10 Famous Musicians Who Lost Their Fortunes

When you go from being super rich to having almost no money, it can teach you a lot about how valuable money is. In this list, we’re talking about music stars who became very, very rich but then lost all their money. Our list includes T-Pain, Lil’ Kim, David Crosby, Marvin Gaye, and others!

Top 10 Famous Musicians Who went broke

Welcome to Famereports! Today, we’re counting down the top 10 musicians who hit rock bottom financially. These are artists who once had a ton of money but lost it all. Some of them might have managed to recover, but they went through really tough times and even faced bankruptcy at some point in their lives.

10. TLC

In the ’90s, there was this famous girl group that had four number one hits on the Billboard charts from 1994 to 1999. You probably remember songs like “Creep” and “Waterfalls” that made them superstars, bringing them lots of fame, success, and money.

But, the money didn’t stick around for long. Behind the scenes, they had to deal with huge medical bills, insurance payments, and some bad deals with their manager and record label. All of this left them with no money. In 1995, they had to file for bankruptcy because they owed about $3.5 million. Sadly, this story doesn’t have a happy ending. One of the group’s founders, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, tragically died in a car accident in 2002 at just 30 years old.

9. David Crosby

David Crosby is a well-known figure in the rock and roll world, just like the famous Fender Stratocaster guitar. He first gained fame as part of The Byrds in the 1960s and later became a big star in Crosby, Stills & Nash. However, like many of his peers, Crosby had a serious problem with drugs.

In the 1980s, things took a bad turn. He got into trouble with the law for drug and weapon possession, drunk driving, and even leaving the scene of an accident. By the mid-’80s, he was addicted to alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, and he admitted to spending millions on his drug habits. This led to a drop in his music sales, and he ended up declaring bankruptcy. Financial problems stuck with him for many years.

8. T-Pain

In the mid-to-late 2000s, T-Pain’s auto-tuned voice was everywhere on the radio. He was a big name in hip-hop, winning a couple of Grammy awards during his peak. But, despite his success, T-Pain made some bad money choices that really hurt him.

In a 2019 radio interview, he joked that he went from having $40 million in the bank to needing to borrow money to get his kids Burger King. Now, T-Pain has managed to get back on his feet financially, and he says that going from being super rich to super broke taught him the real value of money.

7.  Lil’ Kim

Lil’ Kim’s journey in the music world started when she was discovered by the late rap legend The Notorious B.I.G. in the mid-’90s. She went on to sell more than 15 million albums and is considered one of the most influential female rappers in history.

But, here comes the “but” part. She was really careless with her money, spending on all sorts of extravagant things she couldn’t afford. In 2018, Lil’ Kim had to file for bankruptcy, and it turned out she owed the government nearly two million dollars in back taxes and had debts totaling around four million dollars. It’s surprising to think that even the royalties from songs like “It’s All About the Benjamins” couldn’t cover her expenses.

6. Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton, a highly successful R&B singer with numerous awards to her name, including Grammys from 1994 to 2015, is a true artist. Despite her consistent success, Braxton faced financial difficulties.

Much like many artists in our list, her recording contract didn’t favor her, and she wasn’t earning enough from royalties to support her extravagant lifestyle. In 1998, she had to file for bankruptcy, but in 2000, she made a comeback with her third studio album, “The Heat.” However, health issues led to her canceling her Las Vegas residency in 2010, and she had to file for bankruptcy a second time.

5. Kesha

Kesha, known for her ten top 10 singles, including the mega-hit “TiK ToK,” once the best-selling digital single ever, is no stranger to success. However, her widely covered legal battle against her former producer, Dr. Luke, had a devastating impact on her finances. Legal battles can be costly, and at one point, Kesha had to rely on a $250,000 gift from Taylor Swift to cover her legal bills.

Nevertheless, Kesha’s talent for topping the music charts remained intact. Her third album, “Rainbow,” which she funded herself, reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart and earned Gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America just four months after its release.

4. 50 Cent

When it comes to financial troubles, it’s hard to know where to begin with rapper 50 Cent. This artist, known for flaunting stacks of cash in his music videos, declared bankruptcy in 2015, with a debt of over $30 million. There were several reasons behind 50 Cent’s financial problems.

First, he was reportedly spending more than $100,000 each month on his lifestyle. Second, he had to pay $5 million to Lastonia Leviston for releasing a sex tape of her online. Third, he had a dispute with his former business partner, resulting in a federal judge ordering him to pay $17 million. To top it all off, he even filed a lawsuit against his own lawyers for millions, which shows just how bad the situation had become.

3. Lauryn Hill

In 1998, Lauryn Hill reached the pinnacle of her fame with the release of her groundbreaking debut solo album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The album was a huge success both critically and commercially, earning Hill five Grammys, including Album of the Year.

However, her journey was marred by a lawsuit from a group of musicians known as New Ark. They claimed that Hill had used their songs and production skills without giving them proper credit for their work. The lawsuit dragged on for years, and in the end, Hill had to pay New Ark approximately $5 million. A painful setback. Later, Hill made headlines when she served a three-month prison sentence for failing to settle her outstanding tax bills.

2. Marvin Gaye

This story proves that even the most effortlessly cool and talented soul singer can face financial troubles. Marvin Gaye’s money problems stemmed from his tumultuous marriage. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer had a notoriously difficult divorce from his first wife, Anna Gordy, in 1975, and he quickly fell behind on alimony payments, leading to his bankruptcy filing in 1976.

With hardly any money left, a judge ruled that Gaye had to pay his ex-wife using royalties from his next album. Unfortunately, the album, titled “Here, My Dear,” did little to improve his financial situation. To make matters worse, Gaye was also dealing with the looming threat of imprisonment due to significant back taxes he owed to the government.

Before we reveal our top pick, let’s give an honorable (or maybe dishonorable) mention to a few more names:

  1. Harry Nilsson
  2. Mick Fleetwood
  3. Jerry Lee Lewis
  4. Kelis

1. MC Hammer

The story of MC Hammer’s rise and fall serves as a valuable lesson for many entertainers. Hammer began his career in the ’80s, but it was in the early ’90s that he truly made a name for himself with his album “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em,” featuring the massive hit “U Can’t Touch This.”

Suddenly, he was swimming in wealth, but it didn’t last long. He quickly spent his $33 million net worth on extravagant purchases, including a mansion filled with lavish items and amenities. He also had a payroll of 200 people, mostly friends, family, and community members (a kind-hearted gesture, to be fair). All of this led to multiple lawsuits, and by 1996, he had to file for bankruptcy with a debt of at least $10 million. The moral of the story: don’t treat your bank account like an endless source of money.

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In conclusion, the stories of these famous musicians who went from super-rich to facing financial hardships serve as cautionary tales about the value of money. These artists, who once enjoyed massive wealth, ended up facing bankruptcy and severe financial struggles. While some managed to recover, their journeys were filled with tough times and financial setbacks.

Their stories remind us that even the brightest stars can fall into financial darkness. It’s essential to manage money wisely, avoid extravagant spending, and be aware of the potential pitfalls of fame and fortune. These musicians learned firsthand the importance of financial responsibility and the true value of money.

So, as we explore the ups and downs of these musical icons’ financial journeys, we’re reminded that financial stability is something to be cherished and protected. Whether you’re a superstar or an everyday individual, these stories show that money can slip through your fingers if you’re not careful.

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