Last Updated: December 20, 2023
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$8 Million
Mar 4, 1951 (73 years old)
5 ft 7 in (1.72 m)
Singer, Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Musician, Composer, Actor, Lyricist
United Kingdom
💰 Compare Chris Rea's Net Worth

What Is Chris Rea's Net Worth?

Chris Rea is an English singer-songwriter who has a net worth of $8 million. Chris Rea is best known for his "husky" voice and slide guitar technique. He specializes in pop rock, soft rock, and blues rock and is an expert in vocals, guitar, and piano. He became active in the music industry in the 1970s and has been affiliated with record labels such as Magnet, East West, and Edel. Rea is said to be one of the most popular British singer-songwriters that was prominent in the 1980s. One of his most famous songs includes "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," which reached #12 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart. Chris has released 25 studio albums, including the 6x Platinum album "The Road to Hell" (1989), the 2x Platinum album "Auberge" (1991), and the Platinum albums "On the Beach" (1986), "Dancing with Strangers" (1987), and "God's Great Banana Skin" (1992). He wrote and produced the 1996 film "La passione," and he appeared in the 1998 film "Parting Shots."

Early Life

Chris Rea was born Christopher Anton Rea on March 4, 1951, in Middlesbrough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England. He is the son of an Irish mother, Winifred, and an Italian father, Camillo, and he grew up in a Roman Catholic household with six siblings. Camillo owned the ice cream chain Rea's Creamy Ices, and Chris began working there at the age of 12. Rea attended St Mary's College, Middlesbrough, and he purchased his first guitar, a 1961 Hofner V3, when he was in his early twenties. Chris taught himself to play, and he was influenced by musicians such as Charlie Patton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Blind Willie Johnson, Joe Walsh, Ry Cooder, Muddy Waters, and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

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Rea joined the band Magdalene in 1973, and later that year he formed The Beautiful Losers. After signing a solo record deal with the independent label Magnet Records, he released his debut album, "Whatever Happened to Benny Santini?," in April 1978. The album was certified Gold in the U.S., and it reached #49 on the 'Billboard" 200 chart and #94 on Australia's Kent Music Report. The single "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" topped the "Billboard" Easy Listening chart and Canada's "RPM" Adult Oriented Playlist, and it peaked at #12 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart. The album earned Chris a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, and he followed it with 1979's "Deltics," 1980's "Tennis," 1981's "Chris Rea," 1983's "Water Sign," and 1984's "Wired to the Moon." Rea's seventh studio album, 1985's "Shamrock Diaries," was certified Gold in Germany and Silver in the U.K., and it reached #3 on the Dutch Albums chart and #12 on the German Albums chart. Chris had a top 10 single in France and the Netherlands with "Josephine." The 1986 album "On the Beach" went Platinum in the U.K. and New Zealand and Gold in France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and it reached #1 on the Dutch Albums chart, #2 on the German Albums chart, and #4 on the New Zealand Albums chart. Rea's next album, 1987's "Dancing with Strangers," was certified Platinum in the U.K. and Gold in France, Germany, and New Zealand, and it reached #1 on the New Zealand Albums chart and #2 on the UK Albums chart. The single "Let's Dance" was a top 10 hit in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and South Africa.

The 1989 album "The Road to Hell," went 6x Platinum in the U.K. and Platinum in Austria, France, and Switzerland, and it reached #1 on the UK Albums chart, #2 on the Austrian Albums and Swedish Albums charts, and #3 on the German Albums and Norwegian Albums charts. The album's title track reached the top 10 on the charts in Austria and the U.K. In the '90s, Chris released the albums "Auberge" (1991), "God's Great Banana Skin" (1992), "Espresso Logic" (1993), "The Blue Cafe" (1998), and "The Road to Hell: Part 2" (1999). "Auberge" was certified 2x Platinum in the U.K. and Platinum in Germany and Switzerland, and it reached #1 on the UK Albums and German Albums charts. All the studio albums Rea released during that decade reached the top 10 in at least one country except "The Road to Hell: Part 2," and they were all certified Silver or higher in the U.K. The 2002 album "Dancing Down the Stony Road" went Gold in the U.K. The 2004 album "The Blue Jukebox" reached #27 on the UK Albums chart, and 2005's "Blue Guitars" peaked at #29 on the Dutch Albums chart. In 2011, Chris released his twenty-third studio album, "Santo Spirito Blues," which reached #10 on the German Albums chart and #13 on the Croatian Albums and UK Albums charts and went Gold in Poland. His 2017 album "Road Songs for Lovers" reached #11 on the UK Albums chart. Rea released "One Fine Day," his twenty-fifth studio album, in 2019.

(Photo by David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns)

Personal Life

Chris began a relationship with Joan Lesley after they met as teenagers in 1968. The couple later married, and they welcomed daughters Josephine and Julia on September 16, 1983, and March 18, 1989, respectively. Rea used to own the Sol Mill Recording Studios in Cookham, Berkshire, and he has said that he likes to "read a lot and even though I chose music, journalism was my first passion." He enjoys historic motor racing, and he has raced a Ferrari 328, Ferrari Dino, and 1955 Lotus 6, among others. Chris was a guest driver during the 1993 British Touring Car Championship ToCa shootout, and he joined the Historic Racing Drivers Club. In 2005, he sold his Caterham 7 (which was featured on the cover of his 1991 album "Auberge") for £11,762 and donated the proceeds to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Rea was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1994, and he underwent surgery to remove his pancreas as well as his gallbladder and part of his liver. After the operation, Chris was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. In 2008, major news publications began erroneously reporting that Rea had donated large amounts of money to the Conservative Party. Those donations were actually made by a different Chris Rea who was a businessman. Chris supported Jeremy Corbyn during the 2017 general election and wrote a song about him titled "What's So Wrong With A Man Who Tells The Truth?"

Awards and Nominations

At the 21st Annual Grammy Awards in 1979, Rea was nominated for Best New Artist. He earned Brit Award nominations for Best British Male Artist in 1988, 1989, and 1990. In 1973, Rea's band The Beautiful Losers won a "Melody Maker" award for Best Newcomers.

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