02 Jun LITTLE RICHARD, LITTLE ESTATE? GOOD GOLLY, MISS MOLLY!
Although Little Richard recently died, with an estate estimated at $40 Million, it could have been much greater if he had made better business decisions. He sold the rights to his hit song, “Tutti Frutti”, to Specialty Records for $50 plus a half cent for each record sold. The record company earned millions.
Many years later, Little Richard sued several times for past royalties. However, each time he sued, he settled for a cash amount instead of obtaining ownership or royalty rights for the hit songs he made. Copyright and royalty rights would have been much more financially beneficial. Subsequently, famed recording artist Michael Jackson bought his songs and returned them to Little Richard without charge – although some report he still did not own the copyright to his songs at the time of his death. During his prime, his main compensation was his performance fees.
Little Richard (his birth name being Richard Penniman) is survived by one child, Danny Penniman. He also is survived by several siblings. It is uncertain exactly what Danny will inherit, but it is likely that he will receive a good portion of the estate. However, although Little Richard was not linked with any particular charitable organizations, he was religious – so many charities could be beneficiaries as well.
Although Little Richard could have had a much larger estate, he emerged from the slums to be a multi-millionaire. He had a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” as far as his impact on the music industry.
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