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Chris Blackwell Net Worth, Wiki & Biography in 2017
Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell was born on the 22nd June 1937 in Westminster, London England, and is a businessman and record producer best known to the world as the founder of the Island Records, one of the Britain’s most successful record labels, but which he sold to PolyGram records in 1989. His career started in the late ‘50s.
Have you ever wondered how rich Chris Blackwell is, as of early 2017? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that Blackwell’s net worth is as high as $180 million, earned through his successful career in the music industry.
Chris Blackwell Net Worth $180 Million
Chris is of mixed ancestry; his father was English, while his mother was born in Costa Rica and belonged to a Sephardic Jewish family from Jamaica. Although born in London, Chris spent his childhood in Jamaica, and then moved to Britain to attend Harrow School. His parents divorced when he was 12, and once he finished high school he returned to Jamaica to work as ADC for the Governor of Jamaica, Sir Hugh Foot. Following Foot’s departure to Cyprus, Chris left King’s House and worked several jobs in real estate and other industries, including managing jukeboxes, through which he was introduced to the Jamaican music community.
In 1958 during one of his boat trips, his boat got stuck on a coral reef, and Chris swam back to the shore to find help. He collapsed on the beach, and was eventually rescued by Rasta fisherman, who healed his wounds with traditional Ital food. This pushed Chris into Rastafarianism, and encouraged him to further explore the culture and music. The same year he founded Island Records, with the help of his parents who gave him $10,000, and with a business partner, radio personality Graeme Goodall.
Chris’s first performer was pianist Lance Hayward, who recorded a piano and vocal album. In 1959 he started recording Jamaican music and soon enough landed his first hit, “Boogie in my Bones/Little Sheila”, performed by Laurel Aitken.
In the next couple of years, Chris had several successful singles on his label, and a couple of albums. He then decided to return to England to try to expand his business, by starting selling Jamaican music to the community in London. Little by little Chris’s name became more known in the music industry, and he was the one who firstly signed The Spencer Davis Group, featuring Steve Winwood, to a recording contract. After that, he focused on rock musicians, such as Nirvana, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Cat Stevens, Spooky Tooth, Etta James, The Cranberries and U2. The success of these bands and musicians increased Blackwell’s net worth by a large margin.
Apart from Island Records, which he sold in 1989 to PolyGram, Chris had several other business ventures, including Mango Records, through which he released Jamaican musicians such as Burning Spear, Third World, Salif Keita, King Sunny Ade among many others.
After that, he started Palm Pictures, which was not only focused on music but also on film and DVD releases. However, he merged company with Rykodisc in the late ‘90s to form RykoPalm. Thanks to his contribution to music, he was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Aside from music, Chris has created a luxurious resort on Oracabessa Bay in Jamaica, once owned by famous writer Ian Fleming, creator of secret agent James Bond and called Goldeneye.
Regarding his personal life, Chris was married to Mary Vinson Blackwell from 1998 until her death in 2009; the couple had three children. In his late wife’s honor he founded the philanthropic organization called Mary Vinson Blackwell Foundation, while he has also started several other organizations, including Oracabessa Foundation and Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary.
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|Marley||2012||Documentary executive producer|
|Arena||2007||TV Series documentary executive producer - 1 episode|
|Sun Dogs||2006||Documentary executive producer|
|The Last Minute||2001||executive producer|
|Third World Cop||1999||executive producer|
|Dancehall Queen||1997||executive producer|
|Mandela||1996||Documentary executive producer|
|The Basketball Diaries||1995||executive producer|
|New Orleans Live!||1992||TV Movie executive producer|
|The Lunatic||1991||executive producer|
|Sidewalk Stories||1989||executive producer|
|Big Time||1988||Documentary executive producer|
|Sweet Lies||1987||executive producer|
|Slam Dance||1987||executive producer - uncredited|
|Good to Go||1986||executive producer|
|Choose Me||1984||executive producer|
|Caribbean Nights: The Bob Marley Story||1982||Documentary executive producer|
|The Harder They Come||1972||executive producer - uncredited|
|Strisser på Samsø||1998||TV Series||Styrmand|
|Out of the Unknown||1967||TV Series||Robot|
|Dr. No||1962||Henchman jumping off dock into water (uncredited)|
|A Show Down at the O.K. Cinema||2007||Short|
|The Jules & Lulu Show||2004||TV Series|
|Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends||2012||Video Game musician: bass / musician: drums|
|Strapless||1989||music: "Skyred" uncred|
|A Chorus of Disapproval||1989||music: "Midnight Lady", "Big Jig" - uncredited|
|Dr. No||1962||location manager - uncredited|
|Mad Dogs & Englishmen||1971||Documentary manager: Island Artists Ltd.|
|Bridget's Sexiest Beaches||2009||TV Series documentary special thanks - 1 episode|
|The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry||2008||Documentary thanks|
|Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Nightclub||2008||Documentary special thanks|
|Africa Unite: A Celebration of Bob Marley's 60th Birthday||2008||Documentary heartfelt thanks|
|No Place Like Home||2006/I||very special thanks|
|Ian Fleming: 007's Creator||2000||Video documentary short special thanks|
|Let's Talk About Sex||1998||very special thanks|
|An Evening with Harry Belafonte & Friends||1997||TV Movie thanks: for their enthusiasm, friendship and support|
|Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood||1996||special thanks|
|The Reggae Movie||1995||Documentary special thanks|
|In the Name of the Father||1993||thanks|
|U2: Rattle and Hum||1988||Documentary special thanks|
|Radio Caroline||Documentary filming||Himself|
|Toots and the Maytals Reggae Got Soul||2011||TV Movie documentary||Himself|
|Keep on Running: 50 Years of Island Records||2009||TV Movie documentary||Himself|
|Bridget's Sexiest Beaches||2009||TV Series documentary||Himself|
|Impact: Songs That Changed the World||2007||TV Mini-Series documentary||Himself|
|Roots of Reggae: The Ernest Ranglin Story||2006||Video documentary short||Himself|
|Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music||2002||TV Series documentary||Himself|
|Ian Fleming: 007's Creator||2000||Video documentary short||Himself|
|Ken Adam: Designing Bond||2000||Video documentary short||Himself|
|Inside 'Dr. No'||2000||Video documentary short||Himself|
|Classic Albums: Bob Marley & the Wailers - Catch a Fire||1999||Video documentary|
|Behind the Music||1999||TV Series documentary||Himself|
|Caribbean Nights: The Bob Marley Story||1982||Documentary||Himself|
|Year||Award||Ceremony||Nomination||Movie||Award shared with|
|2013||Grammy||Grammy Awards||Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media||Marley (2012)||· Barry Cole (producer)|
|1993||CableACE||CableACE Awards||Music Special||New Orleans Live! (1992)||· Liz Heller (executive producer)|
· Stephanie Bennett (producer)
· Quint Davis (producer)
· Gary Legon (director)
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|1||He owns "James Bond" writer Ian Fleming's former Jamaican home, Goldeneye. It is now a luxury resort. Blackwell grew up nearby.|
|2||Founded the Palm Pictures group in 1997.|
|3||Sold Island Records to PolyGram (now Universal Music) in 1991.|
|4||Was almost single-handedly responsible for bringing reggae music to the world outide of Jamaica by signing Bob Marley to Island Records.|
|5||Founded Island Records in 1960.|
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