Adele named UK's richest female artist

Adele performs at Grammy Awards in February.

Story highlights

  • Adele has a £85 million ($121 million) fortune, Sunday Times Rich List says
  • The Music Millionaires List includes two other women

London (CNN)Adele has been named the richest British female artist, with a £85 million ($121 million) fortune, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Three women are on in this year's Music Millionaires List: Irish singer Enya, whose £91 million ($130.4 million) fortune lands her at No. 28; Adele, ranking at No. 30; and Kylie Minogue, who makes the list at No. 42 with a £55 million fortune ($78.8 million).
    However, their riches pale in comparison with the longtime artists occupying the top spots, all of whom are men. With £760 million ($1.08 billion), Paul McCartney and his wife, Nancy Shevell, come in at No. 1, followed by Broadway virtuoso Andrew Lloyd Webber, with a £715 million ($1.02 billion) fortune.
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    The Sunday Times bills the list as the "definite guide to Britain's wealthiest people."
    Adele has seen her wealth increase £35 million ($50.1 million) in the last 12 months, thanks to the recent release of her album "25," which came after a five-year break. To date, the record has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and features a number of chart-topping hits, including "When We Were Young" and "Hello," which became the fastest-selling UK single in 18 years.
    Despite its release in late November, "25" became the best-selling album of 2015.
    Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for the British Phonographic Industry, credits Adele's substantial earnings increase with the fact that she writes her own songs.
    "Adele has that rare ability to stand out and an authenticity that enables her music to connect with fans of all ages and backgrounds," he tells CNN.
    "She's a global icon, but so down to earth with it that people can easily almost imagine her as a friend -- so they can relate to her and what she has to say through her lyrics."
    Castaldo suggests songwriting may also be the reason why Enya remains so high on the list. He says that even though "she's been relatively quiet of late, (Enya) has been consistently and enormously successful over many decades and most notably in the 1980s and 1990s."
    For the fifth year, Adele also tops the publication's Young Music Rich List, which only features artists 30 and under. British crooner Ed Sheeran came in at No. 2 with £45 million ($64.4 million), with list newcomers Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine and Oscar-winning musician Sam Smith tied at No. 8 with a £20 million ($28.6 million) fortune. Recent Coachella guest star Ellie Goulding rounds out the list at No. 10.
    Top 10 Music Millionaires List
    1. Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell -- £760 million ($1.08 billion)
    2. Andrew Lloyd Webber -- £715 million ($1.02 billion)
    3. U2 -- £500 million ($716 million)
    4. Elton John -- £280 million ($401 million)
    5. Mick Jagger -- £235 million ($336 million)
    6. Olivia and Dhani Harrison (wife and son of the late George Harrison) -- £220 million ($315 million)
    6. Keith Richards -- £220 million ($315 million)
    8. Ringo Starr -- £200 million ($286 million)
    9. Michael Flatley -- £198 million ($283 million)
    10. Sting -- £185 million ($265 million)
    The complete Sunday Times Rich List will be published this weekend.