Johnny Mathis Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What is Johnny Mathis’ Net Worth?

Johnny Mathis, the famous American singer, has a net worth of $400 million. He started with singles in standard music but became hugely popular as an album artist. Mathis has released many albums that went gold or platinum and has appeared on the Billboard charts an incredible 73 times, showing how successful he is in the music business.

Mathis has received the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three of his recordings. He’s the third best-selling artist of the 20th century, selling a staggering 360 million records worldwide.

Although Mathis is known for his romantic singing, he has a diverse discography that includes various genres like traditional pop, Latin American, soul, rhythm and blues, show tunes, Tin Pan Alley, soft rock, blues, country music, and even some disco songs, particularly for his 1979 album “Mathis Magic.” He has also released six albums dedicated to Christmas music.

In a 1968 interview, Mathis mentioned that musical legends like Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby were significant influences on his successful career. Johnny Mathis’ substantial net worth and lasting impact on the music world are a testament to his extraordinary talent and long-lasting career.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name:

Johnny Mathis

Net Worth:

$400 Million

Date of Birth:

Sep 30, 1935

Salary:

$30 Million Per Year

Source of Wealth:

Singer, Songwriter, Actor

Johnny Mathis Net Worth

Learn more: richest singers in the world

Early Life and Education

Johnny Mathis was born on September 30, 1935, in Gilmer, Texas. He was the fourth of seven children in a family where both of his parents worked as cooks. When Johnny was five, the family moved to San Francisco, California, where he grew up.

His father, who had been a vaudeville singer and pianist, noticed Johnny’s musical talent and bought him a piano for $25. Johnny’s very first song performance was “My Blue Heaven,” and he began singing and dancing for friends, at school, and in church.

At the age of 13, Johnny started taking voice lessons from Connie Cox in exchange for doing chores. Over the course of six years, he learned various vocal techniques, including classical singing. He also had the opportunity to sing with a band led by his high school friend, Merl Saunders, which marked his initial experience as a singer.

Not only was Johnny a budding musician, but he was also a standout athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He excelled in high jump, hurdling, and basketball. Later, he even earned an athletic scholarship to attend San Francisco State College with the intention of becoming a physical education teacher.

During his college years, Johnny achieved a high-jump record of 1.97 meters, coming close to the 1952 Olympic record. He and future NBA star Bill Russell gained recognition in a 1954 newspaper article that highlighted their high-jumping abilities, ranking them as the #2 and #1 high jumpers in San Francisco, respectively.

Career

Early Years

Johnny Mathis embarked on his musical journey in the vibrant San Francisco music scene. He started performing at the Black Hawk Club, where he caught the attention of Helen Noga, one of the club’s co-founders, who later became his music manager. She arranged for Mathis to sing at Ann Dee’s 440 Club on weekends. In 1955, Noga got wind that George Avakian, the head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was in the area. She persisted and convinced Avakian to hear Mathis perform at the 440 Club. Avakian was so impressed that he sent a telegram to his record company, stating, “Have found a phenomenal 19-year-old boy who has tremendous potential. Send over the contracts.”

While attending San Francisco State College, Mathis had gained recognition as a high jumper and was even invited to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team bound for Melbourne in 1956. However, he heeded his father’s advice and chose to pursue a career in professional singing.

Mathis’ debut album, “Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song,” initially had slow sales and leaned towards jazz. Nevertheless, he decided to stay in New York City, performing in nightclubs. His musical direction took a significant turn when he crossed paths with Mitch Miller, a vice-president and record producer at Columbia Records. Miller played a pivotal role in shaping Mathis’ signature style, steering him toward soft, romantic ballads. Mathis was paired with renowned conductors and music arrangers such as Ray Conniff, Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser, and Robert Mersey. In late 1956, Mathis recorded two of his most beloved songs, “Wonderful! Wonderful!” and “It’s Not for Me to Say.” He also made his mark in Hollywood by singing “It’s Not for Me to Say” in the movie “Lizzie” (1957), produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Showbiz Millionaire

Johnny Mathis’ career took a significant leap after his appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in June 1957. This exposure boosted his popularity immensely. Later that year, he released “Chances Are,” which became his second single to sell over a million copies.

In November 1957, Mathis released “Wild Is the Wind,” a song featured in the film of the same name. This song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Mathis had the honor of performing it at the Oscars ceremony in March 1958.

Just before his Academy Awards performance, Mathis released an album titled “Johnny’s Greatest Hits.” This album achieved a remarkable milestone by spending an incredible 490 consecutive weeks (about nine-and-a-half years) on the Billboard top 200 album charts. It even reached the number one spot for three weeks. This record for the most weeks on the top Billboard 200 albums in the U.S. stood for 15 years until Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” surpassed it in October 1983.

In 1958, Mathis made his second film appearance, singing “A Certain Smile” in a movie with the same title. By the end of that year, he was on track to earn $1 million annually, a significant achievement in those times. Critics praised him as “the velvet voice.”

Mathis continued his success into the early 1960s. In 1962 and 1963, he released two of his biggest hits, “Gina” and “What Will Mary Say.” These songs reached number 6 and number 9 on the charts, respectively, adding to his growing fame and financial success.

Split from Noga

In October 1964, Johnny Mathis decided to take legal action to terminate his management agreement with Helen Noga. In response, Noga filed a counterclaim in December 1964.

After parting ways with Noga, Mathis went on to establish Jon Mat Records in 1967 for his music recordings. He also founded Rojon Productions in 1964 to manage various aspects of his career, including concerts, theater performances, showrooms, television appearances, as well as promotional and charitable activities.

Ray Haughn became Mathis’ new manager and business partner, taking charge of Mathis’ career until his unfortunate passing in September 1984. This change marked a significant transition in Mathis’ professional journey.

Popularity Plateau and Resurgence

Johnny Mathis continued to create music, but with the emergence of the Beatles and the rise of album rock in the early 1970s, his adult contemporary style faced a temporary decline in the pop singles charts. Despite this, the late 1970s marked a significant resurgence in his career.

In 1976, Mathis achieved a notable milestone by securing the Christmas number one single in the UK with his song “When a Child Is Born.” His comeback continued in 1978 with “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late,” a duet he recorded with singer Deniece Williams. This song not only topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart but also enjoyed international success.

Mathis expanded his repertoire by collaborating with various artists, including Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Jane Olivor, Stephanie Lawrence, and Nana Mouskouri. He recorded a range of duets with these partners, showcasing his versatility and appeal across different music styles.

In 1995, Mathis released a compilation album titled “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” This album featured the hit title track among other songs with Deniece Williams, further cementing his successful comeback in the music industry.

Recent Years

In the early 1980s, specifically 1980-81, Johnny Mathis worked on an album titled “I Love My Lady,” collaborating with Chic’s Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. However, this album was not released until 2017.

Mathis continued to produce albums that topped the charts. Notable releases include “The Very Best of Johnny Mathis” in 2007, “A Night to Remember” in 2008, and “The Ultimate Collection” in 2011. These albums helped sustain his presence and popularity in the music industry.

Additionally, Mathis has kept up an active performance schedule. Since 2000, he has limited his concert appearances to about 50 to 60 shows each year. Notably, he stands out in the modern pop music scene by touring with a full orchestra, a distinction that sets him apart from many contemporary artists who typically tour with just a band. This choice underscores Mathis’ commitment to a classic and rich musical experience for his audiences.

Career Achievements

Johnny Mathis has achieved remarkable milestones in his career. He shares a prestigious record with legendary artists like Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Billy Joel, and Bruce Springsteen as one of the artists with the longest tenure at Columbia Records. With the exception of a brief period in the mid-1960s when he recorded for Mercury Records, Mathis has been associated with Columbia Records from 1956 to 1963 and again from 1968 to the present day.

Mathis has accomplished a rare feat by having five of his albums simultaneously appear on the Billboard charts. Only three other artists, namely Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and Prince, have matched this achievement. Throughout his career, Mathis has released an impressive total of 200 singles, with 71 of his songs charting around the world. These accomplishments showcase his enduring influence and success in the music industry.

Other Appearances

Television

Johnny Mathis has had a significant presence on television. He has starred in 12 of his own TV specials and made over 300 guest appearances on various shows. A notable highlight is his 54 appearances on “The Tonight Show,” where he received acclaim from renowned hosts Johnny Carson and Jay Leno.

Additionally, Mathis’ songs have been featured in over 100 TV shows and films around the world. His appearance on the show “Live by Request” in 1998 was particularly noteworthy, as it attracted a record number of viewers. This extensive involvement in television demonstrates Mathis’ wide-reaching influence and popularity beyond the music industry.

Narration and Acting

In 2014, Johnny Mathis took on the role of narrator in the documentary “51 Dons.” This film focused on the inspiring story of the undefeated 1951 San Francisco Dons football team, a subject that held personal significance for Mathis.

Additionally, Mathis made cameo appearances as himself in both the TV series “Criminal Minds” and the 2017 movie “Just Getting Started.” These ventures into narration and acting showcase his versatility and willingness to explore various forms of entertainment.

Personal Life

Johnny Mathis is a passionate sports enthusiast, particularly in golf, where he has achieved an impressive nine holes in one. He’s taken part in hosting numerous Johnny Mathis Golf Tournaments in both the UK and the U.S. Additionally, he has actively participated in charity golf tournaments and track and field meets. Beyond sports, Mathis has a love for cooking and has even published his own cookbook.

In his personal journey, Mathis has faced challenges, including undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol and prescription drug addictions. He has consistently shown his commitment to philanthropy by supporting organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the March of Dimes, and the NAACP.

Mathis converted to Catholicism, and later, he openly discussed his sexual orientation, confirming that he is gay. He comes from San Francisco, where being gay is not uncommon and widely accepted.

In 2015, his Hollywood home suffered destruction due to a fire, and in 2023, a storm caused a hillside collapse near his rebuilt home, creating uncertainties about his return.

It’s worth noting that the character Shy Baldwin from “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was associated with Johnny Mathis by actress Rachel Brosnahan, adding a touch of pop culture relevance to his life.

Honors and Awards

Grammys

In 2003, Johnny Mathis was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. This Special Merit Award acknowledges his remarkable artistic contributions to the recording industry over his lifetime. It stands as a testament to his enduring impact on the world of music.

Grammy Hall of Fame

Johnny Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame three times, a significant recognition of his iconic musical contributions. His classic recordings that have earned this honor are “Chances Are” in 1998, “Misty” in 2002, and “It’s Not for Me to Say” in 2008. Each of these songs has been celebrated for its enduring impact and excellence in the music industry.

Great American Songbook Hall of Fame

In 2014, Johnny Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame. This prestigious honor places him alongside notable figures like Linda Ronstadt, Shirley Jones, and Nat King Cole. The induction celebrates Mathis’s significant contributions to America’s rich musical heritage.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

On June 1, 1972, Johnny Mathis received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, honoring his significant contributions to the music industry.

Academy Awards

In 1978, Johnny Mathis was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his hit duet “The Last Time I Felt Like This” from the film “Same Time, Next Year.” He also performed at the Oscars in 1958, singing “Wild Is the Wind” from the movie with the same title.

Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2006, Johnny Mathis was honored with the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, acknowledging his enduring contributions to the music industry.

Hit Parade Hall of Fame

In 2007, Johnny Mathis was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, recognizing his status as a music legend.

Golden Plate Award

In 2011, Johnny Mathis received the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement. The award was presented to him by General Colin Powell.

Honorary Doctorate

In 2017, Johnny Mathis was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State University. This honor recognized his outstanding career and contributions to the world of music. The award was especially meaningful as Mathis had once been a student at this university before his music career took off.

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