Singer-Songwriters Who Are Highly Successful Because Of Their Work

Published on 01/08/2021
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As Drake and Meek Mill showed, songwriters and singers are not always the same. Not to say singers can’t be renowned songwriters. The names listed here are all pop culture favorites who have made themselves famous for their art, both pen-to-paper and vocal, from Joni Mitchell with his iconic re-reading hit “Woodstock'” to Carol King, a songwriter who has had hundreds of songs to reach the Billboard Hot 100. They also collect a pretty penny of royalties, of course.

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Here Are The Richest Songwriters Of All Time

Neil Diamond – $175 million

Greatest Hits: Song Sung Blue, Cracklin’ Rosie

The artist who sold more than 100 albums worldwide and has 38 single charts to the top 10 is Neil Diamond. He is one of the best-selling artists in history. In 2011 and 1984, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame of Songwriters. Diamond is also known for his humor. Will Ferrell parodied him on the SNL, so he enjoyed the spoof he played alongside Ferrell on the final broadcast in May 2002.

Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond

Johnny Cash – $60 million

Greatest Hits: I Walk the Line, Folsom Prison Blues

Johnny Cash is one of the best songwriters in the world and sells over 90 million albums. He was introduced to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame and Gospel Music Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Known for his tough music. “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” was his first line. He would do the simple introduction before every concert, shirking the showboat in the rock genre. In Walk, The Line, distributed by 20th Century Fox, Cash’s legacy was remembered.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Joni Mitchell – $50 million

Greatest Hits: Woodstock, Big Yellow Taxi

The Blue album of Joni Mitchell is one of the greatest. She’s a poet, a guitarist, and a pianist. In her music, she mixed folk, pop, jazz, and rock elements and started singing in the streets and small bars. She was active with regular advocacy and demonstrations in the counterculture of the Baby Boom. She was among the greatest hits of “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Woodstock,” and “Both Sides,” now all released by Reprise Records.

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

Jerry Garcia – $40 million

Greatest Hits: Truckin’, Sugaree

During his 30 years of career Jerry Garcia, born in San Francisco, has been a popular band. He also had several other solo albums and bands. He was 13th on the “100 Greatest Guitarists” list of Rolling Stone. He was the main songwriter of the Grateful Dead, most famous for his psychedelic style of rock. “Truckin’,” which first appeared on the dead album, American Beauty, was one of the biggest hits of Warner Records.

Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia

Paul Simon – $75 million

Greatest Hits: Bridge Over Troubled Water

In 2000, the songwriter-singer James Taylor was inaugurated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received five Grammys. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time to 100 million worldwide albums. He had his breakthroughs with “Fire and Rain,” and the cover of “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King. His first U.S. number one album, Before This World, was released in 2015, and many popular songs, including “HandyMan” and “Sweet Baby James” from How Sweet It Is.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon

James Taylor – $60 million

Greatest Hits: Paint It Black, Night Owl

In 2000, the songwriter-singer James Taylor was inaugurated by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received five Grammys. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time to 100 million worldwide albums. He had his breakthroughs with “Fire and Rain,” and the cover of “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King. His first U.S. number one album, Before This World, was released in 2015, and many popular songs, including “HandyMan” and “Sweet Baby James” from How Sweet It Is.

James Taylor

James Taylor

Carole King – $70 million

Greatest Hits: It’s Too Late, Nightingale, Jazzman

Carole King was one of the most popular and lucrative female writers from 1950-2000. 118 hits on Billboard Hot 100 she wrote or co-wrote. And America alone. And this is America. She wrote 61 hits and became the most popular female songwriter there, reaching the UK charts. Her latter breakthrough was several albums, including Writer and Tapestry. For nearly four months, Tapestry remained in the charts in America, and six years later remained in the charts.

Carole King

Carole King

Stevie Wonder – $110 million

Greatest Hits: Superstition

Among the most popular artists ever is Stevland or Stevie Wonder. He also played harmonica, drums, keyboards, harpejji, and many other instruments besides singing and writing prowess. He has sold more than 100 million records and won 25 Grammys and Oscars. He was also introduced to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall. Wonder had several big hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder

Billy Joel – $180 million

Greatest Hits: Piano Man, Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)

The first song was called “Piano Man.” by Billy Joel, a singer and songwriter who has been an industry solo artist since the 1970s. His collection Greatest Hits remains one of the best selling records ever. He has sold over 150 million worldwide records. He left secondary school for music, and he was born in The Bronx. He signed a Columbia Records contract in 1972. Out of 23 nominations, he has won five Grammys.

Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Burt Bacharach – $160 million

Greatest Hits: Arthur’s Theme, Close to You

One of the most influential composers of the 20th century is the songwriter Burt Bacharach. He was born in 1928 in Missouri and began to write in the 1980s. He collaborated to produce songs recorded by more than 1.000 singers with writer Hal David. Speaker Dionne Warwick and his chord and jazz harmony advances, it is well known for his work. He has also worked with smaller orchestras and assigned their members’ unique instruments.

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach

Randy Newman – $50 million

Greatest Hits: Just One Smile, I’ve Been Wrong Before

Randy Newman is known for his extensive composition, arrangement, and distinctive voice and film scores. He mainly worked as a film composer and won 20 Oscar awards twice. In 2007, he was introduced to Fame’s Songwriters Hall. For Cold Turkey, Meet the Parents, Seabiscuit, and nine different films from Pixar such as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., and Cars, he composed live and animated music.

Randy Newman

Randy Newman

Dolly Parton – $500 million

Greatest Hits: Jolene, I Will Always Love You, 9 to 5

Dolly Parton has written over 3,000 songs, apart from being a popular singer. She wrote “I Will Always Love You” to Whitney Houston, and nearly every artist covered this song. She said that she started writing when she was only 7 years old and interviewed her about her songwriting. She said she tries to write something every day, “whether it’s a poem, concept, album, or little tidbit.” In the Appalachian Mountains, she was influenced by her folk childhood with a deep religious tradition.

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Tom Petty – $95 million

Greatest Hits: Here Comes My Girl, Refugee, Don’t Do Me Like That

Musician Tom Petty has been one of the best sellers ever. When he met Elvis Presley, 10 years old, he became interested in rock and roll. The Rolling Stones, his own version of punk rock, also influenced him. He formed the failed Mudcrutch band. However, the formation of Tom Petty and Heartbreakers has proven to be a game-changer. Petty formed the band in the 1970s and reached his second album to the Top 40. His third album, which sold two million copies and sold singles, was even more successful.

Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Loretta Lynn – $65 million

Greatest Hits: You Ain’t Woman Enough, Coal Miner’s Daughter

Born in Kentucky, Loretta Lynn is one of the most popular and influential country stars in country music history. She’s known for hits such as “You Ain’t Woman Enough Don’t Come Home A Drinkin,” “Fist City,” “One’s on the Way,” and many others. Her biographical film, the daughter of Coal Miner’s, was named after her greatest hits. She’s sold over 45 million records. She had two dozen albums — one single and eleven numbers.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn

Lou Reed – $15 million

Greatest Hits: Think It Over, Heavenly Arms

Lou Reed was the lead singer and songwriter of The Velvet Underground, and he had a prosperous solo career lasting over fifty years. The Velvet Underground was not a commercial success but is now considered one of the most important underground alt-rock bands of its time. In 1970, Reed left the Velvet Underground with 20 solo records. He did well with his second and third albums, but he had several peaks and troughs.

Lou Reed

Lou Reed

Kris Kristofferson – $160 million

Greatest Hits: Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down

Kris Kristofferson has a good performance career and is a singer-songwriter. He wrote for other singers and often joined together his tracks with Shel Silverstein, a popular writer. The Highwaymen, including him, Jennings, Waylon, Cash, and Willie Nelson, were famous for outlawed country collaborations. He starred in movies like Heaven’s Gate, Blade, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and A Star is Born.

Kris Kristofferson

Kris Kristofferson

Paul McCartney – $1.2 billion

Greatest Hits: Yesterday

The only name that can surpass John Lennon in terms of fame here is Paul McCartney, and it makes sense to be a co-founder of the Beatles. He was inaugurated twice in Fame’s Rock and Roll Hall; he was once in his Beatles career and once in his solo career; he received eighteen grammy, and he and his fellow Beatles members were named MOB.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

Van Morrison – $90 million

Greatest Hits: Gloria, Brown Eyed Girl

A music legend, Van Morrison started his career in his teens. He played for several show bands in Ireland and became popular in Northern Irish R&B group Them. He was the lead singer, recording with Them the song “Gloria,” which would define the genre. In the late 1960s, he released “Brown-Eyed Girl,” His first album was Astral Weeks, but sales were slow at first. But his second album, Moondance, was a sensation.

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

Bob Dylan – $200 million

Greatest Hits: The Times, They Are A’Changin’, Blowin In The Wind

Bob Dylan is one of the most popular musicians in pop culture. He wrote “The Times They Are A’Changin” and “Blowin’ In the Wind.” Civil Rights anthems, releasing his eponymous album in the early 1960s, followed by hit record after hit. He released many political albums and singles. He was also one of the first to use electrically amplified rock music instruments, a controversial move. In 2012 and 2016, he sold more than 100 million albums and received the Presidential Freedom and Nobel Prize.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

Brian Wilson – $75 million

Greatest Hits: Good Vibrations, I Get Around, God Only Knows, Barbara Ann

Brian Wilson co-founded beach Boys. Signed in 1962 at Capitol, he wrote over 24 top 40 band hits. He’s considered one of the 20th century’s most creative songwriters, and some say he’s a genius. He and his brothers and cousin founded Beach Boys. Wilson sometimes still visits and remains an indie pop and punk rock godfather.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson

John Fogerty – $70 million

Greatest Hits: Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son

John Fogerty had a good solo career and a phenomenal career as a Creedence Clearwater Revival member, a band he and his brother Tom, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook formed. He was the lead guitarist, composer, and most of the songs he composed. The band, unfortunately, broke up in 1972 and started a great solo career. Rolling Stone placed him as #40 and #72 among the 100 best guitarists and greatest singers ever (respectively). He has made many hits, including “Proud Mary,” which is put back by Tina Turner in an iconic bop song.

John Fogerty

John Fogerty

Willie Nelson – $25 million

Greatest Hits: Family Bible, On the Road Again

Willie Nelson, a songwriter, singer, and actor born in Texas, got a big break when he released Shotgun Willie. In addition to Red Headed Stranger and Stardust, he was made an iconic figure of the 1970s. He has also appeared in 30 films, has written numerous books, and has worked as a legalization activist for marijuana and biofuels. The IRS tapes, a double-album whose proceeds came to the IRS to pay off his unpaid tax debt, is also well known.

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

Elton John – $500 million

Greatest Hits: Rocket Man, Crocodile Rock

Elton John, the rock legend, sold over 300 million albums to date and had fifty-eight singles on the top 40. His song, “Candle in the Wind,” which he wrote to honor Princess Diana after her tragic death, remains the best-selling single in the United Kingdom and the United States history. He won five Grammys and several other awards and was a critical success behind only The Beatles and Madonna. He is also a prominent LGBTQ activist who raises LGBTQ over $300 million.

Elton John

Elton John

David Bowie – $100 million

Greatest Hits: Changes, Space Oddity, Modern Love

David Bowie sold over 140 million albums globally, earning his many hit songs with 10 Platinum certifications. He was known for his visual presentation and clear reinvention of style. His alter ego is a daring androgynous pop legend, Ziggy Stardust. When he was very young, Bowie, born in South London, began to study art and music. He began his career in music in 1983, releasing Space Oddity. He married supermodel Iman at sixty-two before his sudden death.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Glenn Frey – $200 million

Greatest Hits: Tequila Sunrise, Lyin’ Eyes, James Dean

Glenn Frey was the lead vocalist of The Eagles. He wrote several of the best-known singles, including “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Take It Easy,” “New Kid in Town,” and more. He went solo thereafter since the Eagles broke up in 1980. No Fun Aloud was his debut. He had several hits in the top 40s, including “Blues Smuggler,” “The Heat Is On,” “Sexy Girl,” and many more. He died in New York City at the age of 67.

Glenn Frey

Glenn Frey

John Prine – $6 million

Greatest Hits: Sam Stone, Illegal Smile, Dear Abby

Since the 1970s, John Prine has been a successful musician and songwriter. He studied guitar at the age of 14, attending lessons at Folk’s Old Town School in Chicago. After 18 years of age, he took a break from music and served as an army member in West Germany. He returned to Chicago, where he worked as a man until Kris Kristofferson saw that his first album with Atlantic was released. He is renowned for satirical songs on contemporary matters and life in general.

John Prine

John Prine

Bono – $700 million

Greatest Hits: Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Born in Dublin, one of the most popular musicians is Bono. He’s the boss of U2, and he writes nearly all the U2 songs. He won 22 Grammys for the band. He spoke at length about his style of songwriting. He utilizes social and political themes in his songs, and his songs are often affected by his upbringing at a religious school. Before, he had a defiant sound in his songs, but he “matured” and started writing about more personal experiences with U2 members.

Bono

Bono

George Harrison – $400 million

Greatest Hits: Taxman, Here Comes the Sun

The Beatles’ lead guitarist George Harrison has been called “the Quiet Beatle” because he was not one of the most famous members. His musical influences are George Formby, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, and Django Reinhardt; he was also inspired by Indian culture and music that expanded pop-music to include the works of Indian instruments and Hindu spirituality. He was born in Liverpool and died in L.A. in 2001.

George Harrison

George Harrison

Sam Cooke – $650,000

Greatest Hits: Wonderful World, Chain Gang, A Change is Gonna Come

Sam Cooke was a resident, musician, and business owner. He was an influential songwriter as well. When he was young, he started singing and joined The Soul Stirrers until his later solo career. Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Bobby Womack, Billy Preston, Marvin Gaye, and many more were supported by his musical power and popular voice as the ‘King of Soul.’ James Brown and Otis Redding were made popular by him. AllMusic author Bruce Eder called him the “inventor” of the soul genre.

Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

Bert Berns – $20 million

Greatest Hits: Hang on Sloopy, Twist and Shout, Here Comes the Night

Born in the Bronx, Bert Berns was a very significant producer and songwriter in the 1960s. He has credits for popular pieces such as “Twist and South,” “Hang on Sloopy,” etc. He has produced famous songs for Atlantic, Bang, and Shouts such as “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Under the Boardwalk,” and “Baby Please Don’t Go,” He used to dance at mambo nightclubs when he was young, living in Havana before the Cuban Revolution brought him back to America. He died of heart complications at the age of 38.

Bert Berns

Bert Berns

Marvin Gaye – $5 million

Greatest Hits: How Sweet It Is, Ain’t That Peculiar, I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Marvin Gaye was nicknamed “Prince of Soul” and “Prince of Motown,” as he helped shape the Motown sound of the 1960s. He was the first in-house player to be a solo artist. He was one of the first Motown musicians, apart from Stevie Wonder, to break away from the record industry and independently make his own music. He played a pivotal role in quiet storm music and the neo-soul genre. He won a Midnight Love Grammy.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Gaye

Chrissie Hynde – $12 million

Greatest Hits: Talk of the Town, Back on the Chain Gang

In 1978, Chrissie Hynde created The Pretenders. The hippie counterculture movement influenced her, working at a joint clothing shop in London with designer Vivienne Westwood. She left music fashion. She has released songs with UB40, Cher, and Frank Sinatra musicians. After making a demo tape in 1978, Dave Hill was given the owner of Real Records. She began paying back the rent she owed in her London practice room.

Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde

Lucinda Williams – $15 million

Greatest Hits: Can’t Let Go, Get Right With God

Rock-country singer Lucinda Williams is one of the most prominent representatives of folk-rock and country-rock movements. Since 1978 she has been in the music industry and became renowned for her style when Lucinda Williams released her debut album. This debut included the song “Passionate Kisses,” which won her first Grammy in Williams in 1994. She is known to work constantly, only releasing two more albums to date. She lost Car Wheels on a gold-certified Gravel Path when her big break came.

Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams

Harry Nilsson – $7 million

Greatest Hits: Without You, Coconut

Being one of the few successful rock artists of his age, Harry Nilsson never played or toured a big concert but still enjoyed considerable commercial success. He’s a famous artist, mixed up with Caribbean sounds for his Great American songbook style. As a tenor, he had a range of three and a half octaves. On Indie rock, he had a lasting influence. Songs like The Monkees he wrote for the band. Nilsson Schmilsson was his most commercially successful album.

Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson

Curtis Mayfield – $10 million

Greatest Hits: People Get Ready

Curtis Mayfield was a member of the big band ‘The Impressions’ in the 1950s and 1960s, famous for his civil rights activism and songs. He started singing as part of a gospel choir. He joined the Impressions when he met fellow artist Jerry Butler. He wrote songs that, due to their social consciousness, became part of the civil rights movement. His album “People Get Ready” was listed #24 on the Greatest All-Time Songs in Rolling Stone.

Curtis Mayfield

Curtis Mayfield

Max Martin – $260 million

Greatest Hits: Baby One More Time, It’s Gonna Be Me, I Want It That Way

One of our most contemporary authors is Max Martin. He composed a hit string for Britney Spears (“…Baby One More Time”), The Backstreet Boys (“I Want It That Way”), and NSYNC (“It’s Gonna Be Me”). On the Billboard Charts, he also wrote twenty-two number one songs. He’s made several hits as well. He also wrote for Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and The Weeknd.

Max Martin

Max Martin

Allen Toussaint – $3 million

Greatest Hits: Working in the Coal Mine, Yes We Can Can, Java

In Gert Town, Louisiana, Allen Toussaint was one of New Orleans’ most prominent rhythm and blue figures. He began his career in the 1950s and was described for writing and composition as a “backroom figure” Songs like “Fortune Teller,” “Working in the Coal Mine,” “Java,” “Mother-in-Law,” and more. He also made some major hits, like “Lady Marmalade” and “Right Place, Wrong Time.”

Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint

Chuck Berry – $10 million

Greatest Hits: Ida Red, You Can Never Tell, Johnny B. Goode

Chuck Berry refined and re-adapted blue and rhythm to form rock and roll, and he created a style of guitar solo and showy performances that became the basis of the genre. Berry was named “Father of Rock ‘N Roll.” He started playing with the band The Johnnie Johnson Trio, but he had his break when he met singer Muddy Waters. His first hit was Ida Red, selling over a million records. Muddy had him hooked with Chess Records.

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

Pete Townshend – $105 million

Greatest Hits: Happy Jack, Pictures of Lilly

Pete Townshend is one of the most widely known names. The legendary co-founder of the band, The Who. His band career lasted over fifty years, and for the second half of the 20th century, the band, led by him, became one of the most prominent voices of music. He composed over a hundred songs for The Who’s eleven albums, including two rock operas for Tommy and Quadrophenia. He has also written essays, books, columns, and so on. He started a successful solo career.

Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend

George Clinton – $1.8 million

Greatest Hits: Can’t C Me, Loopzilla, You’re Thinkin’ Right

George Clinton – a former Motown songwriter, famous for writing and recording many hit songs for the Detroit soul labels. He established his own band, The Parliaments, then renamed Funkadelic and Parliament. In the years that followed, Clinton’s distinctive electro-funk and psychedelic rock are known. He inspired rap music, writing Tupac’s song “Can’t C Me.” He also wrote “Bop Gun” for artists including Ice Cube, Outkast, Redman, Wu-Tang Clan, and more.

George Clinton

George Clinton

Isaac Hayes – $12 million

Greatest Hits: Soul Man

The main force behind Stax Records was Isaac Hayes. He was an in-house session musician for the label before he became a singer-songwriter. He wrote “Soul Man,” one of the most impactful songs of the Soul. He also wrote well-known film songs. He made the film score of Shaft and earned Oscar’s score. He was the third African American man to win the Oscar. In 2003, he received 10 awards and was named BMI Icon.

Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

Joe Strummer – $4 million

Greatest Hits: Rock the Casbah

Joe Strummer is one of punk rock’s most influential figures. He created The Clash band, inaugurated in 2003 at Fame’s Rock and Roll Hall. The band’s second album on the UK charts was #2, and their third and fourth albums in the US became certified platinum. Strummer also worked with bands like the Mescaleros, Pogues, Latino Rockabilly, 101ers, etc. He also had a solo career, wrote TV and movie scores, played radio, and played for a leading organization called Rock Against Racism.

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer

Patti Smith – $16 million

Greatest Hits: Because the Night

Patti Smith is a singer, poet, and songwriter, and, thanks to her groundbreaking debut album Horses, she played an important role in New York City’s punk rock movies in the 1970s. She is known as the laureate of punk poetry combining poetry and punk rock. She wrote Bruce Springsteen’s song “Because the Night,” It is perhaps her most famous hit. She is also a novelist, receiving her memoir’s National Book Award, entitled Only Kids, won in 2010. She’s the “Greatest Artists” of Rolling Stone, too.

Patti Smith

Patti Smith

Madonna – $590 million

Greatest Hits: Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer, Vogue, Hung Up

In her acting, songwriting, and singing, Madonna, known as the Queen of Pop, is known for breaking limits, sometimes creating controversy in her images and lyrics. Since 1979, she has been in the music industry. Before turning to music and working as a guitarist for the Breakfast Club, she moved to New York City to pursue a dance career. In 1982, with Sire Records, she signed a record contract. Her songs include the award-winning “Like a Virgin,” “Ray of Light,” “Confessions on a Dance Floor,” and more.

Madonna

Madonna

Fats Domino – $8 million

Greatest Hits: Ain’t That a Shame, Jambalaya, Lady Madonna

The New Orleans rock-and-roll pioneer Fats Domino was one of the genre’s most influential musicians. He inspired R&B as well. Between 1955 and 1960, he sold over sixty-five million records and had eleven top ten hits. He was considered modest and camera-shy, so his influence on rock is often overlooked. He hit the top 40 billboard charts with 35 albums. Many of these records are certified in platinum or gold. In 1949 he released the album “The Fat Man,” the first record in rock and roll, selling a million copies.

Fats Domino

Fats Domino

Kurt Cobain – $50 million

Greatest Hits: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Sappy

Kurt Cobain was the frontman of Nirvana, considered one of the most influential bands of Generation X. He’s also the lead guitarist of the band. He established the band with Aaron Burckhard and Krist Novoselic in 1987. It was part of the grunge scene in Seattle. Nirvana signed with DGC and flourished, especially with his second album, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” a single. Cobain complained that his message was misunderstood and oversimplified in the media.

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain

Walter Becker – $20 million

Greatest Hits: Bad Sneakers, Do It Again

Walter Becker was the co-songwriter and founder of Steely Dan. He also played guitar and bass jazz/rock band. He met his co-founder, Donald Fagen, when they were both students at Bard College. They decided to start Steely Dan and went to LA. Following a successful commercial run, Becker moved to Hawaii after the breakup, becoming a record producer and a member of the English band China Crisis. In 1993, Fagen reformed Steely Dan.

Walter Becker

Walter Becker

Tom Waits – $25 million

Greatest Hits: Closing Time, Somewhere

Tom Waits is a singer-songwriter and also an actor. He’s known for his distinctive, gravely sound and punk lyrics. He specialized in jazz in the 1970s but also had blues and vaudeville influences. Beat Generation and Bob Dylan are his inspirations. He started singing in San Diego and went to LA to sign an asylum deal. He had his first commercially successful album, Closing Time, Saturday Night’s Heart, and Small Change.

Tom Waits

Tom Waits

Dan Penn – $1 million

Greatest Hits: Cry Like a Baby, The Dark End of the Street

Dan Penn is a songwriter who wrote and recorded a variety of hit pieces in the 1960s, including “The Dark End of the Street,” “The Cry Like A Baby,” and “Do Right Woman.” He preferred to play songwriting because he was camera-shy. For the press release company, his writing relationship with Chips Moman was successful, although the pair had a fall-out that ended the partnership, which was described as “short-lived” but “intense.” His collaboration with Aretha Franklin is one of his most successful since then.

Dan Penn

Dan Penn

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