Jo’burg boykie tops rich list

2011-05-07 00:00

THE richest music mogul in the world, South African Clive Calder, is the least known. “Wealth by stealth” is how Forbes magazine describes the Johannesburg-born and raised billionaire, reportedly worth £1,3 billion (R14,4 billion).

The annual Sunday Times Rich List of Britain’s music millionaires, which is due to be published by the newspaper this weekend, lists Calder at the top of the pile.

He has regained his position at number one after the 2010 list-topper Edgar Bronfman moved back to New York from his temporary home in London.

Calder grew up off Louis Botha Avenue, Johannesburg. He played bass guitar for local bands and it is said he kept tax manuals on his bedside table for reading. Calder started his first record company in 1971 in South Africa with Ralph Simon.

By 1975 they had relocated to London and had begun Zomba as a artist and producer management company, which expanded to New York City in 1978. One of the world’s most successful and sought-after producers, Robert “Mutt” Lange, who later married Shania Twain, worked alongside Calder during the period and assisted in the set-up of Jive Records.

In the late nineties Jive expanded its success to include teen pop phenomenons such as Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync and Britney Spears, all of which topped the charts.

In 2002 he sold Zomba for US$2,74 billion to the German-based media group Bertelsmann.

Another name on the list is Simon Cowell, reportedly worth £200 million. The 51-year-old music mogul made £35 million last year from his various business interests, including his SyCo music label and reality TV shows like The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, leading to his inclusion at number six on the list.

Cowell has bypassed music legends including Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the list, but his assets are dwarfed by Calder and rival Simon Fuller, whose £375 million earned him fifth place on the list.

Other musicians who made the list were Beatles legend Sir Paul McCartney, with a £495 million fortune, and Sting with £180 million.

Even though Cowell — who is engaged to make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy — can claim to be one of Britain’s richest men, he admitted he still enjoys playing the National Lottery, but would never tell anyone if he scooped a million pound jackpot.

He said: “I still buy lottery tickets. I still play. But I tick the box that says ‘no publicity’ so no one would know.”

However, despite his vast wealth, Cowell has recently admitted he often gets in “dark moods for no reason” and has often considered going to see a psychiatrist to deal with “a number of issues” he has.

He explained: “If I ever decided to go to a psychiatrist, it would be a long session. I have always thought that I do have a number of issues that probably need dealing with, because I am quite odd in some ways.”


1. Clive Calder £1,3 billion

2. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber £680 million

3. Cameron Mackintosh £675 million

4. Sir Paul McCartney £495 million

5. Simon Fuller £375 million

6. Simon Cowell £200 million

7. Sir Elton John £195 million

8. Sir Mick Jagger £190 million

9. Sting £180 million

10. Keith Richards £175 million

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