Sting’s children cannot expect to inherit his multimillion-pound wealth, the rock star has said, joining the ranks of the super-rich who have claimed that passing on their vast fortunes to their offspring could do more harm than good.
The 62-year-old musician, who is estimated to be worth £180m and has three sons and three daughters, said he did not want “to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks”.
“They have to work,” he told the Mail on Sunday’s Event magazine . “All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I appreciate. Obviously, if they were in trouble I would help them, but I’ve never really had to do that. They have this work ethic that makes them want to succeed on their own merit.”
Sting insisted there would in fact not be a huge fortune left for his children, who are aged between 18 and 37.
“I told them there won’t be much money left because we are spending it,” he said. “We have a lot of commitments. What comes in we spend, and there isn’t much left.”
Sting, who grew up in working class family in Wallsend on Tyneside, said his hard slog to fame and fortune via playing pubs for £10 a night had built “a resilience and a toughness”. Comparing his route to ‘overnight stars’ of modern pop such as Justin Bieber, he said: “If it had all been handed to me on a plate, I’m not sure I would appreciate it or have survived.”
Sting also disclosed that the Queen Mother had been the unlikely inspiration behind his pursuit of fame and fortune. He said he had seen her when she visited the Swan Hunter shipyard near his childhood home and had vowed to himself: “I am going to be rich, famous, successful and drive a Rolls-Royce like her.”
Sting is the latest in a long line of high-profile wealthy figures to declare they want their offspring to make their own way in the world.
Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, has said that his children could not expect to inherit the vast majority of his estimated $US76bn fortune.
“They won’t have anything like that. They need to have a sense that their own work is meaningful and important,” he has been quoted as saying.
“You’ve got to make sure they have a sense of their own ability and what they’re going to go and do.”
Simon Cowell, the music mogul whose son Eric was born earlier this year, has said he will most likely leave his estimated £225 million fortune for charity, explaining: “I don’t believe in passing on from one generation to another.”
British celebrity chef Nigella Lawson has said she was “determined” that her children should have no financial security as “it ruins people not having to earn money”.
Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder, left her entire £51m fortune to charity after describing leaving money to one’s own family as “obscene”.
Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney was allegedly once described as “a tight b******” by his daughter Stella after sending her to a comprehensive school.
And John Roberts, the chief executive of white goods retailer ao.com, has said he will not pass his estimated £500m wealth to his children, in order that they could have normal lives and a sense of achievement.
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