Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$3 Million
Feb 20, 1941 (83 years old)
Stoneham, Massachusetts
Record producer, Social activist, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer, Visual Artist, Actor, Film Score Composer, Educator, Humanitarian
💰 Compare Buffy Sainte-Marie's Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What is Buffy Sainte-Marie's net worth?

Buffy Sainte-Marie is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter, musician, composer, and visual artist who has a net worth of $3 million. Known for her unmistakable voice and poignant lyrics, Buffy Sainte-Marie became one of the most recognizable folk artists of the 1960s, shedding light on issues such as love, war, and indigenous rights. Yet, amid her musical and activist endeavors, Sainte-Marie's claims of Native identity have been met with skepticism and criticism by some, leading to questions about her heritage and its influence on her work.

Since the early 1960s Buffy has claimed to be of Indigenous Canadian ancestry, perhaps even full-blooded Algonquin. As we detail later in this article, in October 2023 her ancestral claims were the subject of an hour-long CBC "The Fifth Estate" episode. The episode alleged that Buffy has been fraudulently posing as Native for over six decades. Over the decades Buffy has claimed to have been born on Native land in Canada and soon adopted by a white couple from Stoneham, Massachusetts. That couple would be Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie. The Fifth Estate reportedly found her original birth certificate which seems to show she was biologically born to her supposed adoptive parents and that her ethnicity on the certificate was listed as white. The program also arranged for her supposedly adopted sister to take a DNA test which showed she had no native ancestry. The sister further claimed that she is genetically related to Buffy's child, which would not be possible if Buffy was adopted.

She has released many studio albums, starting with 1964's "It's My Way!". She is a skilled songwriter who has written songs for artists such as Janis Joplin, Chet Atkins, and Taj Mahal. One of Sainte-Marie's most popular songs "Until It's Time for You to Go" has been recorded by artists including Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Cher, Bobby Drain, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and more. She won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA Award for the song "Up Where We Belong," which was featured in the 1982 movie "An Officer and a Gentleman." From 1975 to 1979 she appeared as the character "Buffy" on the TV series Sesame Street.

Early Life

Beverly Sainte-Marie was born on February 20, 1941. For six+ decades, most published biographies would claim she was born in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada, on Native "Cree" land. Prior to October 2023, most biographies would then say that Buffy was adopted by an American couple from Stoneham, Massachusetts named Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie. Buffy's own authorized biography, released in 2018, said she was "probably born" on the Piapot First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan. In many interviews over the decades of being a public figure Buffy has maintained the story that she was born on Native land and adopted by a white couple from Massachusetts.

As we stated earlier in this article, an October 2023 episode of CBC's "The Fifth Estate" accused Buffy of essentially being a "Pretendian" – someone who pretends to have Native ancestry. The show brought forth her alleged birth certificate which seems to show she was actually the biological white child of Albert and Winifred. The show also performed a DNA test on her supposed "adopted" sister, which reportedly showed that they had no Native ancestry. The sister also claimed she was genetically related to Buffy's son, which would not be possible if she was truly adopted. A representative of Buffy claimed that it was common practice in Massachusetts at the time for adopted children to issued birth certificates that listed their adoptive parents.

In the 1960s and 70s, as she was becoming more and more famous, some of Buffy's family members came forward with attempts to dispel her Native claims. In 1964 an uncle came forward and told a local paper in Canada that she had "no Indian blood in her… not a bit of Cree." In 1972 her brother wrote a letter to the Denver Post clarifying that Buffy was born in Massachusetts to Caucasian parents.

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In the early 1960s, her songs "Universal Soldier" and "Now That the Buffalo's Gone" caught the attention of the folk community and beyond, addressing pressing issues of the time such as war and the rights of indigenous peoples. Her poignant lyrics and unique sound quickly set her apart from other artists of her era, granting her performances at renowned venues and appearances on popular television shows.

In the late '60s and '70s, her musical journey saw her experimenting with electronic sounds, leading to the pioneering album "Illuminations." This innovative approach to music, blending folk with cutting-edge technology, showcased Sainte-Marie's versatility as an artist. Throughout her career, she has garnered several awards, including an Academy Award for "Up Where We Belong," a song she co-wrote for the 1982 film "An Officer and a Gentleman."

Buffy's impact, however, extends beyond music. She has been a persistent advocate for indigenous rights, education, and digital innovation. In the '90s, she also became a regular presence on "Sesame Street," using the platform to educate young viewers about Native American culture and history. Her dedication to activism and her continuous musical evolution have solidified her legacy as a multifaceted artist and advocate.

Personal Life

From 1968 to 1971 Buffy was married to a surf instructor from Hawaii named Dewain Bugbee.

In 1975 she married a man named Sheldon Wolfchild. They had one son, Dakota "Cody" Starblanket Wolfchild, before eventually divorcing.

In 1982 she married Jack Nitzsche, her co-writer on the song "Up Where We Belong." They divorced in the late 1980s.

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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