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No economic downturn for Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell, who judges “American Idol” and the U.K's “X Factor” and “Britain's Got Talent,” is seven percent richer than last year, while traditional rock stars are losing out in the recession.
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Ubiquitous talent spotter Simon Cowell has seen his fortune rise as traditional rock stars lose out in the recession.

Cowell, who judges “American Idol” and the U.K's “X Factor” and “Britain's Got Talent,” is seven percent richer than last year, with a net worth of at $175.2 million, according to Ian Coxon, editor of The Sunday Times Rich List.

And he's nearly alone on this one. His rise comes as others fare poorly in the struggling economy.

Ex-Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, 66, holds onto his third-place position in the list of British music millionaires, but his wealth has fallen from $730 million to $642.4 million — a drop of 12 percent. The decrease is attributed to "falling property and share values [that] have wiped $87.6 million off Sir Paul McCartney's fortune," The Sunday Times says.

Fellow musical knight Sir Elton John, 62, who ended his Red Piano concert series Las Vegas Wednesday, is said to have seen his fortune tumble by 26 percent from $343.1 million to $255.5 million. The paper points out though, "He regularly gives large sums to charity," including recent donations of $61.32 million to HIV/Aids and other humanitarian causes.

Kris Allen and Adam Lambert will compete for the season 8 crown on “American Idol.” 

The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger — down 16 percent to $277.4 million — and The Police's Sting — down 10 percent to $262.8 million — join their peers among those hit, according to the newspaper's rankings.

And Amy Winehouse, 25, has seen her fortune halve, to $7.3 million, which the paper says is because, despite having album sales of $6 million, she hasn't released any new music this year.

Meanwhile, Duffy, who has been blessed with getting awards and burgeoning sales this past year is a new entry into Britain's 100 wealthiest youngsters in music with an accumulated wealth of $5.84 million.

Elsewhere, David Beckham tops the British sporting millionaires, with a fortune of $182.5 million — which is no change on last year's figures.