How much is Otis Redding worth?

Net Worth:$10 Million
Profession:Professional Singer
Date of Birth:September 9, 1941
Country:United States of America
1.85 m

Who Is Otis Redding

Like many soulmen, Otis started singing in church — specifically, the Vineville Baptist Church of Macon, GA, where the family had moved when he was five (and where Otis’ father was a minister). The Redding family existed in a constant state of near-poverty, however, due in part to their patriarch’s ill health, and so Otis dropped out of high school and took musical jobs, singing at Macon’s Grand Duke Club and eventually touring with a band called Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers.

American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger, and talent scout Otis Redding had a net worth of $10 million dollars (adjusted for inflation) at the time of his death, in 1967. As a seminal artist in soul music and rhythm and blues, Otis Redding is considered one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music.


Otis’ vocals — reflecting his equal love of Sam Cooke and Little Richard — stood out, but when the Pinetoppers were invited to travel to Memphis’ Stax studios in October, 1962, it was to record Jenkins on one of his own compositions. When that proved uneventful, Otis was allowed to cut one of his own compositions, the ballad “These Arms Of Mine,” with the rest of the studio time. Eventually released on Stax’s Volt subsidiary, it became a huge R&B; (and minor pop) hit. Otis was on his way.

Early Career

Otis found work in the mid-1950s as a member of The Upsetters, the backing back for flamboyant rock singer Little Richard. After that didn’t work out, he bounced around with a couple of other bands for awhile before signing a contract in the early 1960s with Volt Records, a Stax Records subsidiary. He released four singles on the label during 1962-63 before his southern Soul debut album, Pain in My Heart, came out in January 1964. The album featured original songs along with remakes of songs originally recorded by Little Richard (“Lucille”), Ben E. King (“Stand By Me”) and Sam Cooke (“You Send Me”).

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Later Career

Between 1964 and his 1967 death, Otis released six albums of Soul music, which included R&B; hits like “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” in 1965 and “Try a Little Tenderness” in 1966. Although his first two albums weren’t initially successful, the latter four all reached the top 5 on Billboard’s R&B; albums chart. Big-time mainstream was more elusive, however: only his 1967 release, a duet album with Carla Thomas called King & Queen, cracked the pop top 40 chart. It was only after his song “(Sittin On) The Dock of the Bay” was released after his death that Otis became a household name.


Although a big pop hit continued to elude him, five years of hit R&B; singles landed Otis a gig at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. His legendary performance there put him on the very brink of pop stardom, and he went home and wrote “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” specifically as his big breakout hit. Sadly, that #1 smash would only come after his tour airplane crashed into Lake Monon near Madison, WI, on December 10, 1967, killing him and four members of his backing group, the Bar-Kays.


At the time of his death in 1967, Otis was married to Zelma Redding, whom he had wed in 1961. The couple had three children: Dexter, Karla and Otis III. The two sons followed their father into the music industry, while Karla became a businesswoman.
Otis had two nicknames during his career, “The Big O” and “The King of Soul.”


Otis Redding was born and raised in Georgia, and was the son of a housekeeper named Fannie and Baptist minister, Otis Redding Sr. As he grew up, he sang in his church choir and at school, and also learned to play the drums. Although both his parents worked, his father was frequently ill, and the family struggled financially. In an effort to help his family make ends meet, Otis dropped out of school in the 10th grade and began working regionally as a singer.

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On Dec. 10, 1967, Otis, his manager, and four members of his backing band, The Bar-Kays were killed in a plane crash near the end of a flight from Tennessee to Madison, Wisconsin. It had been raining heavily at the time and that, as well as fog, contributed to the conditions that caused the accident. When the plane dove into Lake Monona, guitarist Jimmy King, organist Ronnie Caldwell, saxophone player Phalon Jones and drummer Carl Cunningham were also killed. Trumpeter Ben Cauley survived the crash after he unhooked his seat beat right before impact, then held onto a seat cushion to stay afloat in the lake.

Contributions to music

  • Quite possibly the greatest soul singer of all time
  • Incredibly influential in both his vocal prowess and energetic live performances
  • Provided a raw southern counterpoint to soul’s poppier tendencies
  • A solid songwriter as well as a keen interpretive stylist
  • Brought the grittiest soul music directly into the pop mainstream

Other facts

  • After winning a local talent show fifteen times, was barred from competing
  • Early on, worked with Little Richard’s band, The Upsetters
  • Would often vocally indicate horn arrangements; “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)” left his instruction in
  • Owned his own record label, publishing company, and 300-acre ranch in Round Oak, GA
  • Wrote “Dock of the Bay” after living on a houseboat in Sausalito, CA, for a week, listening to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” album
  • Was slated to have his own national TV special in 1968


1970: Tell the Truth (posthumous)
1969: Love Man (posthumous)
1968: The Immortal Otis Redding (posthumous)
1968: The Dock of the Bay (posthumous)
1967: King & Queen (with Carla Thomas)
1966: Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
1966: The Soul Album
1965: Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul
1965: The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads
1964: Pain in My Heart

Awards & Accolades:

1998: His song “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
1989: Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
1968: Best R&B; Vocal Performance, Male Grammy for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.”
1968: Best Rhythm & Blues Song Grammy for “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay.”

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Songs, Albums, and Charts

#1 hits:

  • “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)


  • “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)

Top 10 hits:

  • “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” (1965)
  • “Mr. Pitiful” (1965)
  • “Respect” (1965)
  • “My Lover’s Prayer” (1966)
  • “Satisfaction” (1966)
  • “Knock On Wood” with Carla Thomas (1967)
  • “Tramp” with Carla Thomas (1967)
  • “Try A Little Tenderness” (1967)
  • “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” (1968)
  • “The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)” (1968)
  • “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” (1969)

Other important recordings: “These Arms Of Mine,” “Chained And Bound,” “Come To Me,” “Pain In My Heart,” “I’m Depending On You,” “Security,” “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song),” “I’m Sick Y’all,” “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Just One More Day,” “Cigarettes And Coffee,” “Glory Of Love,” “I Love You More Than Words Can Say,” “Shake,” “Amen,” “Hard To Handle,” “Lovey Dovey” with Carla Thomas, “White Christmas,” “Merry Christmas, Baby,” “Love Man,” “Pounds And Hundreds”
Wrote or co-wrote: “Sweet Soul Music,” Arthur Conley
Covered by: Aretha Franklin, Michael Bolton, The Black Crowes, The New York Dolls, Sammy Hagar, Toots and The Maytals, Pearl Jam, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Etta James, Al Jarreau, Three Dog Night, The Proclaimers, The Plimsouls, The Ventures, Stevie Wonder, Percy Sledge, Tony Joe White, Billy Preston, Bryan Ferry, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Edmunds, Joan Osborne, Taj Mahal, Was (Not Was), Humble Pie, Reba McEntire
Appears in the movies: “Monterey Pop” (1968), “Popcorn” (1969)

Full name: Otis Ray Redding, Jr. Born: Sept. 9, 1941 in Dawson, Georgia. Died: Dec. 10, 1967 in Madison, Wisconsin. Genres: Soul, Southern Soul, Deep Soul Instruments: Vocals.

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