Dwight Yoakam Net Worth

How much is Dwight Yoakam worth?

Net Worth:$50 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:October 23, 1956 (age 66)
Country:United States of America
6 ft (1.83 m)

About Dwight Yoakam

Yoakam was born in the small eastern Kentucky town of Pikeville, which is the same hometown of country singer, Patty Loveless, who was born two months later. He and his family moved to Columbus, Ohio when he was still young. His father, David, owned a service station, and his mother, Ruth Ann, was a key-punch operator. As a child, Dwight was enraptured by music early on and learned to play guitar at the age of six. He would sit and listen to his mother’s records, including from Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, and also liked the honky tonk sound of Buck Owens.

Dwight attended Northland High School, where he displayed talent in both music and drama. He began playing with a variety of bands, from country to rock & roll, and also appeared in school plays.

American singer-songwriter, actor, and film director Dwight Yoakam has an estimated net worth of $50 million dollars, as of 2023. Yoakam is known for his pioneering style of country music.

After graduating from high school, he went on to attend Ohio State University but later decided to drop out to pursue a career in music. He packed his bags and headed south to chase his musical dream in Nashville. At the time, during the late ‘70s, country music was knee-deep in the Urban Cowboy movement. There wasn’t much interest in Yoakam’s updated honky tonk; pop-friendly cross-over country was the order of the day. And so with no takers in Music City, he packed his bags again and this time moved to Los Angeles. Yoakam’s hip brand of “hillbilly” honky tonk was more acceptable in the City of Angels and he found gigs in the rock and punk clubs around town. Yoakam had commonalities with rock bands like X and the Blasters because of their similar musical influences; ’50s rock & roll and country. It was very different from what was coming out of Nashville during that time and the “cowpunks” that attended Yoakam’s performances provided the support he needed to move his sound along.

Yoakam’s six-song self-financed E.P. entitled Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc. was released in 1984 with the help of lead guitarist, Pete Anderson, who would play with Yoakam until 2004. Then, two years later, after being signed with a division of Warner Brothers called Reprise Records, it was rereleased as Yoakam’s first studio album and made it to number 1 on the country chart. The single “Honky Tonk Man,” a cover of the Johnny Horton classic, went to number 3 on Billboard’s country chart, “Guitars, Cadillacs,” went to number 4., and eventually, the album sold over 2 million copies and was certified  2× Platinum by the RIAA.

Yoakam released Hillbilly Deluxe, in 1987, another number 1 album which included four Top 10 country hits. The remake of Elvis Presley’s 1961 top 5 hit, “Little Sister,” went to number 7, the singles “Little Ways”and “Please, Please Baby”, which Yoakam had written, went to number 8 and 6 respectively, and a remake of the Lefty Frizzell classic, “Always Late with Your Kisses,” went to number 9.

Yoakam continued on his ’80s winning streak, with his third consecutive album making it to number 1. Buenas Noches From a Lonely Room also him his first two number 1 country hits, “Streets of Bakersfield” which was a duet with his musical hero, Buck Owens, and “I Sang Dixie,” another song that Yoakam himself had written. He continued to write and release music into the ’90s, with successful albums, including 1993’s commercial smash, This Time, which launched three number 2 singles, “A Thousand Miles from Nowhere,” “Fast As You,” and the Grammy-winning “Ain’t that Lonely Yet.”

In 1996, his highly acclaimed portrayal of the evil Doyle Hargraves in the Oscar-winning film Sling Blade, appearing alongside Billy Bob Thornton left audiences speechless and critics praising his performance. The film that had a budget of just $1.2 million earned $34.1 million and demonstrated that Yoakam wasn’t just a singer, but also an actor. Dwight was included with the cast who were the nominees for “Best Cast” at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Other film credits include playing a sociopathic killer in the Jody Foster film, Panic Room, as well as numerous character roles in films like Wedding Crashers and Four Christmases, not to mention Bandidas and Crank.

Closing in on the new millennium, in 1999, Yoakam released his own food line under the brand name, Bakersfield Biscuits. His products can be purchased from the likes of Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. Since then, Yoakam has continued to release albums and make live appearances. While his records have not sold like they did in the ’80s and early ’90s, he has made up for it by becoming so prolific. He has released 17 studio albums, 2 live albums and 9 compilation albums.

Yoakam’s Total Net Worth

Dwight Yoakam is one of the richest country singers. While many of his albums have not been certified Gold or Platinum by the RIAA, Yoakam’s earlier work sold millions of copies and he has earned substantial sums from his touring and other live appearances. What is more, he is so prolific that, in total, he has sold over 25 million records worldwide and has 1.3 monthly listeners on Spotify. Overall, Dwight Yoakam has earned estimated total career income of around $75 million dollars.

Of that amount, $3-7 million is expected to have been paid in business related costs. The remainder, $70 million, will have been taxed at a rate of around 48% as Yoakam has been residing in the state of California. While federal tax rates were as high as 50% for earnings over $175,250 the year Yoakam released his debut album Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. in 1986. They fell to just 38.5% a year later in 1987, a year later, 1988 saw the top tax bracket fall to just 28%, and although tax rates did rise again in the early ’90s he has also enjoyed some high earning years at low tax rates during the 2000s. After tax, it is estimated that his career earnings are at around $36.4 million dollars, having paid $33.6 million dollars in taxes.

Dwight Yoakam married Emily Joyce ​in 2020 after having been together for almost ten years. They have one child together, a son named Dalton Loren who was also born in 2020. Dwight has previously dated Sharon Stone and was in a relationship with Karen Duffy until 1996.

In his personal life, Dwight may have spent $4-6 million dollars of his career earnings but also probably possesses assets valued at around $1-2 million, not including investment assets. In his investments, he may have earned investment returns of $13-18 million dollars. Therefore, it is estimated that Dwight Yoakam has a net worth of a rounded up $50 million dollars.


Despite early challenges Dwight Yoakam has charted nearly 40 singles and sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. Shunned by Nashville, he brought his “hillbilly” honky tonk to Hollywood and finally he and his music were welcomed with open arms. Since then, Yoakam has gone on to have had one of the most prolific careers in country music and has built a large and devoted fan base sometimes known as cowpunks, along with those who know him from The Tonight Show and other appearances on TV.

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