How much is will.i.am worth?
|Net Worth:||$50 Million
|Date of Birth:||March 15, 1975 (age 47)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)|
After being in the entertainment industry since he was 20 years old, will.i.am, born William James Adams Jr., has become one of the most prolific producers in pop music today. The rapper, songwriter, producer, and television personality releases music so beloved for its upbeat, sing-along, and endorphin releasing nature with his band, The Black Eyed Peas.
He is a super-producer, having worked with some of the most famous entertainers in the industry including Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, and is now a resident judge on The Voice UK. The rapper has released four solo albums and and six albums with The Black Eyed Peas, many of which have been certified platinum.
will.i.am has made tens of millions of dollars from his own music and producing other musicians’ songs. The E.N.D. sold over five million copies and Monkey Business sold over nine million copies! He has produced for a slew of superstars including Justin Timberlake, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Rihanna, and many more.
will.i.am first formed The Black Eyed Peas in the mid 1990s, and their first two records, Behind The Front and Bridging The Gap, were released by Interscope, selling hundreds of thousands of copies. Though the band didn’t get world wide exposure, they did enjoy the ability to work with some of their influences including Macy Gray, Mos Def, and De La Soul.
As the band had created a modest sized fan base with their first two albums, it was their third record, Elephunk, that really skyrocketed them to stardom. They adopted the approach the 60s band The Velvet Underground took that helped their music perform better on the charts, by hiring a female lead vocalist. When Fergie joined The Black Eyed Peas, the band felt more whole and that’s what most of the world thought too, as “Where Is The Love” became one of the most powerful and most popular songs of the 2000s. Elephunk charted at number 14 on the Billboard 200 and sold over three million copies.
With a high performing album and several successful singles like “Shut Up”, The Black Eyed Peas had found their own sound that continued to grow exponentially with songs that became anthems for tonnes of different televised sports. The band released Monkey Business, a genre hopping album that featured artists ranging from Sting to James Brown to Timbaland, and this time it peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. But the biggest success for the band came with the release of the 2009 techno sounding album, The E.N.D., one of the biggest albums of the year with multiple singles that went 5x platinum, including “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Gotta Feeling”.
After putting The Black Eyed Peas on hiatus, will.i.am grew even further as a solo artist by becoming a judge on multiple different versions of the music competition reality show, The Voice. He has judged on The Voice Australia and The Voice Kids, but most prominently, the singer has been the main judge on The Voice UK for eight years and counting.
On top of his music performing well, a lot of will.i.am’s songs are used for promotional purposes in commercials, mostly due to his music being so overwhelmingly positive and upbeat. This is one of the reasons why the music business has been so profitable for him, because of the many royalties he now receives.
will.i.am’s music is also used relentlessly at sports events. Most notably “Go!”, which was used as the theme song for the NBA and Madden NFL in 2005. The now iconic Elephunk track, “Let’s Get It Started”, was used as the theme for the EA game, The Urbz: Sims In The City, a spin-off of the incredibly popular PC simulator.
Though there is no indication on how much the BBC pays the judges of The Voice UK, it’s likely to be millions each, and possibly even eight figures. If the salaries for the rival show X-Factor are anything to go by, ITV pays their judges anywhere from around $4 million to $10 million per season (estimation).
will.i.am’s decision to add Fergie to the group was not only an ambitious creative leap that paid off, but it was also business savvy, as The Black Eyed Peas then became a pop band and instantly more marketable. No longer were they a three piece hip hop group that were negatively compared to 90s groups much better than them. Including Fergie added dimensions to their music, and the male rapping and female singing is a style that his become imitated to no end.
The rapper’s lyrical content is very inoffensive compared to other rap songs and has made a living out of creating upbeat, radio friendly pop-rap songs. The songs can be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether it’s at a six year old’s birthday party or at a student club with sticky floors. Because his music gets so much air play on the radio, many other artists have looked to will.i.am to produce their music, including Lady Gaga, The Pussycat Dolls, and Michael Jackson.
Though always upbeat, his musical style doesn’t always remain the same, which is why his work with The Black Eyed Peas and his solo music has continued to be so successful over 20 years in to his career. As Black Eyed Peas’ music was generally R&B and sample based, will.i.am decided to dive in to the sound of techno for The E.N.D. and The Beginning, as he grew up around rave culture.
This decision revitalized the Black Eyed Peas and three singles from The E.N.D. became the band’s highest performing songs in their discography, with all of them reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, which the band had never achieved prior to that. And most recently, the producer adopted the raggaeton sound, which was made popular by Latin American musicians, on the newest Black Eyed Peas album, Translation.
will.i.am’s Total Net Worth
His ingenious contributions to music have seen his career earnings soar. In total, will.i.am is estimated to have earned $95 million from his rapping, singing, songwriting and producing. He is estimated to have earned another $14 million from his other activities, including his work on TV. Overall, will.i.am is estimated to have had career earnings totaling $109 million dollars.
Living and working in California will.i.am has been taxed at around 49% on his career earnings. That is even after his tax deductibles and legal tax considerations. After tax, it is estimated that his career earnings are at around $48.45 million, having paid $46.55 million dollars in taxes.
In terms of investing his money, in 2013, will.i.am founded a company called i.am+ with a mission to “creating wearable products that combine fashion and technology”. In November 2017, the company raised $117 million in funding, they had previously raised $89 million from investors, including Salesforce Ventures. It was also announced that the company had ambassadors Kendall Jenner, Naomi Campbell, Shaun Ross and India Love.
Zoominfo has listed the company’s revenues of $118 million, however this seems like an inaccurate figure. In 2019, the federal government lodged a lien for alleged non-payment of taxes.
It is likely that, outside of his entrepreneurial endeavors, endeavors that may have gone south. That will.i.am has realized a return on his investments from his career earnings, through his other investment vehicles.
will.i.am is not married and has no children. His personal life has been positive, he is a vegan and has no history of mental illness or alcohol abuse. Outside of some suspected troubles with i.am+, his life has been clear of legal trouble and so on. In 2009, blogger Perez Hilton is reported to have accused will.i.am and his entourage of assaulting him in Toronto after the MuchMusic Video Awards. will.i.am denied it however and no further action was taken.
While some losses are estimated in will.i.am’s investments in business for now, his other investments, including securities will have had positive returns. Likely not enough to outweigh his current speculated losses, however. He will have also incurred costs, business and personal, as well as miscellaneous payments throughout his life and career. Overall though, it looks like will.i.am possesses a net worth of about $50 million dollars.
Thanks to will.i.am’s production skills, creating catchy and fun music, and hiring strategically featured guests, many of his songs have close to 500 million plays on Spotify, and the band has a mind blowing 38 million monthly listeners on the streaming platform.