James Brown Net Worth: Career & Lifestyle

James Brown

Hey…..Do You Feel Good?

One of the most famous and decorated singers of all time, James Joseph Brown, professionally known as James Brown’s net worth was $100 million at the time of his death.

The American singer, perhaps famous for his chart-topping song I Got You (I Feel Good), is often referred to by honorific nicknames, including Mr. Dynamite, Soul Brother No. 1, and Godfather of Soul.

In 1965, the classic track hit number 1 on the US Billboard Rhythm & Blues charts.

James Brown
James Brown (Source: Wikipedia)

He has 17 singles that peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts.

In addition to being a tremendous singer, Brown was also a dancer, record producer, musician, and bandleader.

Mr. Dynamite was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York in January 1986, which also happens to be the introductory of the ceremony.

He was one of 10 inductees in its inaugural induction.

James Brown | Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts on the late singer James Brown:

Full Name James Joseph Brown
Known Professionally James Brown
Nickname Mr. Dynamite, Godfather of Soul, Soul Brother No. 1
Date of birth May 3, 1933
Date of Death December 25, 2006
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity Afro-American
Zodiac sign Taurus
Place of Birth Barnwell, South Carolina, United States
Sex Male
Father’s name Joseph Gardner Brown
Mother’s name Susie Brown
Siblings Not Known
Profession Singer, Dancer, Record Producer, Musician, and Bandleader
Genre R&B/Soul, Pop, Blues, Dance/Electronic, Reggae, Amapiano
Instruments Vocals, Keyboards, Drums, Harmonica, Guitar
Record Label Polydor Records, King Records, Republic Records, Mercury Records, Universal Music Enterprises, Scotti Brothers Records, TK Records, Smash Records, Federal Records
Songs I Got You, It’s Man’s Man’s World, Get Up Offa That Thing, Please Please Please, I Got a Feeling
Height 5’6”/168 cm/1.68 m
Weight 143 lbs./ 65 kg
Shoe size 8 US (40 EU)
Hair color Black
Eye color Dark Brown
Marital status Divorced
Wife Adrienne Rodriguez (m. 1984-1996), Deidre Jenkins (m. 1970-1981), Velma Warren (m. 1953-1969)
Children Teddy Brown, James Joseph Brown II, Venisha Brown, Yamma Brown, LaRohnda Pettit, Deanna Brown Thomas, Daryl Brown, Lisa Brown, Larry Brown, Terry Brown
Education Not Known
Awards/Nominations Eight Grammy Nominations, Three Wins
Net worth $100 Million
Merch Funko Pop, Photo, Album
Social Media FacebookInstagram
Last Update July 2024

James Brown | Net Worth & Music Rights

Net Worth

Musical icon James Brown’s net worth was $100 million at the time of his death in 2006.

Having started his career in the 50s, James practically ruled the R&B and soul music during his active years.

Over the course of his career, James managed to sell over 50 million records worldwide which earned him a sizable fortune.

Similarly, throughout his career, Brown released 15 live albums, 59 studio albums, 49 compilation albums, and 7 video albums.

Besides, he made a considerable amount from the music royalties and investments.

Likewise, his appearances in films and TV shows also aided in boosting his income.

Mr. Brown made a significant amount of money and lived lavishly.

However, the real drama began when he died and left his fortune without the proper will.

James Brown Performing Live
James Brown Performing Live (Source: Okayplayer)

A lot of lawsuits were filed after his death on his music rights and estate.

The legal battle between his widow and nine children ran for years.

It took more than a decade to reach the closure of Mr. Brown’s estate.

As per the will, Brown left the majority of his wealth to underprivileged students in Georgia and South Carolina.

However, Brown’s only surviving wife, Tomi Rae Hynie, opposed the will, claiming that she was entitled to at least one-third of James’s estate and music rights.

Altogether, James’s wealth at the time was $100 million, including a music catalog, liquid assets, and future royalties.

However, the court determined that Tomi was never legally married to James, and she never annulled a previous marriage which made her claims invalid.

In the end, they all reached a compromise where James’s six surviving children and widow Tomi received ¼ of the Brown estate.

Music Rights

In 2021, December Primary Wave Music acquired James’s publishing rights. The deal was finalized at $90 million.

Well, even if the Primary Wave Music currently owns Brown’s music right, after a certain time, the rights will revert back to James’s children and his widow.

As per Federal copyright laws, after a certain time, the rights revert back to the artist or artist’s heirs, who can earn royalties from licensing.

It’s like renting the music for a certain amount of time.

In 2015, James’s widow sold a share of termination rights in just five songs which earned her $1.9 million.

However, the rights are now back to her.

Net Worth of James Brown in Different Currencies

Here’s what James Brown’s net worth looks like in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro €94.83 Million
Pound Sterling £79,53 Million
Australian Dollar A$141.50 Million
Canadian Dollar C$128.43 Million
Indian Rupee ₹7,652,330,000
Bitcoin ฿2,633.59

James Brown | Houses and Cars


Legendary R&B singer and drummer James Brown owned several estates across the United States throughout his career.

James owned a house in Augusta, Georgia, United States.

The single-story ranch sits on about 80 acres.

It features a six-car garage, a pool, and a pool house.

Similarly, James’s house, now a museum, dwells on his possessions just the way he left them.

In addition to this, James also owned a house in New York.


Godfather of Soul loved luxurious cars and owned a handful of them.

He owned a 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III Coupe, a dark blue Rolls Royce limousine, and a custom 1969 Camaro.

James Brown With His 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III Coupe
James Brown With His 1969 Lincoln Continental Mark III Coupe (Source: Pinterest)

Similarly, he owned a few tour buses which he used during his music tours.

Likewise, James loved his Mercedes-Benz 190 E.

James Brown’s net worth was a whopping $100 million at the time he made his demise.

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James Brown | Lifestyle & Death


James Brown was born in a poverty-stricken environment as his parents struggled financially. His family moved a lot and, at one point, ended up living in his aunt’s brothel.

However, as he got older and got engaged in music, his life changed dramatically. He had the repute of the hardest working man in the showbiz.

He always kept pushing himself to the limit. Brown had diabetes which remained undiagnosed for years.

Similarly, in 2004, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Moreover, James Brown was involved in several controversies over the course of his career.

He became sexually involved with Tammi Terrell after she joined the James Brown Revue.

She was just 17 at the time. However, the relationship continued until she ultimately freed herself from abuse.

Reportedly, Brown used to beat Tammi terribly until she bled.

Brown was not so much friendly and calm with his partners. Once, he reportedly kicked his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs.

This might be the reason he was married four times. His first wife was Velma Warren. Together they had one son.

Their divorce was finalized in 1969 after more than a decade of staying married.

A year later, he married his second wife, Deidre “Deedee” Jenkins in 1970. Similarly, he married Adrienne Lois Rodriguez in 1984 and Tomi Rae Hynie in 2002.

James & Tommy Rae Brown
James & Tommy Rae Brown (Source: Wirewag)

Moreover, Brown had numerous children, which makes sense given his marriage with four different women.

However, he only acknowledged nine of them, including five sons and four daughters.

According to some sources, Brown had at least three illegitimate children from his extra relationships.

During his last days, he resided in South Carolina.


James Brown died at the age of 73 on Christmas Day 2006 at approximately 1:45 AM.

The musician died because of congestive heart failure and pneumonia complications.

However, in 2019, CNN and other journalists suggested that James had been murdered.

 Open Casket
James Brown Open Casket (Source: British GQ)

His memorial service was held at Apollo Theatre in New York.

Amongst the attendees were Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Prince, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Stevie Wonder, and LL Cool J, among others.

At the time of his death, James Brown’s net worth was a staggering $100 million.

James Brown | Charity

Despite his rape, domestic violence allegations, and other legal troubles, James always sought happiness in helping the underprivileged in society. Or at least he made believe he did.

Whatever the case was, he did benefit a few charitable organizations throughout his career.

After splitting his earthly possessions evenly among his six surviving children and widow, the remaining estate was to donate to “I Feel Good Trust” as per his will.

He founded the Annual James Brown Turkey and Toy Giveaways.

Through these events, James assisted the impoverished families and underprivileged children of the society.

After his death, his family established The James Brown Family Foundation in 2007 for educational and charitable purposes.

The foundation is headquartered in Clearwater, South Carolina.

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James Brown | Movies & TV Shows, Investments & Books

Movies & TV Shows

James Brown worked both on and off-screen for movies and TV shows.

In 1987, he appeared as Lou De Long in Miami Vice.

Similarly, in 1991, he appeared as himself in the TV series Amen and in 1993 in The Simpsons.

Likewise, he had a small role as a hostage negotiator in the 1997 TV series Duckman: Private Dick/Family Man and had an uncredited role in 2005 Robots.

Investments & Books

Not much is known about James’s investments, but in 1967 he invested $75,000 to acquire the WGYW radio station in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Similarly, he produced most of his albums and music videos himself.

As for his books, James published his first piece of work in 1986 titled James Brown, the Godfather of Soul.

James Brown’s Book (Source: Amazon.com)

The book highlights his dirt-poor childhood days in an Augusta brothel to affluence and stardom.

Likewise, James published his other work, I Feel Good, in 2005.

It takes readers on the journey that saw James’s evolution from gospel to R&B to soul and his inner demons, legal issues, and many other behind the scene story.

James Brown’s net worth was $100 at the time of his death.

James Brown | Career

Brown’s career began with a gospel group called The Gospel Starlighters.

The group later changed its name to The Flames.

They had a huge influence from artists like Ray Charles and Little Richard.

The group released their first album titled “Please, Please, Please” in 1956, which sold over a million copies.

Following the success of the album, James, along with the group, went on releasing several tracks. He also continued his solo career.

He slowly evolved his style towards funk.

Between the late 60s and early 70s, James immersed himself in the funk scene.

Unknown Facts About James Brown

  • James is ranked seventh on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
  • Brown was convicted of theft at the age of 16 and spent three years in juvenile prison.
  • James Brown spent a week in a rehabilitation center to deal with an addiction to unspecified prescription drugs in 1998.


Was James Brown born dead?

Yes. James Brown was stillborn, or at least appeared to be stillborn, according to his autobiography James Brown: The Godfather of Soul.

What made James Brown famous?


Well, his signature Hey… and ability to scream made him famous.

In addition, he had the ability to blend multiple vocal styles together.

Who got the most R&B hits?

If we are talking about just classics, then James Brown comes in the third spot with 17 number one singles behind Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, who have 20.

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