Last Updated: January 24, 2024
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$8 Million
Jul 22, 1973 (50 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.803 m)
Singer, Actor, Musician, Songwriter, Artist, Composer, Film Producer, Music artist
United States of America
💰 Compare Rufus Wainwright's Net Worth

What Is Rufus Wainwright's Net Worth?

Rufus Wainwright is an American-Canadian singer-songwriter and composer who has a net worth of $8 million. Rufus Wainwright is the son of two musicians, Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and he began playing piano when he was 6 years old. Rufus has released 11 studio albums, including "Rufus Wainwright" (1998), "Poses" (2001), "Want One" (2003), "Release the Stars" (2007), "Out of the Game" (2012), and "Folkocracy" (2023).

His 2015 album "Prima Donna" is a recording of an opera he wrote, and 2016's "Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets" features several Shakespearean sonnets set to music, with guest appearances by Carrie Fisher, Helena Bonham Carter, William Shatner, and Wainwright's sister, Martha. Rufus' cover of the Leonard Bernstein song "Hallelujah" from the soundtrack for the 2001 film "Shrek" reached #11 on the "Billboard" Rock Digital Songs chart and #16 on the "Billboard" Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. Wainwright has appeared in the films "Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller" (1988), "The Aviator" (2004), "Heights" (2005), and "Days of Darkness" (2007), and he has guest-starred on the television series "Frasier" (2002), "Absolutely Fabulous" (2002), "French and Saunders" (2005), and "Royalties" (2020). He also lent his voice to a 2016 episode of the animated Netflix series "BoJack Horseman."

Early Life

Rufus Wainwright was born Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright on July 22, 1973, in Rhinebeck, New York. He is the son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, who divorced when Rufus was 3 years old. Wainwright's younger sister, Martha, is also a singer-songwriter. Rufus has dual citizenship between the U.S. and Canada, and he spent most of his youth living with his mother in Canada. Sadly, Kate passed away in 2010 from clear-cell sarcoma, and her last public appearance was with Rufus and Martha at London's Royal Albert Hall a few weeks before her death. Wainwright started playing piano when he was 6 years old, and he began touring with The McGarrigle Sisters and Family (featuring his mother, sister, and maternal aunt Anna) at the age of 13. At age 14, he performed the song "I'm a-Runnin'" in the 1988 film "Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller" and won a Genie Award for Best Original Song. In 1990, Rufus earned a Juno Award nomination for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year. Wainwright attended New York's Millbrook School and studied piano at Montreal's McGill University. He became interested in opera during his youth and studied classical music at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan.

Wainwright is gay, and in a 1999 interview with "Rolling Stone," he said that his father picked up on his homosexuality fairly early. Rufus stated,  We'd drive around in the car, he'd play "Heart of Glass" and I'd sort of mouth the words, pretend to be Blondie. Just a sign of many other things to come as well." In a different interview, he said that his parents "could not even handle me being gay. We never talked about it really." When Wainwright was 14, he was sexually assaulted at Hyde Park in London after he was picked up by a man at a bar. He later said of the traumatic event, "I said I wanted to go to the park and see where this big concert was going on. I thought it was going to be a romantic walk in the park, but he raped me and robbed me afterwards and tried to strangle me." Rufus also stated, "I pretended to be an epileptic and started shaking violently, so the guy let me go."


Wainwright began performing weekly shows at Montreal's Cafe Sarajevo, then he recorded demo tapes with producer Pierre Marchand, who would go on to produce Rufus' second studio album, "Poses." Wainwright's father was impressed with the demo tapes and gave them to his friend Van Dyke Parks, who sent them to DreamWorks Records executive Lenny Waronker. After signing with DreamWorks Records, Rufus released his self-titled debut album on May 19, 1998, and it reached #24 on the "Billboard" Top Heatseekers chart and was certified Silver in the U.K. The album was critically-acclaimed, and it resulted in "Rolling Stone" magazine naming Wainwright the Best New Artist of 1998. Rufus' second album, 2001's "Poses," reached #117 on the "Billboard" 200 chart and #1 on the Top Heatseekers chart. The album was certified Gold in Canada and Silver in the U.K., and it was featured on several lists of the year's best albums. Next, Wainwright released the albums "Want One" (2003) and "Want Two" (2004), and they reached #60 and #103, respectively, on the "Billboard" 200 chart. "Want One" was certified Gold in the U.K., and "Want Two" went Silver there. The single "I Don't Know What It Is" from "Want One" peaked at #74 on the UK Singles Chart.

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Rufus followed the "Want" albums with 2007's "Release the Stars," which reached the top 10 on the UK Albums, Norwegian Albums, Canadian Albums, Danish Albums, and Irish Albums charts and #23 on the "Billboard" 200 chart. The album was certified Gold in Canada and the U.K. Next, Wainwright released the 2010 album "All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu," and it reached #4 on the Top Canadian Albums chart, #13 on the Greek Albums Chart, and #21 on the UK Albums Chart. His seventh studio album, 2012's "Out of the Game," reached #5 on the UK Albums and Danish Albums charts. The title track reached #31 on Belgium's Ultratop 50 Flanders chart, and the single "Jericho" peaked at #38 on that chart. In 2015, Rufus released a two-disc recording of his opera "Prima Donna," which premiered at the 2009 Manchester International Festival. The following year, he released "Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets," which reached #17 on the UK Compilations chart. Wainwright's second opera, "Hadrian," was the opening production of the Canadian Opera Company's 2018 mainstage season, then he released the 2020 album "Unfollow the Rules," which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album. The album reached #7 on the Scottish Albums chart and #10 on the Swiss Albums chart, and the single "Trouble in Paradise" reached #40 on Belgium's Ultratip Bubbling Under Flanders chart.  Rufus released his 11th studio album, "Folkocracy," in 2023, and it included the singles "Down in the Willow Garden" (featuring Brandi Carlile) and Heading Home" (featuring John Legend).

Personal Life

Rufus married Jörn Weisbrodt, an art administrator, on August 23, 2012. The previous year, Wainwright welcomed daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, who was conceived via a sperm donation to Leonard Cohen's daughter, Lorca. In the early 2000s, Rufus was addicted to crystal meth, which caused him to temporarily lose his vision. Wainwright has said that he is "a complete libertarian," and in 2008, he stated, "I don't think any government should encroach on what goes on in the bedroom at all." In 2010, he publicly came out in favor of the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. Rufus said of the decision, "I wasn't a huge gay marriage supporter before I met Jörn because I love the whole old-school promiscuous Oscar Wilde freak show of what 'being gay' once was. But since meeting Jörn that all changed." Wainwright has spoken out against former U.S. President Donald Trump, and he told "NME" in 2020, "It's impossible to minimise the ineptitude and pure evil of the Trump administration."

Awards and Nominations

Wainwright has earned two Grammy nominations for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, for the live album "Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall" (2009) and the studio album "Unfollow the Rules" (2021). He has been nominated for seven GLAAD Media Awards, winning Outstanding Music – Album for "Rufus Wainwright" (1999) and "Poses" (2002), Outstanding Music – Artist for "Want One" (2004) and "Release the Stars" (2008), and the Stephen F. Kolzak Award (2008). Rufus has received eight Juno Award nominations, taking home the prize for Best Alternative Album for "Rufus Wainwright" and "Poses." In 2011, he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera for "Prima Donna," and the opera also earned a nomination for Outstanding Production. Wainwright received a Gay & Lesbian American Music Award for Best Debut Artist in 1998 and earned nominations for Album of the Year for "Rufus Wainwright" and Video of the Year and Pop Recording for "April Fools." In 2004, he won an OutMusic Award for Outstanding New Recording: Male for "Want One" and earned a nomination for Outstanding Songwriter.

Rufus received a Hollywood Music In Media Award for Best Original Song – Documentary for "Secret Sister" from "Rebel Hearts" in 2021, and the song also earned him a Society of Composers and Lyricists Award nomination for Outstanding Original Song for a Dramatic or Documentary Visual Media Production. In 2023, The Queerties honored him with the Icon Award. Wainwright has also received nominations from the Annie Awards (Music in an Animated Feature Production for "Meet the Robinsons," 2007), BRIT Awards (Best International Male Artist, 2008), Denmark GAFFA Awards (Best Foreign Male Act, 2005), Genie Awards (Best Original Song for "I'm a-Runnin," 1989), "GQ" Awards (Music: Solo Artist of the Year, 2001), Meteor Music Awards (Best International Male, 2006 and 2008), and Stonewall Awards (Entertainer of the Year, 2007).

Real Estate

In 2009 Rufus paid $999,000 for a home in Montauk. New York. Over the years he has offered it for rent for as little as $5,000 per month and as much as $18,000 per month, largely depending on the season.

In 2016, Wainwright paid $1.45 million for a 2,100 square foot home in the Hollywood Hills. The home was built in 1926 and includes three bedrooms and three bathrooms. He listed this home for sale in January 2024 for $2.2 million.

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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