From stagehand to £635m impresario – Sir Cameron Mackintosh top Scot on music rich list

THE personal fortune of theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh has soared to more than £600 million, boosted by his hit revival of the musical Oliver!.

Sir Cameron – who has a Scottish father and keeps a 13,000 acre Highlands estate – was placed fourth yesterday in the top 50 music millionaires, behind Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber but ahead of Sir Paul McCartney.

Editors on the Sunday Times Rich List dramatically revised Sir Cameron's net worth up by 80 percent this year, from an estimated 350m in 2009.

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His Cameron Mackintosh Ltd produced record profits of 23m last year. He has refurbished his seven London theatres, said to be worth about 125m, while the worldwide rights to hit shows he has produced such as Les Misrables and Cats are said to be worth about 225m.

Another prominent Scottish entry on the list, with the full run-down out this weekend, is the Paisley singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini.

Nutini appears on the list of young music millionaires – aged 30 or under – with an estimated worth of about 5m. The figure puts him on a par with artists including Lily Allen, Jamie Cullum, and Amy Winehouse.

The music rich list is topped by Edgar Bronfman, the boss of the Warner Music Group, with an estimated fortune of 1.64bn.

TV talent show tycoon Simon Cowell is placed 11, with a net worth of 165m, after earning a reported 86m in the past two years from his television work.

One musical celebrity notable from her absence from the music rich list is Susan Boyle.

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While the Britain's Got Talent prodigy saw her first album notch up record sales last year, the 48-year-old singer has yet to earn the 35m that would get her into the top 50.

Musical evergreen Sir Cliff Richard appears in 41st place with an estimated fortune of 50m. And veteran rocker Rod Stewart's net worth is put at 105m.

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Sir Cameron, 63, began his theatre career as a London stagehand.

He graduated to producing touring shows before his big break came when he produced Cats in 1981.

His fortune is now said to include a stake in the American licensing business MTI, worth 100m, and around 85m in cash holdings.

The London theatre owner Nica Burns, an Edinburgh festival veteran, said yesterday: "While I have no insight into his bank account, these figures wouldn't surprise me at all.

"He's made his fortune from judgment, talent and sheer hard work. He came from nowhere. Young producers look up to him."

"He has built up the most incredible producing business and has reproduced his hit shows all over the world. He has the double qualities of creative ability and business touch."

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Nutini, 23, demonstrated his durability last year by releasing a second hit album, Sunny Side Up in June 2009.

It was the eighth best-selling artist album in the UK in 2009 with sales of more than 800,000 after his 1.2 million selling debut These Streets from July 2006. He has toured the UK, US and Europe in the past year.

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Singer and TV star Charlotte Church heads the list of music millionaires under 30, with an estimated wealth of 11m. Katherine Jenkins and Leona Lewis are also ranked among top earners.

The rich list's editor, Ian Coxon, said: "They are not making the money they used to out of album and single royalties but the fees they can command for touring are considerable and that's what's helping boost their fortunes."