Wiggles trump Kylie Minogue on Aussie rich list

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Children’s entertainment group The Wiggles are Australia’s richest performers, but pop star Kylie Minogue is only a few million dollars short of the top spot on a list laden with Hollywood actors and singers.

The Wiggles pose as they arrive at the G'Day USA: Australia Week 2007 Penfolds Icon gala in Los Angeles January 13, 2007. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The Top 50 Entertainers list, compiled by Business Review Weekly (BRW) magazine and in its 12th year, is based on estimated gross earnings from June 2007 to June 2008.

With an income of some A$45 million ($36 million), The Wiggles, who have a huge international following, kept their top spot for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Minogue, who earned A$40 million.

Actors Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman were in the number three and number four spots respectively, while another children’s group, Hi-5, were in fifth place with A$18 million.

Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett and country music star Keith Urban, who is married to actress Nicole Kidman, were at number six and seven with A$14 million and A$12.3 million respectively.

Veteran rockers AC/DC were still going strong, earning A$12 million for 8th spot. Actor Anthony LaPaglia, star of the TV crime drama “Without A Trace,” rounded off the top 10 with A$8 million.

The list included 20 newcomers, including artist John Olsen and popular tribute band The Australian Pink Floyd Show.

“The list shows that Australia’s entertainers rank as some of the country’s best exports,” a BRW statement said.

“Most of Australia’s Top 50 Entertainers enjoyed a bumper year and the cut-off to make the list increased A$200,000 to A$1.3 million,” it said.

However, the strong Australian dollar has hit overall earnings, as most of the Top 50 derive the majority of their income overseas.

Combined, Australia’s top 50 entertainers earned A$358.6 Australian dollars, slightly lower than last year’s A$393.4 million.

Writing by Miral Fahmy; Editing by Paul Tait