49. (47) Robert Plant £75m (£70m)
The partnership between Black Country rocker and Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and country and bluegrass singer Alison Krauss may have seemed an unlikely pairing.
But their album, Raising Sand, has been a runaway success and was followed by sell-out tours of the UK and the States.
The album itself, and tracks from it, have been showered with awards including Sunday Times Album of the Year. Most recently the pair’s collaboration on the single Gone, Gone, Gone was named as musical event of the year at the prestigious Country Music Awards in Nashville. They also received awards for album of the year and duo of the year at the annual Americana awards.
There were rumours last year that Robert Plant was joining fellow Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham for a reunion tour and possibly an album. The rumours followed the one-off Led Zeppelin comeback concert at the O2 Arena.
However, Robert Plant himself has denied that he has any plans to link up with his former band members, and has stated that he doesn’t intend touring with anyone for at least two years.
The O2 Arena reunion was the first time the band had performed together for 19 years. The concert was held as a tribute to the late founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun. Ertegun, who died in 2006 aged 83, signed Led Zeppelin to the label in 1968.
Robert Plant had a Black Country childhood (born in West Bromwich, brought up in Halesowen) and a promising career as a chartered accountant.
He pursued his music career unprofitably to begin with, subsidising his income with a variety of jobs.
In 1968, Jimmy Page recruited Robert Plant as lead singer for his new band. They were joined by drummer, the late John Bonham (whose son Jason – currently drummer with Foreigner – played drums at the O2 Arena gig) and John Paul Jones.
Led Zeppelin have since sold more than 300 million albums worldwide. In 1995 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the New Year’s honours Robert Plant was awarded a CBE.