Cheryl Cole has catapulted herself to the top of the celebrity rich lists with incredible speed.
Cole made her name, then Tweedy, as a member of pop band Girls Aloud, established by winning Pop Stars: The Rivals (2002), which had a consecutive string of top ten chart hits.
But her fame was magnified many times over after being invited to be a judge on X-Factor in 2008.
In the year that followed, her wealth increased by 150% to approximately £10m, according to the The Sunday Times Rich List. That put her at No.4 in the list of top earning musicians under 30. Other estimates put her wealth at a more modest £8m.
Last year was incredibly lucrative. Cole received £1.2m as a judge on The X Factor as well as landing two £500,000 deals with Coca-Cola Zero and L’Oreal.
Her bank account would also have been topped up with royalties from her 2009 debut solo album 3 Words, which shot to number one. The first single from the album, ‘Fight for This Love’, was in the top five top-selling singles of 2009.
To add to her accumulating wealth HarperCollins signed the singer to write five steamy novels. Cole has never written before but with income possibly as much as £1m per book, she’s likely to be a fast learner, and maybe with a little help from a ghost writer. She’s also down as an author of ‘Dreams that Glitter – Our Story’, an ‘autobiography’ from 2008 for Girls Aloud.
Cole divorced from husband Ashley Cole in September 2010, himself a multi-millionaire footballer. The couple had an estimated joint £22m fortune, with the footballer earning £82,000 a week as a Chelsea player and accounting for the lion’s share – £14m.
The pop star was said to have told friends she wanted ‘nothing’ from Cole in the divorce. Instead, she was said to be prepared to walk away from their marriage with nothing bar her own earnings. Court papers should the judge asked Ashley Cole to pay his ex-wife’s costs of £1,500.
It remained unclear in the immediate aftermath whether Cole will keep the £6m marital home in Surrey. Reports suggested that the assets – including a flat in Friern Barnet, an affluent enclave of North London popular with professional footballers – would be sold and the proceeds halved.
A brief solo tour, her first, supporting the Black Eyed Peas in the UK in May and June will have earned Cole a further six-figure sum.
Other lucrative projects lay ahead. Cole has said she wanted her own perfume and a clothing range.
Her ongoing earning power for one-off events was also underlined at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May where a 30-second appearance at a party hosted by luxury jewellery firm de Grisogono is reported to have earned her £250,000.