Ruben Studdard Net Worth (Updated 2024)

What Is Ruben Studdard’s Net Worth?

Ruben Studdard, the famous American singer known for R&B, pop, and gospel music, has a net worth of $3 million. He became famous by winning the second season of American Idol and was even nominated for a Grammy Award in 2003 for his exceptional performance in “Superstar.” Since winning American Idol, Studdard has released seven studio albums, including the successful “Soulful” and “I Need an Angel,” which went platinum. While he’s primarily known for his music hits like “Flying Without Wings,” “Sorry 2004,” and “Change Me,” he has also ventured into television and theater. Notably, he played Fats Waller in a national tour revival of “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” earning a Grammy-nominated soundtrack.

In 2013, Studdard appeared on “The Biggest Loser” season fifteen, and later, he signed with Verve Records. He collaborated with David Foster, the label’s chairman, on his sixth studio album, “Unconditional Love,” released in 2014. This album received great reviews, marking a successful return to his musical roots. Studdard also went on tour with Lalah Hathaway. In 2018, he released a cover album titled “Ruben Sings Luther,” drawing comparisons to R&B legend Luther Vandross, and embarked on his “Always & Forever” national tour.

In addition to his music career, Studdard made his Broadway debut in December 2018 with “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show” (also known as “Ruben & Clay’s Christmas Show”) at the Imperial Theatre.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:


Ruben Studdard

Net Worth:

$3 Million

Date of Birth:

Sep 12, 1978


$200K Per Year

Source of Wealth:

Singer, Actor

Ruben Studdard Net Worth

Learn more: richest singers in the world

Early Life

Ruben Studdard was born in Frankfurt, West Germany, to American parents while his father was serving in the U.S. Army. He grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, as the youngest child of two teachers. At just three years old, he began singing at the Rising Star Baptist Church in Birmingham, showing early signs of his vocal talent. He continued to sing gospel in church during his childhood, often performing solos while his mother sang in the choir.

In high school at Huffman High School, Studdard not only stood out for his singing but also played football. His football skills earned him a scholarship to Alabama A&M University. At university, he joined the Omicron Delta chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a fraternity for men passionate about music.

Studdard was influenced by artists like Donny Hathaway and Fred Hammond and the world of gospel music. He decided to pursue a career in music and majored in voice studies at Alabama A&M to hone his skills. He also performed with a local Birmingham jazz and R&B band called “Just a Few Cats.”

Before his big break, Studdard worked hard to enter the music industry, making demo recordings and putting in significant effort. His opportunity came when a backup singer from “Just a Few Cats” invited him to Nashville, Tennessee, for an audition on the second season of American Idol in 2003. This marked the beginning of his journey to fame.

American Idol

During his American Idol audition, Ruben Studdard impressed the judges with Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky.” He continued to wow viewers with soulful performances, like “Superstar” by Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett, and “A Whole New World,” originally by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle. Music legends including Lionel Richie, Neil Sedaka, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, Luther Vandross, and Gladys Knight praised him during the show.

Studdard was affectionately called the “Velvet Teddy Bear” on American Idol and was recognized for wearing shirts with “205” on them, representing his hometown Birmingham’s area code.

In a close finale in May 2003, Studdard narrowly beat runner-up Clay Aiken by just 134,000 votes out of 24 million. This victory made him the second winner of American Idol. His win was celebrated in Alabama when Governor Bob Riley declared March 11, 2003, as “Ruben Studdard Day.”



After his American Idol triumph, Ruben Studdard started his solo career with a cover of Westlife’s “Flying Without Wings,” which entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number two. His album “Soulful” was highly anticipated, with over one million advance orders before its official release. It made an impressive debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Studdard’s single “Sorry 2004” also performed well, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles chart. His rendition of “Superstar” earned him a Grammy Award nomination, and he received the NAACP Outstanding New Artist award in March 2004.

I Need an Angel

Ruben Studdard explored gospel music with his album “I Need an Angel,” which achieved the remarkable feat of topping the Gospel charts and reaching number twenty on the Billboard 200 chart. The title track, “I Need an Angel,” left a lasting impact.

During this time, Studdard faced a legal dispute with his godfather and business advisor, Ronald Edwards, which concluded with Studdard being awarded $500,000 for personal losses and an additional $1.5 million in punitive damages.

The Return

In 2006, Ruben Studdard released his third album, “The Return,” which marked his return to R&B music. The album’s lead single, “Change Me,” reached the top of Billboard’s Urban Contemporary chart, and “Make Ya Feel Beautiful” also made a significant impact on the R&B charts. Studdard’s live performances featured a blend of musical genres, creating a lively atmosphere for his audience. He also ventured into acting, appearing in the film “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” and making guest appearances on various TV shows.

Love Is

Ruben Studdard’s album “Love Is,” produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, included a combination of cover songs and original tracks. It received praise from critics and made its debut on the Billboard charts. The album brought forth hits like “Together” and “Don’t Make ‘Em Like U No More.”

In 2009, Studdard joined the “David Foster and Friends” tour, and he collaborated with gospel artists Deitrick Haddon and Mary Mary on the song “Love Him As I Do.”

Letters from Birmingham

In 2012, Ruben Studdard released “Letters from Birmingham,” a unique concept album that tells the story of a relationship through romantic letters. The album includes a well-received duet with Chrisette Michele titled “Do It Right.” It also features cover versions of songs like Bobby Brown’s “Rock Wit’cha” and “Pure Imagination” from the film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

The Biggest Loser and Unconditional Love

In 2013, Ruben Studdard became the first celebrity contestant on “The Biggest Loser,” where his significant weight loss journey was highlighted. Following his appearance on the show, in 2014, he released the album “Unconditional Love.” This album, produced by David Foster, displayed Studdard’s impressive vocal talents and featured collaborations with renowned artists like Stevie Wonder and Lalah Hathaway.

Ruben Sings Luther and Broadway Debut

In 2018, Ruben Studdard paid tribute to Luther Vandross with his album “Ruben Sings Luther” and embarked on the “Always & Forever” national tour. Both the album and the tour received praise from critics. Additionally, Studdard made his Broadway debut in 2018, starring in “Ruben & Clay’s First Annual Christmas Carol Family Fun Pageant Spectacular Reunion Show” alongside Clay Aiken.

Studdard maintains his presence in the music industry by making appearances on American Idol and releasing new singles, demonstrating his lasting impact.

Acting Career

Television Appearances

Ruben Studdard has ventured into acting with guest roles on well-known TV shows like “8 Simple Rules,” “Life on a Stick,” “All of Us,” “Eve,” and “One on One.” He also made a cameo appearance in the film “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.” Expanding his range, Studdard appeared in a television commercial for a local Kia dealer in Birmingham.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ Revival Tour

Ruben Studdard took on a captivating role as the headliner in the revival tour of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” He portrayed the character Fats Waller alongside fellow American Idol alumni Trenyce and Frenchie Davis. His outstanding performance earned acclaim from critics.

The cast recorded an album, released by Rhino Records on January 13, 2009. Remarkably, this album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Studdard’s venture into theater showcased his versatility and talent, extending beyond the music industry.

Advocacy and Charitable Initiatives

Ruben Studdard is not only dedicated to music but also committed to making a positive impact on society. He founded The Ruben Studdard Foundation for the Advancement of Children in the Music Arts. This foundation’s mission is to highlight the essential role of arts in education and provide artistic learning experiences to students in the Greater Birmingham Area.

In addition to his work in music and education, Studdard serves as an official spokesperson for “Be Sickle Smart,” a nationwide health-education program. This initiative aims to raise awareness about iron overload in individuals with sickle-cell disease. Studdard’s involvement reflects his dedication to promoting health education and supporting those affected by this condition.

Personal Life

Ruben Studdard’s love story began when he met Surata Zuri McCants in October 2006 while signing CDs at a Walmart in Atlanta. Their connection led to a private wedding ceremony in Mountain Brook, Alabama, on June 28, 2008.

However, circumstances changed, and on November 16, 2011, Studdard’s attorney announced that he was going through a divorce, which was officially finalized in April 2012.

Studdard continued his educational journey and earned a Master of Arts degree from his alma mater, Alabama A&M University, where he had initially obtained his bachelor’s degree in Vocal Studies. He is also a proud member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity.

In 2022, Studdard took on a new role, sharing his expertise with performing arts majors at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga by teaching a masterclass. His commitment to education and giving back to his community shines through in both his personal and professional life.

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