Elton John, 64
Estimated net worth: $200 million
How he made his money: Music
Pet cause: The Elton John AIDS Foundation
Who would have guessed that this pinball wizard would grow up to become one of the wealthiest gay entertainers of our day? A pop superstar since the 1970s, John truly struck gold with his singing and composing duties on Disney musicals like The Lion King.
Of course his love of shopping has put a dent in his net worth: At the start of the new millennium, John admitted to spending £30 million ($47 million) in just under two years. In 2001, he auctioned off 20 cars at Christie’s, admitting he never got the chance to drive them. And, more recently, he sold the entire contents of his home in Holland Park in order to turn it into a contemporary art museum. (John is believed to have one of the largest private collections of photography in the world.)
He might be a material girl, but Sir Elton has been giving back to the community for years, from “That’s What Friends Are For,” the charity song he recorded with Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, to his annual over-the-top White Tie & Tiara Ball, which raised more than $7.3 million in one evening.
These days Elton spends his days with husband David Furnish and their 2-year-old son, Zachary. But his bad-boy days are hardly over, as he proved in his recent catfight with Madonna over the Golden Globes. Even though Madge nabbed the Best Original Song award, with half-a-billion in the bank, Elton is the true Queen of Pop. And with his tastes in expensive trinkets, we’re sure he has the tiara to prove it.
Photo by David Shankbone