Willie Nelson has a net worth of $25 million in 2020, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Nelson earned the majority of his wealth through his music career, which has spanned over the last seven decades. He also starred in over 30 movies, released several books, and produced a plethora of albums over the years, which have all added to the country music legend’s net worth.
Born Willie Hugh Nelson on April 29, 1933, Nelson rose to fame as one of the key figures of the outlaw country music scene at the end of the 1960s, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Nelson has released 69 studio albums over the last 70 years and continues to produce music to this day.
Keep reading for a rundown of Nelson’s wealth and how he’s earned it:
Nelson is Releasing His 70th Studio Album in 2020
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Nelson “was recognized as one of the most prolific artists of this subgenre of country music that developed mainly as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound.”
He has released 69 studio albums over the years, including 13 live albums, 16 collaborative video albums and 25 collaborative albums to date. His 70th album, titled First Rose of Spring, is slated for release on July 3, 2020 this year.
In addition to his musical endeavors, Nelson has starred in more than 30 films, co-authored several books, and “has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana,” Celebrity Net Worth reports.
Nelson Quickly Rose to Fame Following the Release of Red Headed Stranger
Nelson penned his first song at the age of seven, and joined his first band when he was just 10-years-old. He dropped out of Baylor University to pursue a career in music, and was working as a disc jockey in 1956 when he wrote the song “Family Bible” and recorded the single “Lumberjack.”
Within two years, Nelson was signed with D Records and released the iconic country songs “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Pretty Paper,” “Crazy” and “Hello Walls.” He signed with Liberty Records in August 1961, and quickly rose to fame thereafter.
In 1975, Nelson released Red Headed Stranger, which would eventually become the top-selling country music album in history and propel him into the “country music stratosphere,” according to IMDb.
He Appeared in Several Films, Including Red Headed Stranger & Stagecoach
Nelson eventually branched into acting and appeared in several popular films throughout the years. His first role was opposite Robert Redford and Jane Fonda in The Electric Horseman, which led to several leading roles in movies like Honeysuckle Rose, Thief and Barbarosa. The movie Red Headed Stranger was adapted from his hit 1975 album, and he and actor Kris Kristofferson went on to release Songwriter in 1984.
Nelson met his wife, Annie D’Angelo, on the set of Stagecoach, which he was filming alongside Johnny Cash and Kristofferson. D’Angelo was a makeup artist on set, and the two have now been married since 1991.
Nelson Was Indebted to the IRS for $16.7 Million in 1990
Despite Nelson’s incredible success as a country music icon, he fell on hard times in 1990 when he was hit with a staggering 16.7 million dollar tax bill from the IRS. Although his lawyer was able to negotiate Nelson’s debt down to $6 million, he couldn’t afford the bill so he chose not to pay it, which led to the IRS raiding his home and seizing all of his assets on November 9, 1990.
According to Forbes, the feds took everything he owned, excluding his famed guitar Trigger, which he had stored at his daughter’s house in anticipation of the raid. Nelson lost nearly everything (except Trigger) in the raid, including his Pedernales Country Club and Recording Studio, his Dripping Springs ranch, twenty other properties in four states and most of his instruments, recordings, and memorabilia, according to Forbes.
Nelson Teamed up With the IRS to Release an Album to Pay off His Debt
Even though most of Nelson’s assets were auctioned off, he still couldn’t afford to pay back the IRS, so the two sides reached an agreement – Nelson released a compilation album and shared the proceeds with the IRS, according to Forbes. The album was written by Nelson and recorded with Trigger, and was the first record album ever released under a “strict revenue-sharing” agreement with the IRS, Forbes reports.
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