What Is Neil Sedaka’s Net Worth?
Neil Sedaka is an American singer, pianist, composer, and record producer who has a net worth of $100 million. Sedaka accumulated his net worth through his many hit records and concerts and as co-composer of hit songs for many recording stars. He has written or co-written more than 500 songs and sold millions of albums; his most frequent songwriting collaborators were Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody.
Neil has released 25+ studio albums, including “Emergence” (1971), “All You Need Is the Music” (1978), “Come See About Me” (1983), and “The Music of My Life” (2010), and he is known for hits like “Stairway to Heaven,” “Calendar Girl,” “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” “Laughter in the Rain,” and “Solitaire.” In 1982, Sedaka published the autobiography “Laughter in the Rain: My Own Story.” Neil has hosted the monthly Sirius XM radio show “In The Key of Neil” since late 2019.
Neil Sedaka was born on March 13, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, Eleanor, an Ashkenazi Jew, was of Russian-Jewish and Polish descent, and his father, Mordechai, was a Sephardi Lebanese Jew who worked as a taxi driver. Neil was raised in Brighton Beach, and in second grade, his choral teacher suggested that Sedaka take piano lessons, so Eleanor worked part-time at a department store for six month to pay for a second-hand piano. In 1947, Neil earned a scholarship to the Preparatory Division for Children at the Juilliard School of Music, which he attended during the weekends. When he was 13, Sedaka’s neighbor heard him playing piano and introduced him to her teenage son, Howard Greenfield, who was an aspiring lyricist; Neil and Howard began writing songs together and eventually became composers at the Brill Building in Manhattan. Sedaka attended Abraham Lincoln High School, graduating in 1956.
After high school, Neil formed the band the Linc-Tones with some former classmates, and they had a few regional hits before Sedaka left the group to pursue a solo career in 1957. He signed a recording contract with RCA Victor, and his first single with the label, 1958’s “The Diary,” reached #14 on the “Billboard” Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Italian pop charts. His next hit was 1959’s “Oh! Carol,” which reached #5 on the “Billboard” Hot 100. The single’s title was inspired by Carole King, who Neil had dated in high school. Sedaka had several hits in the early 1960s, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “You Mean Everything to Me,” “Calendar Girl,” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” His first studio album was 1959’s “Rock with Sedaka,” and he followed it with “Circulate” (1961), “Neil Sedaka Sings Little Devil and His Other Hits” (1961), and “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing” (1969) and recorded the album “Three Great Guys” (1963) with Paul Anka and Sam Cooke. In the ’70s, Sedaka released the albums “Emergence” (1971), “Solitaire” (1972), “The Tra-La Days Are Over” (1973), “Laughter In The Rain” (1974), “Sedaka’s Back” (1974), “Overnight Success” (1975), “Steppin’ Out” (1976), “A Song” (1977), and “All You Need Is the Music” (1978), and “Laughter in the Rain” and a new version “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” were top 10 singles. In 1975, Neil provided backing vocals on Elton John’s #1 single “Bad Blood,” and Captain & Tennille’s cover of his song “Love Will Keep Us Together” became the year’s best-selling single in the U.S.
Sedaka released the albums “In the Pocket” (1980), “Neil Sedaka: Now” (1981), “Come See About Me” (1983), and “The Good Times” (1986) in the ’80s followed by 1995’s “Classically Sedaka” and 1998’s “Tales of Love (and Other Passions). In 2003, he served as a guest judge and mentor during the second season of “American Idol,” and runner-up Clay Aiken later released a cover of Neil’s 1972 song “Solitaire.” Aiken’s version of “Solitaire” topped the “Billboard” Hot Singles Sales chart and went on to become 2004’s best-selling single. In the 2000s, Sedaka has released the albums “Brighton Beach Memories — Neil Sedaka Sings Yiddish” (2003), “The Miracle of Christmas ” (2005), “Waking Up Is Hard to Do” (2009), “The Music of My Life” (2009), “The Real Neil” (2013), and “I Do It for Applause ” (2016). In April 2020, he began performing free mini-concerts on his social media channels during the COVID-19 pandemic; he had to take a break in December while recovering from COVID-19, but he resumed the concerts in January 2021. In December 2021, Sedaka announced that he had joined Cameo and was “excited to be available to fulfill custom video messages for you and your loved ones.”
Neil married Leba Strassberg on September 11, 1962, and they welcomed daughter Dara in 1963, and son Marc in 1967. Marc is a screenwriter, and Dara is a singer who performed with Sedaka on the 1980 hit “Should’ve Never Let You Go.” In March 2021, Neil had a benign skin tumor removed from his nose. In a 2017 interview with the “Daily Mail,” Sedaka stated, “I never really enjoyed drugs. The smoke made me paranoid and the cocaine made me feel like I was in a dentist’s office, with that terrible taste down the throat. I’m a boozer. Give me a vodka and a glass of wine at dinner and I’m fine.”
Awards and Nominations
Sedaka has earned five Grammy nominations: Best Performance By A “Top 40” Artist (1959), Best Rock & Roll Recording for “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (1962), Song Of The Year for “Love Will Keep Us Together” (1975), Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male for “Bad Blood” (1975), and Song Of The Year for “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” (1976). He has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1983) and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame (2006), and he received the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award from the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters in 2013. In 1978, Neil received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.