Madonna Tops Paul McCartney as Wealthiest Artist

Madonna has now surpassed Paul McCartney and other 1-percenters as the world’s wealthiest recording artist, according to a new list released today by Wealth-X. Based on their valuation, the Material Girl is worth an impressive $800 million. It’s a monstrous sum, though the New York Post ranked her even higher last year at $1 billion.

Whether or not she has joined the billion-dollar club, Madonna now seems to be well ahead of Paul McCartney, whose net worth is estimated at $660 million by Wealth-X. However, if you combine the fortune of McCartney’s wife, Nancy Shevell, they are a pretty powerful couple. Shevell, a businesswoman and Vice President of New England Motor Freight, is reportedly worth $300 million. (Just for fun, we’ll add that her vintage, 1925 diamond engagement ring from Paul was valued at $650,000).

Coming in just under the Beatle is Dr. Dre, the third-wealthiest recording artist of 2014. Dre is reported to have a $650 million net worth, and his $3 billion Beats deal with Apple this year probably didn’t hurt. Diddy is right behind him in the number four spot, valued at $640 million. Although, some have pointed out that both of the rappers are now more businessmen than they are active recording artists. It should also be noted that composers and theater icons like Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is worth around $1.2 billion, do not qualify as recording artists and are not included on the list.

The rest of the top ten includes Celine Dion at $630 million, Bono at $590 million, Mariah Carey at $520 million, Jay-Z at $510 million, Elton John at $450 million, and Beyoncé at $440 million. At age 33, Beyoncé is the youngest artist on the list. She and Jay-Z make up another power couple, with their combined valuations putting them right at the edge of billionaire status.

If that’s shocking, you may be even more surprised to hear that Madonna was reportedly topped by a deceased artist last year, according to Forbes. Michael Jackson posthumously earned $160 million in 2013 alone, his Cirque du Soleil show bringing in a significant amount of that sum.