Last Updated: April 14, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRappers
Net Worth:
$2 Million
Mar 30, 1962 (62 years old)
5 ft 11 in (1.82 m)
Preacher, Entrepreneur, Actor, Musician, Songwriter, Rapper, Singer, Choreographer, Dancer, Entertainer
United States of America
💰 Compare MC Hammer's Net Worth

What Is MC Hammer's Net Worth?

MC Hammer is an American rapper, entertainer, and dancer who has a net worth of $2 million. At the peak of his career in the 1990s, MC Hammer's personal fortune topped $70 million. Unfortunately, he lost most of his wealth through extreme personal expenditures. He filed for bankruptcy in 1996. More info on his finances and his over-the-top lavish mansion that pushed him off a financial cliff, later in this article.

MC Hammer was notable for his unique dancing skills and outlandish fashion. He sold more than 25 million albums in the 1990s.

MC Hammer

MC Hammer/ Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Early Life

MC Hammer was born Stanley Kirk Burrell on March 30, 1962, in Oakland, California. His mother was a secretary, and his father was a professional poker player. Stanley grew up in a three-bedroom apartment in an East Oakland housing project with his mother and eight siblings. The family sold stray baseballs in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot. The Oakland Athletic's team owner, Charles Finley, saw 11-year-old Stanley doing the splits and dancing in the parking lot one day and hired him as a clubhouse assistant and batboy. He served as a batboy from 1973 to 1980. He got the nickname M.C. for being a "Master of Ceremonies" during his time with the A's. He got the nickname "Hammer" due to his resemblance to baseball legend "Hammering" Hank Aaron.

Burrell graduated from McClymonds High School in Oakland and then joined the U.S. Navy. He served for three years as a Petty Officer until he was honorably discharged.

Early Career

MC Hammer achieved immense popularity in the late 1980s with his innovative presentations of "pop rap." He is also the first rap artist to achieve Diamond status for an album. Considered a sellout by many in the rap community for his mainstream approach to rap, he is nevertheless one of the best-known rappers of all time and an entertainer who is also known for his flamboyant dance techniques.

Hammer began rapping in small venues around the Oakland area. After a record deal fell through, he borrowed $20,000 from both Mike Davis and Dwayne Murphy, former Oakland A's players. With the cash, MC Hammer started a record label called Bust It Productions. He sold records out of his basement and car to keep the company going. Bust It Productions eventually turned to Bustin' Records, with MC working as CEO. MC Hammer released his first album under his own label, "Feel My Power," in 1986. It sold over 60,000 copies. The singles "Let's Get It Started" and "Ring 'Em" got moderate radio play and became popular tracks at local nightclubs.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22: MC Hammer attends the 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on August 22, 2013 in New York City.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for BMI)


Hammer's unique and infectious stage persona led to his big break in 1998 when he impressed a Capitol Records executive who was in the audience at one of his shows at an Oakland club. Hammer signed a record deal and secured a $1,750,000 advance.

MC Hammer scored his biggest hit with the single "U Can't Touch This" off 1990's "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em." The single topped the "Billboard" Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart, and the album was #1 for 21 weeks. The song won two Grammys and continues to be featured in film and TV projects. Hammer toured in support of the album extensively throughout Europe in 1991. The album was notable for sampling famous artists such as Prince, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Faith No More.

Hammer released his next giant hit, "Too Legit To Quit," in 1991. The title track was the biggest hit from the record, which peaked in the top five of the "Billboard" 200. Hammer set off on a grandiose and lavish tour in support of the album, with Boyz II Men as the opening act. The video for "2 Legit 2 Quit" featured so many celebrity appearances that it is ranked as one of the most expensive videos ever made. The album went multi-platinum. MC Hammer went on to release seven more studio albums, all ranging from moderate to much success, his last being in 2009. Hammer has sold over 50 million records worldwide and has headlined numerous world tours. He has won three Grammys and several other awards, including various lifetime achievement awards. His top singles live in infamy and are still used in commercials and films today.

He has since worked as an ordained preacher and has been a TV show host and a dance competition judge. He's also dabbled in acting and producing. MC Hammer produced and starred in his own movie, 1990's "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em: The Movie." In 2008, he helped create the dance website Dance Jam. He is also CEO of his own record label and executive producer of his own short-lived reality TV show, "Hammertime."

In 2020, MC Hammer appeared in a Cheetos commercial during the Super Bowl on the 30th anniversary of "U Can't Touch This." He has also recently been a spokesperson for Starburst and 3M Command Strips.

Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images

MC Hammer Bankruptcy

Unfortunately, MC Hammer experienced a very public bankruptcy. He has since recovered somewhat with new album releases, record label management, and other entrepreneurial ventures.

MC Hammer's peak earning year was 1991. During those 12 months, he earned $33 million from record sales, merchandise, endorsements, and touring revenue. Earning $33 million in 1991 is the same as someone earning around $70 million in today's dollars.

During those mega-earning years, MC Hammer was also mega spending. Between 1990 and 1996, Hammer accumulated around $10 million worth of debt. He officially filed for bankruptcy in 1996. His bankruptcy filing showed that Hammer had taken out a $500,000 personal loan from NFL/MLB star Deion Sanders and $500,000 to a personal lawyer.

Hammer blew his money on dozens of luxury sports cars, airplanes, a record company, and a 12-acre estate in Fremont, California.

Hammer was also notorious for having a huge entourage. He reportedly spent $500,000 a month on his entourage alone at the peak of his fame.

By December 2013, Hammer still owed the IRS $800,000 in back taxes and penalties related to income from 1996 and 1997. According to several released legal documents, every dollar that Hammer earns to this day must first go to the IRS before being distributed to him personally.

Hammer Time Mansion

In October 1990, MC Hammer paid $5 million for a 12.55-acre property in Fremont, California. The property is located in the hills above the rough Oakland neighborhood where he grew up. Spending $5 million on a house in this area, or any area in California minus the ultra-high-end zip codes, was unheard of. Spending $5 million in 1990 is the same as spending $11 million today.

Hammer proceeded to demolish the property's former 11,000-square-foot mansion, replacing it with a 40,000-square-foot custom mansion. The new mansion featured a bowling alley, Italian marble floors, two swimming pools, multiple tennis courts, a recording studio, state-of-the-art computerized thermostats, a media room, four dishwashers, a rehearsal hall, a 17-car garage, and a baseball diamond. Hammer spent somewhere between $12 and $20 million building his dream home. That's the same as spending $25 and $45 million on a home today. Here's a video tour of the mansion from when it was on the market in 2012:

The costs to build the mansion drained much of Hammer's financial liquidity. He then had the difficult burden of maintaining the expansive property.

After declaring bankruptcy in 1996, Hammer listed the property for sale for $6.8 million. In August 1997, the home sold for $5.3 million. The home sold again in 2012 for $5.4 million.

Personal Life

Today Hammer lives in a relatively modest ranch-style house in Tracy, California, with his wife Stephanie (who he has been married to since 1985). Hammer and Stephanie have five children, Bobby, Jeremiah, Sammy, Sarah, and A'keiba. They also raised Hammer's nephew.

Hammer frequently posts on social media and is, at present, consulting for or investing in eight tech companies. Hammer has said he spends 10 to 12 hours daily working on various tech projects and has been known to tweet 30 to 40 times per day.

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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