winston Marshall
A record label manager and house DJ behind a song branded the most annoying hit of the 1990s is one of several unlikely names on Britain’s music rich list.
Richard Russell has amassed a fortune of £127million from his business XL Records even though many people would never have heard of him.
He started out as a DJ and released the house track The Bouncer using the stage name Kicks Like a Mule back in 1992 but his huge wealth was built on the back of Adele’s incredible success.
His friend and label co-owner Martin Mills, who started out running a mobile disco called Giant Elf is worth an extraordinary £152million – more than the Hello star’s own fortune.
Richard Russell has amassed a fortune of £127million from his business XL Records
XL signed Adele as an 18-year-old when she was living in a London bedsit and the singer, now 30, is worth £140million up £15million in the past year, but the men who discovered her are worth the same if not more.
Robert Watts, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, which will be published this Sunday, praised XL for blending ‘cool artistic signings with commercial success’.
He estimates that Adele could be responsible for up to 80 per cent of the label’s turnover.
Russell and Mills formed the label in 1989 and say that despite listening to 200,000 demos every year they rarely sign more than one new artist in that period and only release around six albums annually.
XL signed Adele (left) as an 18-year-old and she is now worth £140million. Enya, who has only released one album in the past ten years, sits 28th on the list of the richest musicians
They say the secret to their success is giving their artists ‘free rein’ and are proud to say they have ‘no regard for business’.
Adele famously does not like perform at festivals and prefers to focus on studio work.
When asked if that infuriated him Mr Russell told The Guardian: ‘I really like it. Why should it? It’s not right for her. That’s a brilliant artistic decision. It goes against the grain’.
He added: ‘That’s what will make it happen for her. You’ve got to believe in them. And any time I see someone do something like that, it strengthens my belief in them. Going against the grain, taking risks. And also, turning down money, frankly. Always a good sign, for anyone to do that.
Riverdance star and musician Michael Flatley sits at number nine on the overall rich list and is worth £202million – £2million more than in 2017
‘Everyone I work with could have gone about things in a way that would have made them more money, including me’.
The Sunday Times list of Britain’s richest musicians was released today, showing Adele is top of Young Musicians category with an estimated worth of £140million.
Ed Sheeran, 27, earned £28million in the past year and now stands at number two in the rankings of the wealthiest young musicians under 30.
The singer-songwriter also broke into the overall top 40 Sunday Times Rich List of British musicians.
Winston Marshall, the founding member and banjo star of Mumford and Sons, who is worth £16million, is 11th on Britain’s wealthiest young musicians
He was placed at number 35, tied with Take That star Gary Barlow with a net wealth of £80million.
Sheeran’s third album, ÷ (Divide), was the UK’s biggest selling record of 2017 and featured more top 10 singles than any other album in UK chart history.
But alongside Sheeran, Harry Styles and other members of One Direction there are lesser known names appearing in the run down of Britain’s richest.
DJ and dance producer Calvin Harris is a big mover and is now up to 18th with a fortune of £140million – up £20million in the past year
Winston Marshall, the founding member and banjo star of Mumford and Sons, who is worth £16million, is 11th on Britain’s wealthiest young musicians. None of his band mates make the list.
The British pop star married Glee actress Dianna Agron in 2016 at a three-day event attended by bandmates including Marcus Mumford, who is married to Carey Mulligan.
The Sunday Times say Sir Paul McCartney, 75, is again the richest musician in Britain in 2017 and is worth £820million – up £40million last year.
Second was Lord Lloyd-Webber at £740million with U2 members and Sir Elton John close behind.
But there is also a few unlikely names still making huge sums from careers built many years ago.
Riverdance star and musician Michael Flatley sits at number nine on the list of richest musicians and is worth £202million – £2million more than in 2017.
Irish singer Enya is worth £104million despite only releasing one album in the past ten years, and sits 28th on the list of richest musicians.
DJ and dance producer Calvin Harris is a big mover and is now up to 18th with a fortune of £140million – up £20million in the past year.
This year he signed a signed a £200million deal to continue his residency at Caesar’s Palace until 2020.
THE SUNDAY TIMES RICH LIST 2018: The richest musicians
1. Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell – £820m (up £40m)
2. Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber – £740m (No change)
3. U2 – £569m (up £21m)
4. Sir Elton John – £300m (up £10m)
5. Sir Mick Jagger – £260m (up £10m)
6. Keith Richards – £245m (up £10m)
7. Olivia and Dhani Harrison – £230m (up £20m)
8. Sir Ringo Starr – £220m (up £20m)
9. Michael Flatley – £202m (up £2m)
10. Sting – £190m (up £5m)
11. Sir Rod Stewart – £180m (up £10m)
12. Eric Clapton – £175m (up £5m)
12 = Roger Waters – £175m (up £10m)
14. Robbie Williams – £165m (up £15m)
15. Sir Tom Jones – £163m (up £3m)
16. Sir Tim Rice – £152m (No change)
17. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne – £145m (up £5m)
18. Adele – £140m (up £15m)
18= Calvin Harris – £140m (up £20m)
18= Charlie Watts – £140m (up £10m)
21. Brian May – £135m (up £10m)
22. Roger Taylor – £130m (up £10m)
23. Jimmy Page – £125m (up £20m)
24. Phil Collins – £120m (up £10m)
25. David Gilmour – £115m (up £5m)
26. John Deacon – £105m (up £5m)
26= Robert Plant – £105m (up £2m)
28. Enya – £104m (up £5m)
29. Chris Martin – £94m (up £14m)
30. Nick Mason – £92m (up £2m)
31. Guy Berryman – £82m (up £12m)
31= Jonny Buckland – £82m (up £12m)
31= Will Champion – £82m (up £12m)
31= Pete Townshend and Rachel Fuller – £82m (up £12m)
35. Gary Barlow – £80m (up £5m)
35= Ed Sheeran – £80m (up £28m)
37. Sir Barry Gibb – £75m (No change)
37= Mark Knopfler – £75m (No change)
37= Ronnie Wood – £75m (up £10m)
40. Engelbert Humperdinck – £72m (up £2m)
And the wealthiest young musicians are…
1. Adele – £140m Up £15m
2. Ed Sheeran – £80m Up £28m
3. Harry Styles – £50m Up £10m
4. Niall Horan – £46m Up £6m
5= Liam Payne – £42m Up £2m
5= Louis Tomlinson – £42m Up £2m
7. Little Mix – £40m Up 16m
8. Zayn Malik – £35m No change
9. Sam Smith – £24m Up £4m
10. Jessie J – £18m Up £1m
11= Winston Marshall – £16m Up £1m
11= Rita Ora – £16m New Entry
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