How much are musicians worth?

Friday Ballad with BALLAD ZULU
THE net worth of anyone in Zambia is almost always shrouded in mystery because although the laws (on paper) are very clear that we should all explain the sources of our wealth, the culture seldom follows through.
In Zambia, we have wealthy individuals who have never invented or innovated anything, yet, they have never explained how they became wealthy.
Some are high profile public figures that have even refused to explain the source of their wealth on international media. It is as though they became wealthy through magic.
In order to build a merit based society, where effort and innovation is rewarded instead of theft and crookedness, we must strive to be transparent about our dealings.
Firstly, what does net worth mean? Net worth is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. Another way to say this is that it is the value of everything you own, minus all your debts.
Net worth is a concept that can be applied to both individuals and businesses, as a measure of how much they are really worth.
So a person can appear to be doing well yet he or she is deep in debt. It is very fashionable for celebrities to portray the image that they are wealthy even when they are not.
This pursuit to keep up appearances has led many celebrities to lose their wealth. This list of celebrities who once were wealthy but ended up being broke is long.
Examples of such celebrities include; Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday), Toni Braxton, Ted Nugent, Marvin Gaye, David Crosby, MC Hammer, Billy Joel and George Clinton among others.
When it comes to Zambian music artistes, the situation does not get any better. There are some unverifiable nearly juvenile ratings of the wealth of Zambian music artistes. These sites do not tell us how they came to these amounts, but still, I have even heard these clearly unverifiable claims get treated like truth.
Do we want to know how much we musicians really make? Absolutely. This helps to gauge whether it is a worthwhile pursuit to follow financially or not. Trying to look successful is also the bane of some music artistes. They lead showy, hip hop like lives sometimes at great personal cost.
In the western world where declaring your wealth is a cardinal part of the culture, it is easier to gauge the net worth of musicians or indeed anyone.
However, this is also surrounded in controversy. Famous website like CelebrityNetWorth, which reports estimates of the total assets and financial activities of celebrities and is operated by the company Corte Lodato LLC, founded by CEO Brian Warner in 2008, has been criticised for a lack of transparency for its calculations, with no way to verify the accuracy of what CelebrityNetWorth reports. Forbes Magazine, which is more respected, is famous for its annual estimates of income and not net worth.
So who are the richest musicians on the world? This was compiled by comparing several net worth estimators. The following appear on every list, with slight variations in rankings.
Andrew Lloyd Webber – $1.28 billion; Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion; Jay Z – $900 million; Herb Alpert – $880 million; Sean Combs aka P Diddy – $825 million; Celine Dion – $800 million; Dr Dre – $740 million; and Bono $700 million.
Missing from the more believable rankings are the so-called wealthy Nigerian music artistes. Also missing are the high-selling musicians from the Indian subcontinent.
Send your comments to balladzulu@gmail.com

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