Tones And I, Vance Joy and Jaddan Comerford Enter AFR’s ‘Young Rich List’
Tones And I, Vance Joy and UNIFIED Music Group co-founder and CEO Jaddan Comerford are first-time entries into the Australian Financial Review’s “Young Rich List,” published in full Friday (Oct. 28).
The trio are presented to readers as prime examples of the Australian music industry’s “great resurgence,” one that has become truly global with the rise of streaming platforms.
Tones, the alter-ego of busker-turned-international hitmaker Toni Watson, cracks the list with an estimated fortune of $35 million, according to the AFR.
The bulk of that fortune was generated by Tones’ world-beating hit from 2019 “Dance Monkey,” which topped the charts in 30 markets, including a record 24-week reign in Australia, and 11 weeks atop the U.K. chart, also a benchmark for a solo female artist.
A second album, the follow-up to 2021’s Welcome to the Madhouse, which went to No. 1 on the ARIA Chart, is on the way.
Joy, the stage name for singer and songwriter James Keogh, enters the list with deep pockets valued at $40 million.
A multiple ARIA Award-winning artist, Joy’s career went global, fast, with the release of his 2013 song “Riptide.”
The song caught the attention of triple j listeners, which voted it in at No. 1 on the Hottest 100 countdown, and Taylor Swift, who covered it and invited the Aussie artist to open for her on tour.
His career is now three albums deep. “Missing Piece,” from his most recent LP, 2022’s In Our Own Sweet Time, was the third-most streamed song in Australia written or co-written by an APRA member in the past year, the PRO reports.
For Comerford, recognition in the list is a “proud moment” for himself, his fellow music industry reps, and for UNIFIED Music Group, the company he co-founded.
2022 marks 20 years since Comerford planted the seeds for the Melbourne-based independent music group, which is now active in management, retail solutions, multiple labels, publishing, includes the investment syndicate, Side Stage Ventures, and a range of other creative and business services.
The expansive company boasts 90 staff, has feet on the ground around the world, and will turn over $30 million this year, the AFR reports.
Comerford, now 38, is a captain of an industry which outperforms expectations.
“Nobody backs a loser, and the music industry can sometimes look like it’s not doing so well, through the lockdowns or with piracy,” says Comerford, who manages Joy and books Tones through the Lonely Lands Agency, “but money’s always being generated, it just comes through different channels.”
Comerford takes the lead in a 2,500 feature on the growth in streaming services, live and merchandising, penned by “Rich List” co-editor Michael Bailey.
Model Miranda Kerr remains the richest public figure under 40 ($173 million up from $124 million) in the list.
The combined wealth of the 100 richest young Australians aged 40 and under has fallen 27 percent during the past 12 months to a four year low of $30 billion, reveals the list, published in full in the AFR Magazine.