Last Updated: April 2, 2024
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$10 Million
Sep 29, 1935 - Oct 28, 2022 (87 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.803 m)
Singer, Songwriter, Keyboard Player, Pianist, Musician, Actor, Singer-songwriter
United States of America
💰 Compare Jerry Lee Lewis' Net Worth

What Was Jerry Lee Lewis' Net Worth?

Jerry Lee Lewis was an American singer and pianist who had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death. Jerry Lee Lewis died on October 28, 2022, at the age of 87. Lewis is known for his hits "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Great Balls of Fire!," and "Would You Take Another Chance On Me."

Early Life

Jerry Lee Lewis was born on September 29, 1935, in Ferriday, Concordia Parish, Louisiana. His father was a farmer, and the family lived in poverty. He started playing the piano at a young age with his two older cousins, and seeing his love for music, his parents mortgaged their farm to purchase a new piano. His first public performance was in November 1949. Jerry's family was deeply religious, and his mother sent him to the Southwest Bible Institute in Waxahachie, Texas, so that he could sing gospel songs exclusively. After playing a boogie-woogie version of the song "My God is Real," he was asked to leave the school. He returned home and began playing at local bars and nightclubs.

Early Career

In 1955, Lewis travelled to Nashville, where he failed to get a record deal, so he left for Memphis the next year to seek a deal with the label Sun Records. Lewis performed a rendition of Ray Price's "Crazy Arms" and his own composition "End of the Road" and was recorded by sound engineer Jack Clement. He began recording with the label the next month. In addition to working as a solo artist, Jerry was also featured on recordings by a number of other musicians that had signed with Sun Records. He was featured on Carl Perkins' songs "Matchbox," "Your True Love," and "Put Your Cat Clothes On," and he was on Billy Lee Riley's song "Flyin' Saucers Rock'n'Roll." Not even a month after being signed, Lewis was at the studio while Johnny Cash was visiting Carl Perkins and then Elvis Presley dropped in. The three had an impromptu jam session, which was recorded and later released on an album titled "Million Dollar Quartet." Lewis' career as a solo musician began to really take off in 1957. He released his music as a solo artist under the name Jerry Lee Lewis and his Pumpin' Piano, and he soon recorded hits such as "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," and "Great Balls of Fire." The latter single garnered him international fame and popularity, and the former was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress in 2014. In spite of his early success, Jerry considered his songs to be antithetical to his Christian faith, and he at times worried that he was leading his audiences and self to hell. This personal oddity was described by Johnny Cash, but Lewis was able to function in his relatively long career without religion interfering.

Jerry had a signature move he would do when performing that included pounding the keys with his heels, kicking the piano bench away, and then running his hands over all the keys for dramatic effect. His first time performing this act was on the "The Steve Allen Show" in July 1957. In 1960, Sun Records opened two new state-of-the-art recording studios, one in Memphis and another in Nashville. Lewis recorded his hit cover of Ray Charles' song "What'd I Say" that next year. His contract with Sun Records ended in 1963, and he decided to sign with the label Smash Records. Jerry recorded a number of rock albums with the label including "The Return of Rock," "Memphis Beat," and "Soul My Way," but none of the records received much commercial or critical success. However, a live concert album "Live at the Star Club, Hamburg" that Lewis recorded in 1964 with the Nashville Teens is considered by many to be one of the best live albums ever recorded.

Jerry Lee Lewis Net Worth

Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Country Music and Later Career

By 1968, Lewis had grown increasingly frustrated with his lack of hits with Smash Records, so when his manager asked if he'd record a country album, Jerry agreed. He released a cover of Jerry Chestnut's song "Another Place, Another Time," which shot up to #4 on the "Billboard" country music charts and remained there for 17 weeks. His foray into the country genre proved to be a significant boost to his career. From 1968 to 1977, Lewis had 17 Top 10 singles on the "Billboard" country music charts, including "What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out of Me)," "She Still Comes Around (To Love What's Left of Me)," "Once More with Feeling," "One Has My Name (The Other Has My Heart)," and "Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough." Jerry soon became one of the most profitable country music stars at the time. His first label, Sun Records, purchased Smash Records, and in 1970, his older country songs were reworked and released as an album. The single "One Minute Past Eternity" peaked at #2 on the country charts. He returned to the pop genre in the early '70s with the singles "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Chantilly Lace." He recorded the soulful rock album "Southern Roots: Back Home to Memphis," which did not chart but was well-received by critics.

After switching to the record label Elektra, Lewis released the critically praised album "Jerry Lee Lewis," but it was a commercial flop. In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1989, a feature film was released based on his early life and career called "Great Balls of Fire!" It was based on a book written by one of his ex-wives.

Personal Life

Lewis was married seven times, and he had six children with his various wives. He received much criticism early in his career for his marriage to his 13-year-old first cousin. Jerry was 22 when they married. His sixth marriage was his longest, lasting 21 years.

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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