15 Musicians Who Went Broke

7. George Clinton

The flamboyant leader of Parliament Funkadelic, George Clinton is universally regarded as one of the greatest musicians of all time. Unfortunately, like so many other wildly successful and respected musicians, George wasn’t exactly conservative with his funds, which led to a bankruptcy filing in 1984.

George has since that time pulled himself out of the financial pit, but here’s where the story gets interesting: When filing for bankruptcy, George “forgot” to include his future royalties from his catalogue of songs he had written and recorded. This resulted in him losing control of said royalties, a mistake which some estimate has cost George over $100 million.

Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

8. Marvin Gaye

The day that Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father was truly a sad day for the music community. Marvin Gaye, of course, is one of the best – if not the best – soul singers of all time, having given the world classic tunes like “Sexual Healing” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”.

As good as a soul singer as Marvin Gaye was, he wasn’t the best at saving his money. In fact, when his wife filed for divorce, it was discovered that he essentially broke, having wasted his vast fortune on depreciating assets like fast cars. In settling the divorce, Marvin agreed to pay his wife royalties from his next album, which he cheekily titled Here, My Dear.


9. Meat Loaf

Many people truly underestimate the popularity of Meat Loaf’s debut album, Bat Out of Hell. They think of Meat Loaf as some kind of “novelty” act, failing to realize that 1977’s Bat Out of Hell remains one of the best-selling albums of all time (it sold upwards of 43 million copies).

Meat Loaf had trouble following up that album’s massive success though, struggling with a variety of voice-related issues. The follow-up Dead Ringer wasn’t nearly as successful, and Meat Loaf went bankrupt over the course of the ‘80s. However, things turned around with the release of his 1993 album Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, which included the song he’s perhaps best known for: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”.

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