The Sunday Times of April 19, 1998, said it's sticking with last year's valuation on Elton in its Top 500 Wealthiest Persons Survey at GBP150 million, despite a surge Elton's popularity after the huge sales of his Candle in the Wind tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. Last December John handed over £20m in royalties to Diana's memorial fund, and another £10m is due.
But his ranking on GBP150 million has slipped to 134th richest person in Britain from 132nd. The 1996 accounts of his Happenstance, J Bondi and William A Bong companies reveal an annual salary of about £40m - ``by far the biggest ever disclosed total for a UK rock star'', says The newspaper's rock expert.
This ought to lead to a hefty revaluation of John, the newspaper says. But after the leaking in January of a letter from Price Waterhouse, the accountancy firm, to his management company, the newspaper's more cautious. The letter warned of cash flow problems by April unless action was taken. Although there is no suggestion that Elton is going broke, his prodigious spending will mean that the £40m earned in 1996 could be eaten up very quickly.
But he is now more of a bankable proposition than at any time in his career. Just a week before the Price Waterhouse letter, he signed a seven-figure sponsorship deal with Citibank. We raise the value of his back catalogue to £100m, while cutting his retained earnings to £50m - giving the same overall total as last year.
But Elton's long way behind Richard Branson (his former jousting partner over the Diana "Candle" single) who is 14th richest in Britain, worth GBP1 billion.