Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$5 Million
May 10, 1942 (81 years old)
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What is Carl Douglas' net worth?

Carl Douglas is a Jamaican recording artist who has a net worth of $5 million. He is best known for his 1974 disco hit single "Kung Fu Fighting." As we detail later in this article, Carl is the song's sole-credited writer and producer, so he receives the lion's share of royalties produced by the track, which is estimated to be hundreds of thousands of dollars per year thanks to covers, streaming and licensing.

Early Life

Carlton George Douglas was born on May 10, 1942, in Kingston, Jamaica. As a child, he was immersed in the vibrant musical culture of his hometown, which had a profound influence on his future career. He left Jamaica in his early teens and moved to California where he was first exposed to American pop and soul music, which would later influence his unique sound. Douglas then moved to England in the early 1960s, where he began his music career in earnest, performing with a variety of bands and honing his singing skills.

Music Career

Douglas released his debut studio album "Kung Fu Fighting and Other Great Love Songs" in 1974. The album reached #1 on the US R&B charts and #37 on the Billboard 200 chart. He also released the albums "Love Peace and Happiness" in 1977 and "Keep Pleasing Me" in 1978.

His single "Kung Fu Fighting" reached #1 in the US as well as in the UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. Carl Douglas had some success with his next single "Dance The Kung Fu" which reached #5 in Germany.

In 1998, Douglas experienced a resurgence when his iconic hit was remixed by British dance duo Bus Stop, introducing his music to a new generation. The remix, which featured additional rap verses, reached number eight on the UK charts.


"Kung Fu Fighting" Royalties And Production

Carl Douglas originally rented studio space and hired session musicians to record a cover version of a song called "I Want Give You My Everything". That song was recorded to be the A-side of a record. So they needed a B-side. Carl's producer asked him if he had anything else they could record quickly. The first thing that came to mind was an unpolished jingle Carl had written earlier that year after leaving a nightclub. As he walked down the street he saw a group of teenagers in a pinball alley mock fighting to the sound of the music that was fighting. Carl said to his friend:

"Damn. Looks like everyone is kung fu fighting."

At that moment he had the hook and the chorus in his mind and rushed home to write down the music and lyrics. Fast forward to the recording session, Carl laid down the final version in two takes.

The A&R staff at his record label thought the song was so good that it should be the A-side, not the B-side. Within weeks, the song was #1 in the US and England. The song has been covered a number of times including most notably be Cee-Lo Green for the movie "Kung Fu Panda". The song has also been used in its original form in hundreds of movies and TV shows.

As the song's sole-credited writer and performer, Carl enjoys an extraordinarily high royalty percentage on the song. Even some 40+ years later, he still earns several hundred thousand dollars in royalties every year, minimum.

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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