Last Updated: October 12, 2023
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$8 Million
Jul 20, 1945 (78 years old)
Singer-songwriter, Musician, Actor
United States of America
đź’° Compare Kim Carnes' Net Worth
Table of ContentsExpand
  1. Early Life
  2. Career
  3. Personal Life

What is Kim Carnes's Net Worth?

Kim Carnes is an American singer-songwriter who has a net worth of $8 million. Kim Carnes was born in Los Angeles, California in July 1945. Carnes started her career as a songwriter in the 1960s while she worked as a session background singer with the Waters sisters. Her debut studio album, "Rest on Me," was released in 1971. Carnes would release a total of 13 studio albums, with her most successful being 1981's "Mistaken Identity." That album reached #1 in the US and #2 in Australia. She had success with the singles "More Love", "Make No Mistake (He's Mine)" (with Barbra Streisand), "Crazy in the Night (Barking at Airplanes)", and "I'll Be Here Where the Heart Is". Her song "Bette Davis Eyes" won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year and was the best-selling single in the US that year. Her song "Love Comes from Unexpected Places" won the American Song Festival and the award for Best Composition at the Tokyo Song Festival. She also sang the theme song for the TV series "My Sister Sam."

Early Life

Carnes was born on July 20, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother worked as a hospital administrator while her father, James Raymond Carnes, was an attorney. While Carnes was not born into a musical family, she knew she would be a singer and songwriter from the age of three as she developed a passion for music from a young age. She grew up in Pasadena and one of her next door neighbors was David Lindley, who also grew up to be a musician. She attended San Marino High School and graduated in 1963. By this time, she had already been working in the music industry as a songwriter.


Carnes signed her first publishing deal in 1962 with producer Jimmy Bowen. During this time, she shared demo recording time with Bowen's other writers like Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and J.D. Souther. However, it wasn't until the early 1970s that she experienced more substantial success. In 1971, she sang the song "Nobody Knows" which was featured in the end credits of the film "Vanishing Point." The film also featured her first cut as a songwriter with the song "Sing Out for Jesus" as sung by Big Mama Thornton. The same year, she also created the bubblegum pop studio group The Sugar Bears along with Mike Settle. They released their debut album, "Presenting the Sugar Bears," from which three singles were produced. She also released her first solo album, "Rest on Me," in 1971 and co-wrote a number of songs with David Cassidy. She toured with Cassidy as an opening act.

In 1975, Carnes released her second self-titled album. It featured here first charted hit, "You're A Part of Me." The track reached the 32nd spot on the U.S. Adult Contemporary  charts. The next year, in 1976, she released her third album called "Sailin.'" The track "Love Comes from Unexpected Places" won the Grand Prize at the 1976 American Song Festival. The song also earned the award for Best Composition at the Tokyo Song Festival. In 1977, Barbra Streisand recorded the song on her album "Superman." The following year, Streisand recorded another of Carnes's songs, "Stay Away," on her album "Songbird." The same year, she recorded a duet with Gene Cotton of the song "You're A Part of Me." The song reached the 38th spot on the "Billboard Hot 100."

In 1980, Carnes and Kenny Rogers recorded a duet of "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer." The song became a major hit on the Adult Contemporary, Country, and Pop charts. The song was written by Carnes and her husband, Dave Ellingson. Later the same year, Carnes covered the song "More Love" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles." It became her first solo top 10 hit, reaching the 10th spot on the Pop charts and the sixth spot on the Adult Contemporary charts. In 1981, Carnes recorded the Jackie DeShannon and Donna Weiss song "Bette Davis Eyes." It spent nine weeks at the number one spot on the U.S. singles chart and also became a worldwide hit. The song's success propelled her album, "Mistaken Identity," to the number one spot on the "Billboard 200" for four weeks. The song also earned both the Record of the Year and the Song of the Year awards at the 1982 Gammy Awards. Carnes received a nomination for the Best Pop Female and "Mistaken Identity" was nominated in the Album of the Year category. Bette Davis herself wrote to Carnes after the song was released to tell her that she loved the song, which prompted a friendship between the two women.

What is Kim Carnes' Net Worth?

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In 1983, Carnes was nominated at the Grammy Awards for "Voyeur." She received another nomination the following year for "Invisible Hands." Her song "I'll Be Here Where the Heart Is" was included on the "Flashdance" soundtrack which received the Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture. Carnes was also one of the singers invited to perform on USA for Africa's 1985 famine relief. She can be seen and heard performing in the "We Are the World" music video.

Carnes released her eleventh album, "View from the House," in 1988. It marked a return to her earlier country and folk sound and featured musicians Vince Gill and Lyle Lovett. In the early 1990s, she released a series of tracks exclusively in Japan for a compilation album called "Re-Import." She also recorded the single "Hooked on the Memory of You" with Neil Diamond in 1991.

Throughout most of the 1990s, Carnes primarily worked as a songwriter for other artists like Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Her song, "The Heart Won't Lie," became a top country hit in 1994. Other artists also continued to record covers of some of Carnes's earlier songs like Tim McGraw and Collin Raye. In June 2004, Carnes released her 13th studio album, "Chasin' Wild Trains." She also wrote songs for soundtracks to films like "The Contender" and "Loggerheads."

Over the years, Carnes has become known for her raspy singing style, drawing comparisons to Rod Stewart and Bonnie Tyler. Over the course of her career, she has won two Grammy Awards and received eight other nominations.

Personal Life

Carnes married husband Dave Ellingson in 1967. They have worked closely together as songwriters over the years. They have two sons – Collin and Ry. Carnes and her husband live together in Nashville.

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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