James Brown's Net Worth During His Death - Had A Long Battle Over His Estates After His Death

BY REJINA Updated on 21 February, 2021

James Brown Net Worth.
$100 million

James Brown's net worth of $100 million included his earnings from album sales, live show earnings as well as royalties. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Birth Name James Joseph Brown Jr.
Birth place Barnwell, South Carolina, USA
Profession Singer, Songwriter, Musician, and Record Producer
Nationality American
Zodiac Sign Taurus
Hair Color Black

Many people are born with talent, but only a few are multi-talented and can use it to their advantage, and they are real inspirations. Among a few was James Brown, a man with many skills. He proved his talent through diversified skills being a singer, songwriter, dancer, musician, record producer, bandleader, and many more. Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, the United States, on Wednesday, May 03, 1933. Sadly, he died on December 25, 2006.

''Soul Brother Number One'', "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Mr. Dynamite," and ''The Godfather of Soul"- those were sobriquet titles he earned from his exciting, exhilarating stage shows and performance. Here, in this article, we have cited every piece of information regarding the singer's fortune. And thanks to his illustrious career, James Brown's net worth was $100 million during his death.

James Brown Net Worth And Sources Of Earning

Looking back at his mammoth career, James Brown had a massive income and colossal bank balance at the time of his death. According to Celebrity Net Worth, James Brown's net worth was $100 million, which he earned from his music career. The influential singer who had enjoyed a successful career over the years had a long list of albums. 

James Brown had earned his income from his variety of skills, and mostly he had made money as a singer. ''Live At The Apollo'', "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" were the albums that topped various charts. Here we can state very clearly that the primary source of income for James Brown was from his music career.

Sources of Earning From Music Career

The most valuable things to grow in any career are the love, passion, and dedication you have for it. James Brown chose music as part of his life, which brought him all the world's fame.

James Brown was a reputed singer who sang a hit ballads.

James Brown started his career as a Gospel singer, but he received public attention in the mid-1950s as the Famous Flames lead singer. He could not gain limelight till the mid-1950s but, after recording hit ballads "Please Please Please" and ''Try Me',' he got his fame as a tireless performer.

Record label King's president, Syd Nathan, did not like James Brown's first recording, "Please Please Please," but the album eventually went to sell three million copies and noticed him as Brown's extraordinary career. 

Along with placing almost 100 singles and nearly 50 albums on the best-seller charts, Brown broke new ground with two first favorable albums, “Live and in concert,” which created a landmark in his career. It stayed in charts for 66 weeks and Pure Dynamite, Live at the Royal, remained on the charts for 22 weeks. He must have earned a massive amount of money as a singer, musician, songwriter of these albums. Some of James Brown's albums are listed below with their prices:

Albums Prices
The Payback $27.22 (Vinyl)
Black Caesar $5.933 (MP3)
James Brown: 50th Anniversary Collection $23.99 (MP3)
Gold $16.99 (MP3)
Live At The Apollo 1962 $11.77 (Audio CD)
Love Power Peace $42.42 (Vinyl)
Foundations of Funk: A Brand New Bag: 1964-1969 $24.32 (Audio CD)
In The Jungle Groove (2LP) $26.28 (Vinyl)

James Brown was a progenitor of Funk music and a renowned figure of the 20th century in music. He released a massive amount of albums, which helped him earn an impressive amount of money. All the James Browns' albums were hit, and if you are interested in listening to his songs, it is available on Amazon.

Sources Of Income As A Band Leader

James Brown's touring show and the live concert was one of the most free-spending productions in the world of popular music. At the time of his death, James' band had three guitarists and numerous other musicians. The multi-talented person, James Brown, earned money as a bandleader who had always tried to maintain discipline amongst brand members.

James Brown's concerts were one of the most extravagant shows so, he garnered his wealth as a Brand Leader and a solo performer. Besides his music career, Brown earned his net fortune from Royalties too.

Music Catalogues Royalties

James Brown's net worth of $100 million also included the amount he received from his music's royalties. As per Federal copyright laws, any copyrights sold to the music publisher or recorder have to revert to the artist/artist's heirs so the artists can earn their amount. Similarly, James Brown pocketed a massive sum from licensing and royalties of his music.

A Long Battle Over James Brown Estates After His Death

James Brown was a legendary singer who composed more than 1200 pieces of songs. Many of his songs created tremendous remarks on the entertainment world, which allowed the superstar to accumulate a sufficient amount of net fortune.

James accounted for that asset in a will drafted in 2000. Here in this article, we have fulfilled the most asked question about the legal conflict over James Brown's will.

Years after his death, the legal battle about James Brown's real estate is still going on, with several individuals claiming their share. As per his will, "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business" had granted most of his wealth to unprivileged students in South Carolina and Georgia. Still, Donald W. Beatty, chief justice of South Carolina’s Supreme Court, stated that they had not received a single property of James Brown. According to Wealthy Advisor, the supreme court had passed the order to the lower court to promptly proceed as per his estate plan.

As mentioned in Brown's will, his grandchildren would get scholarships worth $2 million. Other households and designated costumes will go to six of his children, and the rest of all Brown's wealth goes to a charitable trust.

Since the singer's death, the fourth wife, Tomi Rae Hynie, and James' children have a conflict over James Brown's real estate.

According to a lawsuit filed by nine of James Brown's children, Hynie unlawfully made a deal and sold the rights of James Brown's songs to Warner Chappell Music, which helped her earn $1.9 million. Everything changed on June 25, 2020, when South Carolina Supreme Court passed the order that Hynie was not married to James Brown.

James Brown: LifeStyle, Marriage, And Divorce

Without a doubt, James Brown was one of the most influential singers, musicians, and dancers. When we look at his career graph and his net fortune, we can clearly say that he lived a luxurious life and had a huge bank balance.

James Brown was a famous singer who came from humble backgrounds but created a legacy for himself and earned a tremendous amount of money. However, Brown's childhood was full of struggles, so he did not complete his education. But soon, James noticed he had a talent for singing. 

James Brown's marriage was often filled with domestic violence and divorce procedures. So, he might have had paid a hefty sum as child support and spousal support to his ex-wives. During his life, James welcomed nine children, but after his death, several individuals have come forward claiming that the late singer was their father.

Charity And Activism

No doubt that James Brown had received massive fame and honor. Besides that, he showed his kindness to needy people. Brown's central activism was in promoting the need for education for the youth. 

After his death, James had mentioned in his will that most of his money goes to I Feel Good, Inc.


  • Bobby Byrd discovered James Brown.
  • He was well-known for his blue and gospel-based music.
  • James Brown had received many awards.
  • James Brown due to the complications of pneumonia.

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Published on 18 February, 2021

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