Michael Bolotin was born on 26 February 1953, in New Heaven, Connecticut USA, of Jewish-Russian descent. Known professionally by his stage name Michael Bolton, he is a singer and songwriter continuously maintaining his reputation as a globally recognized soul music performer. Mostly praised for his immensely sensual tenor voice and powerful love ballads, Michael has won two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance, six American Music Awards, and been awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
So how rich is Michael Bolton? According to authoritative sources, Bolton’s net worth is estimated to be $60 million, most of it undoubtedly accumulated during his singing career which began in the mid-1970s. Perhaps the largest share of all his commercial success has been collected from more than 53 million albums and singles sold.
Michael Bolton Net Worth $60 Million
It’s interesting to know how this singer made his way up the career ladder – Michael Bolton is the last born child to a Jewish family of three children. Father George and mother Helen, née Gubin went their separate ways when he was very young. The very first song Michael wrote was to the girl who he was in love with in his early teen-age years, and from that moment he found an excitement and passion in the music world. His birth name Bolotin – from his Russian grandfather – appeared on the singer’s first solo album (“Michael Bolotin”) released in 1975. At the same time, Michael joined the hard-rock band Blackjack as the lead singer, and continued performing with a list of rock ballads, that were recorded in the late ’70 and early ’80s, although none of these were particularly successful commercially, so didn’t bring him or the group much popularity.
However, a considerable part of Michael’s success has been related to songwriting. After anglicising his name to Bolton, he wrote for Barbra Streisand (“We’re not making love anymore”), Cher (“I found someone”), but his breakthrough came with the song “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You” (co-written with Dug Jamsen), which turned into a great hit for Laura Branigan in 1983. Soon after, Michael released his fifth solo album “Hunger” featuring two main hits: “That’s What Love is All About” and Otis Redding cover “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay”. It was obvious that these soulful songs opened the doors to international success, and contributed significantly to his net worth, as the album shipped four million copies worldwide, and in addition was certified double platinum. Two years later, Michael released the album “Soul Provider”(1989), led by the hit single “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”, which has been played many millions of times, and earned him his first Grammy Award – as Michael has mentioned himself, he is personally proudest of this song. The album also recorded more than 10 million copies sold worldwide. In fact, his gentle voice and ballads, performed in the American soul style, were hugely acknowledged by his fans over the world.
Soon after, the album “Time, Love & Tenderness” (1991) came by with the hit “When a Man Loves a Woman” – this album did even better, selling over 16 million copies, and as well as popularity in markets and on charts, and for the song “When a Man Loves a Woman” Michael received his second Grammy Award for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance. It is also interesting to notice that one of the major hits – “Love Is a Wonderful Thing” – became the subject of plagiarism against Michael Bolton, as the Isley Brothers song, which was recorded about 25 years before, has the same title and some similar lyrics. Despite Bolton’s arguments protesting any legal liability, in 2001 the US Supreme Court supported The Isley Brother’s case and has awarded them two thirds of the past, present, and future revenues from the sale of singles, and 28 percent from sales of the album “Time, Love, and Tenderness”. According to authoritative sources, so far Bolton has lost up to $5.4 million.
Despite this unpleasant fact, to date the singer’s music career has been continuing successfully: until recently, he has released 18 studio albums, of which eight reached the top 10 in various music charts around the world, and are certainly a major source of his net worth. He has made cameo appearances in a couple of films, though, usually as himself. He also partnered Lucy Lawless in the Fox network’s program “Celebrity Duets” in 2006, and Chelsie Hightower in “Dancing with the Stars” in 2010, unsuccessfully. Michael released his autobiography – “The Soul of It All: My Music, My Life” – in 2013.
Although being sensual with his songs, Michael Bolton seems to be dubious about his personal life. He married Maureen McGuire in 1975, but they broke up after 15 years of living together, and their three daughters Isa, Holly, and Taryn, decided to live with the father. In 1992 Michael started to date the actress from “Desperate Housewives”,Nicollette Sheridan, an on-off relationship which continued until 2008 when they finally went their separate ways. In one interview Michael Bolton revealed that he has been enjoying being single, and that music is his only real love.
Because of his success anchored in the music world, today the singer is able to spend much of his time working for charity, particularly through Michael Bolton Charities aimed at supporting women and children in poverty. Additionally, he serves both Prevent Child Abuse America and This Close for Cancer Research as honorary chairman.
Was sued successfully by Ronald Isley and The Isley Brothers, for the fact that Bolton's song, "Love is a Wonderful Thing", sounded similar to a song the Isleys composed with the same title. They won a 5.4 million dollar award in a jury trial against Bolton.
He won a Grammy in 1990 for Best Male Pop Vocal for "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You."
He got custody of his daughters with the divorce.
Has announced plans to auction off the hair he cut in 1998.
His powerful 4-octave vocal range
I've been all about humor and all about laughing since I was a kid. That's just who I am. I've been kicked out of every class. Andy [Samberg] and I were talking about that. Neither one of us had our Bar Mitzvah because we couldn't take Hebrew school seriously.