Lord Lloyd-Webber
Rank 2017
Lloyd-Webber, 69, recently warned fellow peers not to frustrate Brexit and "overrule the will of the people". The composer, who had voted to remain in the EU, was speaking during the House of Lords debate and pledged to vote in parliament – something he has been criticised for failing to do. Lloyd-Webber could argue that becoming the first composer to have four shows on Broadway at one time gave him a reasonable excuse for having skipped the vote. Sunset Boulevard, starring Glenn Close, opened in February, joining Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock.
   He has 30 productions running across the world this year, and is working with Sir Elton John (qv) on an animated film version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which he wrote with Sir Tim Rice (qv) in the late 1960s. Assets at Really Useful Investments, Lloyd-Webber’s new theatre operation, rose from £6.3m to £6.5m in 2014-15. Splitting his Really Useful business into two seems to have bucked up his finances.
   As the creator of 13 musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, which has been by 140m people and grossed £4.1bn at the box office worldwide, Lloyd-Webber is still the leading composer in the world, celebrating 50 years in the business since he first collaboration with Rice on the little-known musical The Likes of Us. The worldwide business empire and royalty stream – managed through a separate company, the Really Useful Group – from long-running shows is worth £500m.
   He has invested in fine wine and properties in Barbados, Hampshire, Mallorca, New York and London. There is a castle in Ireland, too. His art collection includes a range of pre-Raphaelite paintings. Lloyd-Webber and his wife Madeleine founded the Watership Down Stud in Berkshire and own many successful racehorses. The strong rise in profits and assets at the Lloyd-Webber companies, as well as Broadway's fondness for the composer, justify a rise to £740m this year.