Pop history is littered with examples of artists who have wasted money

Pop history is littered with examples of artists who’ve squandered their cash on wacky ventures, like when Rita Ora put thousands towards a cup that enables women to wee standing up (“That is one of my worst investments,” MTVreported her saying) or The KLF burning a million in cash (“Of course I regret it – who wouldn’t!” the group’s Bill Drummond later said).

As news reaches us of yet another pop star frittering away their fortune – last week, the Telegraph reported that Mel B had “wiped out all her Spice Girls money” thanks to a series of “improvident lifestyle choices” – here are seven other tales of woe, beginning with the grand tale of The Haçienda, the Manchester club that New Order helped run at a tremendous loss for 15 years and that closed down 20 years ago.

Manchester rave mecca The Haçienda was a club that had windows and no cloakroom. As part of a consortium that included their label, Factory Records, and its boss Tony Wilson, New Order opened the venue in 1982, having poured around £3m (in today’s money) into creating a space that recreated the imposing atmosphere of legendary New York clubs. Bassist Peter Hook told the Guardian in 2012: “They told us it would cost £45,000 and if the band put up half we’d get our own nightclub – with free drinks. It ended up costing £450,000, a huge sum back then.”

Business was initially slow, before dance music took off in the city in the late-80s. Yet The Haçienda still lost massive amounts of cash, partly through mismanagement and partly because punters showed curiously little interest in spending money at the bar. It went bankrupt in 1997, at which point New Order calculated that they lost a tenner every time a customer came through the door. The great shock here, then, is that it ran for an entire 15 years. Hooky published a book about the club in 2009. It was called The Haçienda: How Not To Run a Club.

On Valentine’s Day 2016, Kanye West tweeted: “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome…” He went on, as the Guardian noticed, to implore billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to stump up a billion dollars to enable him to realise his creative ambitions. Kanye claimed that he’d sunk the money in the fashion industry, having recently launched a new season of his Yeezy line, while it’s been alleged that he lost $30m through his doomed 2011 womenswear range and $16m in the first season of a collaboration with a sportswear brand.

Luckily, his wife Kim Kardashian is a total baller and her countless successful business ventures include a lucrative range of mobile apps. As CNBC reported, she later tweeted: “Sorry I’m late to the party guys I was busy cashing my 80 million video game check & transferring 53 million into our joint account.” Who needs Mark Zuckerberg?