Last Updated: July 11, 2024
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$40 Million
$10 Million
Mar 14, 1950 (74 years old)
Actor, Comedian, Radio personality, Presenter, Businessperson, Songwriter, Screenwriter, Disc jockey
United States of America
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What Is Rick Dees' Net Worth?

Rick Dees is an American singer and radio host who has a net worth of $40 million. Rick Dees is best-known for hosting the internationally syndicated radio show "The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown." Rick's annual salary for the show is $10 million.

Dees began his professional career before he attended college, working at a local radio station during high school. He later worked for radio stations in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and in Alabama. In 1976, Rick became internationally known when he recorded the hit disco track "Disco Duck" while working at a Memphis radio station. The song reached #1 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 for one week in October 1976. He was soon hired to DJ in Los Angeles, and while working at KIIS-FM, he became a bona-fide radio star. His show "The Weekly Top 40" has been running successfully since the early '80s, and he has won numerous radio-related awards, including the Marconi Award and the People's Choice Award. Dees has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the National Radio Hall of Fame. Rick also co-founded the Cooking Channel and performed the title song for the 1979 Ivan Reitman-directed film "Meatballs."

Early Life

Rick Dees was born Rigdon Osmond Dees III on March 14, 1950, in Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. After graduating from Greensboro's Grimsley High School, Rick earned a bachelor's degree in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)


When he was in high school, Dees began working at the Greensboro radio station WGBG, then he worked at southeastern radio stations such as Chapel Hill's WCAR (now called WXYC), Raleigh's WKIX, and Birmingham's WSGN. While working at WMPS AM 680 in Memphis during the disco craze, Rick released the 1976 single "Disco Duck," which sold over six million copies. The song was featured in the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever," and it reached #1 on the "Billboard" Hot 100 chart and "Cash Box" Top 100 in the U.S. and was a top 10 hit in several other countries. The single was certified Platinum in the U.S. and Canada. Station management refused to let Dees play "Disco Duck" on the air, and after he mentioned that the song was nearly #1 and that his own station wouldn't let him play it, he was fired. Rick later toured part of the East Coast with his band, Rick Dees and The Cast of Idiots, and after his 45-day non-compete clause was up, he began working at the Memphis radio station WHBQ AM 560. His success in Memphis and his hit song led to a job offer from RKO General, and he was offered a job hosting the morning show on KHJ (AM) in Los Angeles. Rick left the station after it switched to a country music format and moved to KIIS-FM during the summer of 1981, turning the station into the country's top revenue-generating radio station.

In October 1983, Dees started his "Weekly Top 40" countdown, which is still in syndication, on 18 stations. The program has expanded to more than 200 countries. After 23 years, Rick left KIIS-FM in early 2004 and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest. In August 2006, he began co-hosting the morning show on the L.A. radio station KMVN, Movin 93.9, with Mark Wong and Patti "Long Legs" Lopez. In April 2009, KMVN let its radio personalities go and changed to a Spanish contemporary music format. In April 2011, Dees was hired by KHHT, KIIS's sister station, after it switched to a Gold-based Rhythmic AC format, and he stayed there for a year. Rick has continued to distribute the "Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown" to radio stations globally and streaming in the United States. The show is the world's longest continuously running pop music countdown. He also hosts the "Daily Dees" show, which is syndicated.

Rick Dees

Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Personal Life & Real Estate

Rick was married to Nancy Carmody from 1970 to 1976. He wed Julie McWhirter on April 29, 1978, and they welcomed son Kevin together. Julie is a voice actress known for animated shows such as "The RiĀ¢hie RiĀ¢h/Scooby-Doo Show," "Alvin & the Chipmunks," "The Flintstone Kids," and "The Smurfs."

In 1990 Rick and Nancy tore down a recently acquired mansion in the LA neighborhood of Toluca Lake. They proceeded to custom build a 7,000-square-foot mansion with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. They briefly listed their home for sale in 2006 for around $6 million. Today the home could be worth as much as $8-10 million based on comparable sales.

In 1984, Marvin Fisher, who owned the copyright of the music used in the Johnny Mathis song "When Sunny Gets Blue," refused Dees' request for permission to use the song for a parody of Mathis. Rick did the parody anyway, using nearly 30 seconds of the song on the album "Put It Where the Moon Don't Shine." Fisher filed a lawsuit against Dees for copyright infringement, and a court ruled that the parody song "When Sonny Sniffs Glue" was meant to "poke fun" at Mathis' singing style and should not be considered infringement.

In 1991, Rick and his business manager, Wally Clark, were sued by Cosmo Cappellino, KIIS-FM's former advertising sales manager,Ā for $10 million. According to a article, "The jury found Dees and Clark acted with malice and oppression in setting up secret companies through which they siphoned $2.5 million in advertising revenue from the nationally syndicated, 'Rick Dees' Weekly Top 40′ show, cheating their partner Cappellino out of the profits."

Awards and Honors

In 1984, Dees received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Radio category and earned a Grammy nomination for the comedy album "Hurt Me Baby ā€“ Make Me Write Bad Checks." He was later honored with the Grammy Governor's Award. Rick's 1976 single "Disco Duck" won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New Song and earned a BMI Award for the number of record sales in one year. Dees has been inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame, National Radio Hall of Fame,Ā Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, and North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, and he was named the "Billboard" Radio Personality of the Year ten consecutive times.

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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