From Riches to Rags: 9 Musicians Who Lost it All [infographic]

Climbing your way to the top of your career field is hard enough, especially if you have dreams of making it big in the music industry. But when a musician gains such an immense amount of success, to the point where most everyone knows their name and at least some of their most popular music, it’s hard to think of them as struggling–especially when it comes to their finances.

Check out the following infographic to see how nine musicians throughout history, from Marvin Gaye and Wayne Newton to Tom Petty and Michael Jackson, earned millions of dollars throughout their career and lost it all. Most of the musicians mentioned found themselves in so many millions of debt that they were forced to file for bankruptcy, sometimes multiple times.

Infographic: Riches to Rags
Riches to Rags by Payday

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8 thoughts on “From Riches to Rags: 9 Musicians Who Lost it All [infographic]”

  1. This was an interesting read and good lessons for us future millionaires. 1. Pay your taxes. 2. Watch who you let manage your finances. 3. Remember, just because you are rich doesn’t mean you can’t lose it all. Spend wisely.

  2. Wow, I knew about a few of them, like MC Hammer, and Michael Jackson, but not about the others. I wonder if it’s a feeling of being above it all, or greed, or simply poor money management? Hmm. I guess we forget they’re just humans too, and can make huge financial mistakes like the rest of us can.
    Thanks for sharing, definitely something to ponder.

  3. We were actually talking about how this happens to a lot of pro athletes. I have a few friends who made major money playing sports and then went bankrupt. We discussed how money management is not a concept that they were ever taught and thats how they ended up in financial ruins.
    Taking their stories (and the ones listed here) into consideration, I can’t help but think money management really should be part of our education system’s core curriculum…..

    1. I could not agree with you more! I also think that you should have to take a class on how to do your taxes during your last year of high school. At that time, a lot of students have part-time jobs, and if they don’t, it is only a matter of months before they most likely wind up in the work force in some way, whether they are working to support themselves or to supplement their income while going to college. When I was 18 and living on my own, working two jobs to support myself, and tax season came around, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. My grandmother came over to my apartment one afternoon to show me how to do my taxes, and she asked how I didn’t know what I was doing, and she didn’t realize that if you’re not having that conversation at home, people are growing up and going out into the real world without the slightest clue of what, exactly, they are supposed to do when it comes to that.

  4. Unreal. I’ve heard such stories for years, particularly with pro athletes as Alexis mentioned and always find them amazing.
    You need to educate yourself about money – no matter how much you have! (Then work and pray for more LOL)

  5. I saw a doco on Michael Jackson about 10 years ago, saw him buying things worth 100,000 of thousands.. clearly had no concept of the value of items. No wonder he left this world in debt.

  6. I enjoyed your article and I can relate since I’m sort of living a riches to rags lifestyle at the moment which is pure hell to me. I’ve gone from living In a swanky pad to downsize to a much smaller one and I have to get a job again. Ugh. I came across your site when I was googling riches to rags so I could hear other stories to help me get through my ordeal so I don’t feel alone.

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