Last Updated: May 22, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRappers
Net Worth:
$1 Million
Apr 8, 1964 - Jul 16, 2021 (57 years old)
Egg Harbor Township
6 ft 2 in (1.905 m)
Singer-songwriter, Actor, Record producer, Rapper, Disc jockey, Comedian
United States of America
💰 Compare Biz Markie's Net Worth

What was Biz Markie's Net Worth?

Biz Markie was an American rapper and comedian who had a net worth of $1 million at the time of his death. Biz Markie was best known for his song "Just a Friend," which was released in 1989. He was often referred to as the "clown prince of hip-hop." Biz Markie's career began during the 1980s with the release of his debut album "Goin' Off" in 1988. His second album, "The Biz Never Sleeps," produced the top-selling single of Markie's career. "Just a Friend" climbed to number nine on the U.S. charts and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders and as one of the 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop by VH1. His third album, "I Need a Haircut," was released in 1991 and resulted in a lawsuit against Markie. Gilbert O'Sullivan alleged a sample from his song, "Alone Again (Naturally"), was used without permission on the album, and the courts ruled in favor of O'Sullivan. As a result, all copies of the album were pulled from shelves. Markie's fourth effort, "All Samples Cleared!" was launched in 1993 to minimal sales. Biz spent much of his later career carving out a role as an actor, with appearances in "In Living Color," "Men in Black II," "Celebrity Fit Club," and "Wild 'n Out." Markie was featured on several songs with different artists, including the Rolling Stones, Len, Wu-Tang Clan, and the Beastie Boys. He opened for Chris Rock's tour in 2008 and took part in the 2013 "Yo Gabba Gabba" tour. Tragically, Biz Markie died on July 16, 2021, at the age of 57.

Early Life

Marcel Theo Hall was born on April 8, 1964, in Manhattan in the neighborhood of Harlem and then later raised on Long Island in the hamlet of Brentwood. He attended Longwood High School in Middle Island and graduated in 1982. Throughout his teenage years, he enjoyed listening to hip-hop, both that of national as well as local artists. Some of his early inspirations included the L Brothers, a group made up of Kevvy Kev, Master Rob, and Busy Bee Starski as well as DJ Grand Wizard Theodore. He began making his own music throughout this time as well and adopted the stage name Biz Markie.


Markie initially got some media attention after appearing in the 1986 cult documentary "Big Fun in the Big Town." A couple years later, he released his debut album, "Goin' Off." The album attracted some attention in large part due to its lead single, " Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz." The album additionally featured a number of singles that became hits in the underground hip-hop scene, like "Vapors," "Pickin' Boogers," and "Nobody Beats the Biz."

In October of 1989, he released his second album, "The Biz Never Sleeps." The album was produced by Markie himself as well as his cousins Cool V and Paul C. The single "Just a Friend" became a hit single, reaching the ninth spot on the "Billboard" charts. In the track, Markie alternates between rapping and caterwauling and the song became emblematic of Markie's performing style. The song also incorporates Markie performing portions of the 1968 song "You Got What I Need" by singer-songwriter Freddie Scott. The song grew in popularity over time and has remained memorable even decades later. It has been included on VH1's list of 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders and the list of 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

In August of 1991, Markie released his third studio album, "I Need a Haircut." The album did not sell as well as his previous album and then took another hit when Markie was served a lawsuit by Gilbert O'Sullivan. O'Sullivan claimed that the album's "Alone Again" featured an unauthorized sample from his former hit "Alone Again (Naturally)." His claim was upheld in a landmark court ruling, Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc. The case altered the landscape of hip-hop, as it held that all samples must be cleared by the original artist before being used. To comply with the ruling, Markie's label had to pull "I Need a Haircut" from circulation.

Biz Markie

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In response, Markie released the record "All Samples Cleared!" in 1993. However, his career had already been sufficiently hurt by the lawsuit, and the record failed to sell well. For the rest of the 1990s, Markie made the occasional television and film appearances. He appeared on "In Living Color" and "Meteor Man." He was also featured as a guest artist on the songs and albums of other artists throughout the decade. He made numerous appearances with the Beastie Boys on "Check Your Head," "Ill Communication," "Hello Nasty," and "The Sounds of Science." He also was featured on the song "Schizo Jam" by Don Byron and also worked with Canibus on the first track to appear on the soundtrack to the "Office Space" soundtrack. In 1999, he rapped on the track "So Fresh" alongside Slick Rick on Will Smith's album "Willennium."

In the 2000s, he had a role in the film "Men in Black II" in which he played an alien parody of himself whose native language sounded exactly like beatboxing. He also sang the hook for the remixed version of Mario's single "Just a Friend 2002." In 2005, he appeared in the first season of "Celebrity Fit Club" and lost more weight than anybody else in the competition. He also began opening for comedian Christ Rock in 2008 with an act that included spinning old records.

Throughout the 2010s, Markie continued making television appearances. He appeared on VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" in 2010 and provided commentary throughout the series. He guest starred in an episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" and also appeared in the film "Sharknado 2: The Second One." In 2017, he began working as the DJ for the VH1 game show "Hip Hop Squares," a spin-off of the popular game show "Hollywood Squares." Beginning in 2020, he started hosting a radio show on SiriusXM on LL Cool J's Rock the Bells Radio Channel.

Personal Life and Death

Markie married Tara Davis on October 18, 2018. After getting married, he became a stepfather to Tara's daughter, Averi. The couple were generally very private and not many details concerning their relationship are known other than what Tara has posted on her social media profiles.

In April 2020, Markie was hospitalized due to severe complications from type 2 diabetes. In December of that year, it was reported that he was staying in a rehabilitation facility after having suffered a stroke, which induced a diabetic coma. By July 2021, rumors of his death were circulating on Twitter. While fans initially thought he had died on July 1st, his death actually took place on July 16 when he was 57 years old. He was buried at Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum in Farmingdale, New York.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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