Last Updated: July 22, 2023
Richest CelebritiesRock Stars
Net Worth:
$30 Million
Date of Birth:
Sep 4, 1960 (63 years old)
Place of Birth:
Guitarist, Songwriter, Musician
United States of America
💰 Compare Kim Thayil's Net Worth

What Is Kim Thayil's Net Worth?

Kim Thayil is an American guitarist and songwriter who has a net worth of $30 million. Kim Thayil is best known for being the lead guitarist of the Grammy-winning rock band Soundgarden, which he formed with vocalist Chris Cornell and bassist Hiro Yamamoto in the '80s.

Soundgarden released the studio albums "Ultramega OK" (1988), "Louder Than Love" (1989), "Badmotorfinger" (1991), "Superunknown" (1994), "Down on the Upside" (1996), and "King Animal" (2012), and three of those albums were certified Platinum or higher in the U.S. Thayil has also released the albums "Live from the Battle in Seattle" (2000) with No WTO Combo and "Altar" (2006) with Sunn O))) and Boris as well as self-titled albums with Probot (2004) and 3rd Secret (2022).

Kim wrote a number of Soundgarden's songs, including "Hunted Down," "Flower," "Hands All Over," "Jesus Christ Pose," and "Superunknown," and he was ranked #100 on "Rolling Stone" magazine's 2010 "100 Greatest Guitarists" list and #67 on "Spin" magazine's 2012 "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. Tragically, Kim's longtime bandmate Chris Cornell died by suicide in May 2017.

Early Life

Kim Thayil was born Kim Anand Thayil on September 4, 1960, in Seattle, Washington. Kim's parents moved to Seattle from India. His mother, Shanti, worked as a music teacher and studied at London's Royal Academy of Music to become a concert pianist. His father, Boniface, earned a chemical engineering degree and moved the family to Chicago after he was offered a job there.

At the age of 12, Thayil began writing lyrics. In 1977, he formed the punk rock band Bozo and the Pinheads, which performed original songs as well as covers of songs by Devo, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones. In 1980, Kim played guitar in the post-punk band Identity Crisis, and the group released the EP "Pretty Feet" that year.

Thayil attended Rich East High School, where he met Hiro Yamamoto. The two graduated from the school's Active Learning Process School in 1979. Kim and Hiro moved to Olympia, Washington, with plans to attend The Evergreen State College, but after they were unable to find work, they relocated to Seattle. There, Thayil worked as a DJ for KCMU while attending the University of Washington, where he earned a philosophy degree. After Kim and Hiro met Chris Cornell in Seattle, they formed Soundgarden together in 1984.


After Soundgarden signed with Sub Pop, they released the EPs "Screaming Life" (1987) and "Fopp" (1988). They signed with SST Records in 1988, and their first full-length album, "Ultramega OK," earned a Grammy nomination. The band then signed with A&M Records and released the album "Louder Than Love" in 1989. Their 1991 album "Badmotorfinger" was certified 2× Platinum in the U.S., Platinum in Canada and New Zealand, and Gold in Australia and the U.K. "Badmotorfinger" was ranked #45 on "Guitar World" magazine's 2006 list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time" and #26 on "Revolver" magazine's 2002 list of "The 69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time." The 1994 album "Superunknown" reached #1 on the charts in four countries, including the U.S., and it went 6× Platinum in the U.S., 3× Platinum in Canada, and 2× Platinum in Sweden. The album featured the singles "Spoonman," "The Day I Tried to Live," "Black Hole Sun," "My Wave," and "Fell on Black Days," and "Black Hole Sun" reached #1 on the "Billboard" Mainstream Rock chart and #2 on the "Billboard" Alternative Airplay chart and went Gold in three countries. In 2019, "Rolling Stone" ranked "Superunknown" #9 on its "50 Greatest Grunge Albums" list.

Kim Thayil net worth


In 1996, Soundgarden released the album "Down on the Upside," which reached #1 in Australia and New Zealand and #2 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. The album was certified Platinum in four countries, and the singles "Burden in My Hand" and "Blow Up the Outside World" topped the Mainstream Rock chart. Tension over the band's creative direction led to a split in 1997, but they later reunited and released the 2012 album "King Animal." That year Thayil also lent his voice to the "Dethcamp" episode of the Adult Swim animated series "Metalocalypse." Sadly, Chris Cornell died by suicide on May 18, 2017, after Soundgarden's concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. After the group disbanded, the remaining members reunited for a January 2019 "Tribute to Chris Cornell" concert. In 2018, Kim played guitar on Wayne Kramer's North American tour, and in 2020, he contributed guitar solos to the Barret Martin Group song "The Firebird." In 2021, Thayil and former Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron played on the Pretty Reckless song "Only Love Can Save Me Now," and Kim performed on the Mastadon album "Hushed and Grim." Thayil and Cameron formed the band 3rd Secret with Krist Novoselic, Bubba Dupree, Jillian Raye, and Jennifer Johnson in 2021, and they released a self-titled album the following year.

Personal Life

In 2021, Kim spoke to "Kerrang!" about attending the unveiling of a statue of his late friend/bandmate Chris Cornell at Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture, stating, "It was a lot of things. It was very surreal, for starters, but obviously a source of great pride to be able to honour our brother. It was awkward too, because there was a certain aspect of it that was a show, as it was a public event." Thayil added, "I miss his company and presence. I miss the collaborative inspiration he brought, too, and the team and family that we built together over the years."

Awards and Nominations

Soundgarden earned nine Grammy nominations between 1990 and 2011, winning Best Metal Performance for  "Spoonman" and Best Hard Rock Performance for "Black Hole Sun" in 1994. "Ultramega OK," "Badmotorfinger," and "Into the Void (Sealth)" also earned Best Metal Performance nominations, and "Pretty Noose" and "Black Rain" received Best Hard Rock Performance nominations. The band's other Grammy nominations were for Best Rock Song for "Black Hole Sun" and Best Rock Album for "Superunknown." "Black Hole Sun" won a Clio Award for Alternative Music Video and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Metal/Hard Rock Video, and it earned an MTV Europe Music Award nomination for Best Rock. The group also won Northwest Area Music Awards for Best Rock Group (1991), Best Metal Group (1992), and Best Metal Album for "Badmotorfinger" (1992) and received "Revolver" Music Award nominations for Comeback of the Year and Album of the Year for "King Animal" in 2013.

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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