Belfast Telegraph

£50m fortune puts Van Morrison in Sunday Times rich list

By Cate McCurry

Belfast songwriting legend Sir Van Morrison has proved he's still a hit after retaining his position on the music millionaires rich list.

The recently-knighted rock maestro has been ranked number 47 - down four places from last year - on The Sunday Times rich list for the top multi-millionaires.

Despite his recent string of landmark celebrations, including his 70th birthday concerts on Cyprus Avenue and around-the-world appearances, his bank balance remains stagnant at £50m.

Van, who was knighted this year for his musical achievements as well as his charitable causes in Northern Ireland, recently admitted that while he's happiest playing small clubs, he performs to bigger audiences "for financial survival reasons".

In recent years, Sir Van has been restricting himself mainly to gigs in Northern Ireland, where his concerts in hotels like the Slieve Donard in Newcastle draw fans from around the world.

"I enjoy that the most - playing a small club - that's really what I do," he said.

"The bigger places you have to do for financial survival reasons, let me put it that way, but the bigger places enable me to play small clubs occasionally.

"Sales of CDs and stuff like that are very unreliable, it has really gone down a lot. I'm lucky I can still do live gigs and still pull crowds and be able to do that.

"All these years of work have paid off and I'm still able to do that now."

According to this year's Sunday Times Rich List, to be unveiled this weekend, former Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley dropped two places to ninth, despite increasing his wealth by £3m to £198m.

British balladeer Adele, who has added £35m to her personal fortune in a year, tops the Young Music Rich List of performers aged 30 and under.

The 27-year-old singer, who performed in Belfast last month, is now worth £85m, and rises to 30th place in the overall 2016 Sunday Times list of the wealthiest performers and composers in Britain and Ireland.

The Rolling Stones have combined fortunes of £630m, up £40m on 2015, and are the wealthiest band in Britain and Ireland, ahead of U2 with a joint fortune of £500m, an increase of £69m on the 2015 Sunday Times Music Rich List.

U2 were the highest-grossing rock act last year selling 1.29m tickets worth £66m for 76 concerts.

The 2016 Sunday Times Music Rich List is headed by Sir Paul McCartney, who with his wife Nancy Shevell shares a joint fortune of £760m, up £30m on last year. American-born Shevell has a £150m stake in her father's New England Motor Freight trucking operation.

David Bowie's widow Iman Abdulmajid and his filmmaker son by his first marriage to Angie, Duncan Jones, join this year's list with a joint family fortune of £90m, based on the £70m from Bowie's will, their own wealth and royalties from the chart success of Bowie's music after his death.

Belfast Telegraph


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