Chuck Berry's Surprising Net Worth When He Died

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

Yesterday was a sad day for fans of rock 'n roll music. A little bit after noon on March 18, one of the fathers of the genre, Chuck Berry, was pronounced dead by medics. He was 90 years old.

But one thing that few people realize, given how many top hit records he had, and how widely he was known, was that Berry never got that rich.

In fact, while some later rock 'n roll stars made hundreds of millions of dollars -- and sometimes more, he died with only a few million.

How did that happen?

Chuck Berry: Prolific Artist, But Not So Prolific Earner

Chuck Berry wrote some of the biggest hits in music history, including "Johnny B. Goode" and "Rock 'n Roll music." He was even one of the first people in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Berry made a large amount of money from his music. But he wasn't able to keep it all, according to The Squander. For example, Berry faced several lawsuits during his career.

At one point, he was sued for allegedly pointing a camera at women in a bathroom in one of his establishments.

According to The Squander, Berry was estimated to have paid out more than a million dollars to settle this suit.

Chuck Berry was also forced to pay out for other legal troubles.

At one point, he was sued by a lyricist who claimed that he helped write some of Berry's music. Berry also spent a lot of money to cover his expenses for other legal issues.

According to The Squander, there was another issue: "moneymaking opportunities for hit recording artists during the 50s and 60s were much less prevalent than they were in later decades.

There were far fewer opportunities to use musical success in order to get television or film roles, or develop product lines."

In the end, Berry was estimated to have around $20-25 million when he died -- not bad, but surprisingly low for the founder of rock 'n roll.

Wanna read more on this? Check these out: Louise Slaughter's Net Worth Was Very High (more); Craig Mack dies at 46: What was his net worth? (more); Famous Designer Hubert de Givenchy Dies: What Was His Net Worth? (more); Billy Graham Dies, Leaving Astounding Wealth, Net Worth (more).

And here are some more related articles: As The Super Bowl Nears, Check Out How Rich These Pats, Eagles Are (more); Mark Halperin Fired For Alleged Sexual Harassment: What Was His Net Worth and Salary? (more); Music Legend Fats Domino Passes Away; What Was His Real Net Worth? (more).

A few more: Who Was Robert Guillaume? Net Worth, Bio, And More... (more); Who is James Toback? His Bio, and Net Worth (more).