Last Updated: June 26, 2024
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Mar 22, 1943 (81 years old)
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Guitarist
United States of America
💰 Compare George Benson's Net Worth

What is George Benson's Net Worth

George Benson is a celebrated American jazz fusion guitarist, singer, and songwriter who has a net worth of $5 million. Considered a former child prodigy, Benson had an excellent foundation of performing in his childhood and started playing music professionally at age 19. He naturally took up the jazz guitar, rising to eminence in the 1960s, where he played soul jazz with organist Jack McDuff. He recorded his first album with McDuff and gradually launched a successful solo career, switching between jazz, pop, R&B, and scat singing.

Benson's notable achievements include a triple-platinum certification on his album "Breezin" which also won the top spot on the Billboard album chart in 1976. His concerts drew huge attendances through the 1980s and he still has an enormous following. Between 1964 and 2013, he released 36 albums, won 10 Grammy Awards, and was even honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

George Washington Benson was born on March 22, 1943 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He started playing the ukulele when he was seven and graduated to guitar when he was eight. By the time he was nine, Benson was recording. Two of the four sides he cut were released – "She Makes Me Mad" and "It Should Have Been Me," with RCA Victor in New York.

Benson went to Schenley High School, from where he also graduated. Thanks to his relationship performing for many years with organist Jack McDuff as a youth, he mastered playing straight-ahead instrumental jazz. He'd go ahead to record "The New Boss Guitar" at 21, his first-ever album featuring McDuff. His subsequent releases were "It's Uptown" and "The George Benson Cookbook".

Benson worked for Miles Davis in the mid-60s before going to Verve Records. He then signed with Creed Taylor's jazz label, CTI Records, where he recorded many albums with popular jazz musicians. His 1974 album, "Bad Benson," was a huge success, topping the Billboard jazz chart. The next albums, "Good King Bad" and "Benson & Farrell" also peaked at the top three in jazz sales. Furthermore, Benson released a reinterpretation of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" in 1969 and covered Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." During this period, he also contributed to sessions for other CTI artists, including Stanley Turrentine and Freddie Hubbard, particularly on the former's "Sugar" album.

Breakthrough Years (1970s and 80s)

By the mid-to-late 1970s, Benson gained a new audience while recording for Warner Bros. Records. His 1976 album Breezin' featured the hit track "This Masquerade," with him taking lead vocals and Jorge Dalto doing a piano intro. The song quickly became a pop sensation, earning him a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.

In 1976, Benson toured with soul singer Minnie Riperton, playing guitar and doing backup vocals on Stevie Wonder's "Another Star". He then recorded "The Greatest Love for All" the following year for Muhammad Ali's biopic "The Greatest". In 1978, Benson's live performance of "On Broadway" from his album "Weekend in L.A." of the same year also earned him a Grammy.

Benson's pop breakthrough came with the album "Give Me The Night," produced by Quincy Jones and released by Qwest. The title track reached the top ten in the pop and R&B pop category. Subsequently, he released hit singles like "Kisses in the Moonlight," "Love All the Hurt Away" and "Turn Your Love Around." Benson's vocal albums going into the 1990s drew inspiration from artists like Donny Hathaway, Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole.

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1990s to Present

In 1990 Benson received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music. In 2009, the National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the highest jazz accolade in the US: a Jazz Master. That same year, he performed at the Ohrid Summer Festival in North Macedonia and paid tribute to Nat King Cole at the Istanbul International Jazz Festival in Turkey.

In the fall of 2009, Benson recorded the album "Songs and Stories" with producer John Burk, Marcus Miller, and session musicians Steve Lukather and David Paich. He appeared on shows like "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and "Late Night With Jimmy Falon" to promote the album. In March 2011, Benson performed at the Java Jazz Festival and released "Guitar Man" later that year, revisiting his early guitar-playing days with a 12-song collection of pop covers and jazz standards produced by John Burk.

In June 2013 Benson released "Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole," his fourth album for Concord, featuring artists like Judith Hill, Idina Menzel, and Winton Marsalis. A few months later, he returned to Brazil to perform at the Rock in Rio Festival, 35 years after his debut at the inaugural event.

In 2016 Benson participated as a mentor in Sky Art's Guitar program to search for the most talented guitarist in the Republic of Ireland and the UK. On July 12, 2018, he signed with Mascot Label Group. Unfortunately, in early 2024, Benson ceased international touring due to ill health, canceling a series of planned summer concerts in the UK.


Benson's discography comprises the original releases of 36 studio albums and five live ones on A&M Records, Columbia Records, CTI Records, Prestige Records, GRP Records, Concord Records, Warner Bros. Records, Provogue Records, and Verve Records. It also consists of two music DVDs.

Personal Life

Benson has been married to his wife, Johnnie Lee, since 1965 and is a practicing Jehova Witness. The couple has seven children.

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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