royalty riches | 

These are the artists who just sit back and watch the money roll in every Xmas

Like Hugh Grant’s character in About A Boy, there are a handful of celebrities who just sit back and watch the seasonal dough multiply

Slade

Mariah Carey© Alexx Henry Studios, LLC

Shakin Stevens

Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York'. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

Wham! Last Christmas

Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Del Boy (David Jason) dressed as Batman and Robin in the classic Only Fools And Horses episode which has been named as Britain's most memorable Christmas TV moment in a poll. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.© PA

Paul McCartney

Daragh KeanySunday World

Forget about stocking fillers and badly-wrapped gifts under a tree.

Imagine you are one of the lucky musicians or actors who just sits back and watches the money roll in this time of year?

Royalties get paid out in January each year so some of the world’s biggest names are about to receive their annual windfall and they won’t have had to lift a finger in years.

Like Hugh Grant’s character in About A Boy, there are a handful of celebrities who just sit back and watch the seasonal dough roll in.

The real question is though…how much dough? Is it the most wonderful time of the year for the celebrities?

  • Slade

Noddy Holder may not be a household name to the Gen Z and Millennial generations but the Slade front man used to be a rock God back in the 60s and 70s. But their 1973 hit ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is the song that keeps on giving. It is believed that the Englishman receives a cheque for €600k every single year, with a portion of that going to the much-forgotten songwriter Jim Lea, who wrote the famous chorus.

Mariah Carey© Alexx Henry Studios, LLC

  • Mariah Carey

The 1994 hit ‘All I Want For Christmas’ has become a seasonal anthem for millions as radio stations all over the planet use it to signify the official start to Christmas. Incredibly, the US singer has earned €74m from that one song and the money keeps on rolling in. It was recently reported that her royalties cheque is around the €2.5m each year.

Fun fact…‘All I Want For Christmas’ has found a special kind of popularity in Japan, where it’s twice gone Platinum resulting in Carey flying in to perform it in the middle of July.

Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York'. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)© Getty Images

  • Shane MacGowan

Rumour has it that this song came about as a result of a bet with Elvis Costello that The Pogues couldn’t write a Christmas song “that wouldn’t be slushy”! The finest seasonal pop song of modern times proves Shane and the band won the bet. Even with the BBC banning it, the song is still one of the most played, requested, streamed and downloaded each and every Christmas leading to MacGowan making €500k each year.

Shakin Stevens

  • Shakin’ Stevens

Remember him? The 80s kind of British Elvis had hips to wiggle and leather jackets with giant collars to flick up. He even had Elvis’ hair style for most of his career too. But his 1985 smash hit ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ is what he will be eternally remembered for. It garners €150k each Christmas, although a lot of that does have to go to the writer Bob Heatlie!

Wham! Last Christmas

  • Wham!

Following the sad passing of George Michael on Christmas Day 2016, sales of Wham!‘s ‘Last Christmas’ significantly increased on the Official Charts Company’s (OCC) previous estimate of 1.78 million copies sold. The song now generates nearly €600k in royalties. Not bad for song that never made it to Number 1 back in 1984 because of Band Aid.

  • Jona Lewie

You’ve probably never heard of him but he is laughing all the way to the bank each year (since 1980) with a cheque for nearly €150k.

An unlikely Christmas hit due to its anti-war theme – Lewie himself has expressed some bemusement with its festive appropriation ‘Stop The Cavalry’ has still gone on to become a staple sound of Christmas morning: think where we’d be without that triumphant brass section or that wistful “wish I was at home for Christmas” line.

Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) and Del Boy (David Jason) dressed as Batman and Robin in the classic Only Fools And Horses episode which has been named as Britain's most memorable Christmas TV moment in a poll. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.© PA

  • David Jason

Long before the mega TV deals you see nowadays, Del Boy and Rodney were Trotting all the way to the bank with a cool €150k per episode. Not bad for the 80s and 90s. Their iconic onscreen double act still gets played all year around but especially this time of year and that means the actors behind the likeable traders earn some juicy royalties. Last year David Jason earned €2.8m and a large chunk of that windfall was for a TV show he made three decades ago. Lovely Jubbly.

Paul McCartney

  • Paul McCartney

One of the greatest singer songwriters of all time and one quarter of the greatest band of all time…yet it is a 1979 festive tune called ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ that reaps the biggest annual windfall for Sir Paul. In any given year the singer can earn €600-750k for just that one song.

  • Irving Berlin

No song captures the heart of the holidays like “White Christmas”. This is ironic when you consider the fact that it was written by a Jewish immigrant from Russia. Bing Crosby’s version is by far the most famous but countless other artists have recorded the song. And it all means that Irving Berlin and his estate have earned €80m since it was penned 82 years ago.


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