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Birthday party? £1m should help it go with a bit of a swing

The billionaire founder of Phones 4U, John Cauldwell, hired Leona Lewis to perform at his daughter Libby's 21st birthday party last week. The cost? £1,000,000.

Lewis, 23, winner of The X Factor in 2006, is meant to be concentrating on producing her second album, but took time out to perform seven songs – astonishingly, her longest-ever concert. And, at £140,000 a track, her most lucrative.

As well as singing "Happy Birthday", Lewis and Libby sang together on her hit single "Bleeding Love" in front of 200 guests at Mr Cauldwell's mansion in Eccleshall, Staffordshire – and they were joined on stage by Boyzone's Stephen Gately.

Mr Cauldwell flew in Diana Ross to sing at his girlfriend Clarie Johnson's 40th birthday party; is reputed to have hired Whitney Houston; and had Rod Stewart sing at a private function last May.

Meanwhile, the South African entrepreneur Sol Kerzner shelled out for his (fourth) wife Heather's 40th birthday celebrations at the Dorchester last week – serenading the fourth Mrs K were Donna Summer and Natalie Cole.

Credit crunch, anyone?

Whitney Houston, 45

Rumoured to be releasing her sixth album in 2009. She was last seen belting out the classics at a pre-Grammy gala last month.

Leona Lewis, 23

Netted £1m for a 21st-birthday performance, but turned down the same figure to open the Harrods sale because the store still sells clothes made from fur.

Rod Stewart, 64

A favourite of the billionaire boys' club, the crooner can be hired for £750,000. Rod, incidentally, is one of only two people to have a seat for life at his beloved Celtic FC.

Diana Ross, 64

The Motown legend was named by Guinness World Records as the biggest-selling female artist of the 20th century, and has recorded 61 albums.