Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$6 Million
Apr 28, 1950 (74 years old)
The Bronx
Singer, Musician, Record producer, Trombonist, Songwriter, Actor
United States of America
💰 Compare Willie Colón's Net Worth

What Is Willie Colón's Net Worth?

Willie Colón is a Nuyorican (New York-born Puerto Rican) salsa musician and social activist who has a net worth of $6 million. Willie Colón plays the trombone, sings, acts, writes, and produces, and he has been involved in New York politics since the '80s. Willie's 1978 collaboration with Rubén Blades, "Siembra," is reportedly the best-selling album of all time within its genre.

His collaboration with Héctor Lavoe was the catalyst that spread this fusion of tropical/urban music throughout Latin America. Colón has released more than 60 albums, including "The Hustler" (1968), "Crime Pays" (1972), "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" (1975), "Tiempo Pa' Matar" (1984), and "Tras La Tormenta" (1995), and he has produced many of his albums as well. Willie has appeared in the films "Vigilante" (1982), "The Last Fight" (1983), and "It Could Happen to You" (1994) and the television series "Miami Vice" (1987) and "Demasiado corazón" (1997). Willie was portrayed by John Ortiz in the 2006 film "El Cantante," a biopic about Héctor Lavoe starring Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.

Early Life

Willie Colón was born William Anthony Colón Román on April 28, 1950, in New York City. He is the son of Puerto Rican parents, and his birth took place in the South Bronx. Willie began playing the trumpet at an early age, but he switched to trombone after being inspired by the music of Barry Rogers and Mon Rivera. Colón spent some summers in Puerto Rico at a farm owned by his maternal grandmother's sister. When Willie was 15 years old, he signed with Fania Records, and he recorded his first album at the age of 17. That album, "El Malo," sold over 300,000 copies. Johnny Pacheco, Fania's main record producer at the time, recommended Héctor Lavoe to Colón.

Music Career

Willie's music combines elements of salsa, jazz, and rock, and the 2004 Juan Flores article "Creolité in the 'Hood: Diaspora as Source and Challenge" said of Colón, "His life and music commute back and forth between his home turf in the Bronx and his ancestral Puerto Rico, with more than casual stop-offs in other musical zones of the Caribbean." After releasing his debut album in 1967, Willie released several albums with Héctor Lavoe, including "The Hustler" (1968), "Guisando" (1969), "Cosa Nuestra" (1970), and "El Juicio" (1972). His 1978 album "Siembra," a collaboration with Rubén Blades, has sold more than three million copies and was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame. Colón has also collaborated with artists such as Soledad Bravo and Celia Cruz, and according to his website, he holds the "all time record for sales in the Salsa genre, [having] created 40 productions that have sold more than thirty million records worldwide." Willie embarked on his 50th Anniversary Tour in 2016, and the following year he announced that he would be publishing a book titled "Barrio de Guapos" ("The Secret Life of Willie Colón") and launching the record label Willie Colon Presents.

Willie Colón

"Getty Images"


Willie campaigned for New York City Mayor David Dinkins and worked as Dinkins' spokesperson and special assistant from 1989 to 1993. In 1994, Colón ran in the Democratic party primary for the state's 17th congressional district, but he was defeated by Representative Eliot Engel. In 2001, Willie received 101,393 votes in the race for New York City Public Advocate. He spent 12 years serving as Mayor Michael Bloomberg's representative advisor as well as liaison to the Latin Media Entertainment Commission. In 2010, Colón performed at The Earth Day Climate Rally at The National Mall, along with artists such as Booker T, Sting, Joss Stone, The Roots, John Legend, and Bob Weir. He campaigned against Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, in 2012 and 2013, and Chávez reportedly addressed Willie via Twitter, warning Colón to mind his own business. After Chávez died, Willie endorsed Henrique Capriles Radonski, the opposition candidate, and wrote a campaign song, "Mentira Fresca," that went viral in Latin America. Colón attended the Westchester County Police Academy, and he became a Deputy Sheriff for the Department of Public Safety in May 2014. In 2017, he was promoted to Deputy Lieutenant.

Personal Life

In April 2021, Willie and his wife, Julia, were injured in a vehicle accident while driving a motor home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Julia suffered contusions and lacerations and was treated at a local hospital. Willie's condition was more serious, so he was taken to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia. Colón's injuries included a fractured cervical vertebra, head trauma, a concussion, and a scalp lacerations that required more than a dozen staples.

Willie has been presented with honorary degrees from several universities, and he received the Chubb Fellowship from Yale University in 1990. Colón has served as President of the Arthur Schomburg Coalition for a Better New York and Chair of the Association of Hispanic Arts, and he has been a member of the boards of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and United Nations Immigrant Foundation.

Willie is a founding member of both the New Rochelle Hispanic Advisory Board and New Rochelle Judicial System Committee, and he joined the Latino Commission on AIDS. In 1995, he replaced Stephen Sondheim on the national board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), becoming the first person of color to serve on the board.

Awards and Honors

In 1999, Willie was selected for the Jubilee 2000 delegation to the Vatican, which led to $100 billion in debt relief for financially-struggling countries. He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Latin Recording Academy (2004) and International Trombone Association (2010), and he has been inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame (2000) and Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame (2019). In 2011, Colón was recognized by the Westchester Hispanic Law Enforcement Association for his community activism. "Billboard" magazine included Willie on its 2015 "30 Most influential Latin Artists of All Time" list, and in 2018, he was awarded The Ellis Island Honor Society's Ellis Island Medal of Honor and El Auditorio Nacional's Lunas Del Auditorio Award. Colón has also won several Latin NY Music Awards and "Record World Magazine" Awards, and he has earned 10 Grammy nominations (eight for Best Tropical Latin Performance and two for Best Latin Recording).

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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