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Bowie Named Wealthiest U.K. Rocker

October 30, 1997 12:00 AM ET

David Bowie was just named Britain's wealthiest rock star. With a net worth of approximately $917 million, Bowie edged out Paul McCartney, who's worth a paltry $868 million, for the top spot, according to a survey compiled by Business Age magazine.

The first two spots far outweigh the next rock star, Tom Jones, who came in at No. 3 with $459 million -- $409 million less than McCartney. Earlier this year, Bowie issued bonds on Wall Street for future earnings on his back catalog, earning him an additional $55 million for that transaction alone.

All the musicians who grace the Top 10 are men; there are only three female acts in the Top 50: Annie Lennox (No. 34 with $43 million), Kate Bush (No. 38 with $30 million) and the Spice Girls (No. 42 -- each member's worth equals $24 million).

Britain's Top 10 Wealthiest Rockers:

  • David Bowie - $917 million
  • Paul McCartney -- $868 million
  • Tom Jones -- $459 million
  • Phil Collins -- $367 million
  • Elton John -- $333 million
  • Mick Jagger -- $225 million
  • Eric Clapton -- $200 million
  • George Harrison -- $175 million
  • Sting -- $161 million
  • Keith Richards -- $160 million

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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