Ric Ocasek tragically passed away on Sunday at the age of 75. At the time of his death, his combined net worth with his wife supermodel Paulina Porizkova was an estimated $80 million according to Celebrity Net Worth.
If you remove Prizkov’s net worth, Ocasek himself was worth an estimated $30 million according to The Richest. Most of Ocasek’s wealth was built from forming the band “The Cars” where he was the co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist along with writing a majority of their songs.
Ocasek was married to supermodel Paulina Porizkov but the couple divorced in May 2018 after 29 years of marriage. Paulina earned a reported $42 million throughout the course of her career which included an endorsement deal with Estée Lauder that paid her $6 million per year from 1988 through 1995.
Ocasek is survived by his six children, Oliver, Jonathan, Christopher, Adam, Eron and Derek, two from each of his marriages.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Cars sold over 23 Million Records
Ric Ocasek was the founding member of The Cars who had massive success in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. Their self-titled debut album sold 6 million copies in the United States and reportedly earned Ocasek over $8 million. It included classic rock staples and hit singles such as “Just What I Needed”, “My Best Friends Girl”, “Good Times Roll”, and “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”. These songs are still in regular rotation on classic rock radio stations and have been used in countless commercials.
The Cars recorded a total of 13 hit singles on the Billboard Top 40 and their six studio albums are all considered to be classics.
Their subsequent albums earned Ocasek a significant amount of money as well including Candy-O ($5 million), Panorama ($1.3 million), Shake it Up ($2.6 million), and Heartbeat City ($5.2 million) according to The Richest. Their 6th studio album Door to Door peaked at #26 on the Billboard charts and their final album Move Like This reached #7. It’s unknown how much Ocasek made from these albums but it’s assumed to be a lot.
The Cars were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
2. He Had Hit Singles as a Solo Artist
Ric Ocasek started his solo career in 1982 while he was still with the cars. His first solo album, Beatitude, was released in 1982 and featured Greg Hawkes from The Cars on keyboards. He went on to release a total of 7 solo albums including This Side of Paradise (1986), Fireball Zone (1991), Quick Change World (1993), Negative Theater (1993), Troublizing (1997) and Nexterday (2005).
While his solo album sales couldn’t touch the success he found with The Cars, he scored a total of 3 hit singles on the Billboard Top 100 from his solo work including the hugely popular “Emotion in Motion” which peaked at #15 on the Billboard charts.
Since he wrote and produced all of his own music, he kept most a much large portion of the profits which drastically increased his net worth.
3. Ric Ocasek Produced Several Classic Multi-Platinum Albums
Ric Ocasek was a successful music producer who worked with legendary artists including Bad Brains, Bad Religion, No Doubt, Weezer, Hole, Black 47, and Motion City Soundtrack. He also self-produced all of his solo albums and The Cars 1987 album “Door to Door”.
He produced Weezer’s two most successful album including their debut “The Blue Album” which went on to sell 15 million copies worldwide and “The Green Album” which sold over 2 million copies.
Ocasek produced a total of 35 albums and since producers earn an average of 3-4% of a record’s sale price, Ocasek made a substantial amount of money though the total amount is unknown.
4. He Sold his New York City Townhouse for $15 Million
Ric and Paulina had a small but expensive collection of luxury real estate. They bought a 6,000 square-foot townhouse in New York for $2.5 million in 1989 and sold it for $15.25 million in 2019 for a net profit of $12.75 million. TThe home, located a block from Gramercy Park on a street known as “block beautiful”, was built in 1850 and renovated in 1919.
The five-bedroom, 4.5 bath, located a block from Gramercy Park on a street known as “block beautiful”, was built in 1850 and renovated in 1919. It featured an elevator, two fireplaces, and a recording studio.
The couple also owned a 5.5 acre property in Millbrook, New York which they bought in 1997 for $650,000. It’s assessed value in 2018 according to Zillow was S1.18 million.
5. His Music Appeared in Over 100 TV Shows and Movies
Ocasek’s music has been featured in 110 movies and TV shows according to IMDB and countless commercials. Since Ric wrote most The Cars most famous songs, he is credited on the soundtrack as a writer.
His music has been featured on some of the most popular TV shows of the past 30 years including The Office, Arrested Development, American Horror Story, Freaks and Geeks, Scrubs, Beavis and Butthead, and Glee.
His songs have also appeared in countless movies including An American Summer, Cars 2, Chasing Amy, The Crow, The Saint, Transformers, and Super 8.
Adam Sandler especially loves The Cars music as Ocasek’s songs have appeared in nearly every one of his movies including Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, Mr. Deeds, and 50 First Dates.
Music royalty payments differ based on how they’re used, how long, and how big the movie or TV show is. It’s impossible to tell exactly how much Ocasek made but with his extensive list of credits that feature high profile productions, it’s most likely a lot.