Here's How Much Van Morrison Is Really Worth

Van Morrison is an award-winning Irish singer-songwriter who has amassed a net worth of $90 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. If you've ever been at a bar around closing time, and the DJ puts on the classic "Brown Eyed Girl" for the last patrons to wail on their way out the door, then you're not alone — the iconic tune has found itself firmly placed in the hearts of many music fans — and it's all thanks to Van Morrison, the musical genius from Northern Ireland who has all but redefined the music industry.

Morrison has been on the scene for decades and shows no sign of slowing down. Starting his music career in the 1960s, Morrison has produced stellar album after stellar album, and his songs like "Moondance" and "Into The Mystic" have stood the test of time. From his dazzling records of the 1970s, to his career-defining work of the 1980s, Morrison has proven time and time again that he is an artist of epic capability. Of course, throughout his storied career, Morrison has accumulated not only a rich reputation, but also a fairly lucrative net worth. If you've ever wondered what six decades plus in the music industry can get you, wonder no more. Let's take a closer look at how Van Morrison has accumulated his wealth over time.

Van Morrison had a fairly normal childhood

If you consider yourself a fan of the music and entertainment industry, then you probably know that a number of successful artists got their start because of familial connections — think Colin Hanks, Willow Smith, and Kate Hudson — the likes of stars whose parents were equally, if not more, successful in their respective industries. But Van Morrison certainly does not fall into that category. As noted by Celebrity Net Worth, the musician was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on August 31, 1945, with the name George Ivan Morrison. His mother, Violet, was a tap dancer and singer, while his father, George, worked as an electrician at a shipyard. He went to a fairly typical primary school and, from the looks of it, had an ordinary upbringing.

What did define his childhood, however, was his father's record collection. Morrison told The Guardian that both his parents were musical — his mom took to "singing around the house," and his dad owned a stellar record collection. To Morrison, it was "normal" to be surrounded by such amazing music growing up, and he didn't realize until later on in his life that being exposed to the jazz and blues greats was "fairly unique."

The musical genius started his first band at age 12

Given how many songs of Van Morrison's have stayed with music fans for decades, it's no surprise that he established his first band at a young age. When we were 11, we were trying to sneak J-14 magazines into our mom's shopping cart or figuring out which outfit would best catch the attention of our middle school crush. When Morrison was 11 years old, his dad gifted him an acoustic guitar, and, just a year later, the young musician established his first band, The Sputniks.

As noted by Strictly Rock, Morrison went on to create his second band, Midnight Special, at just 14 years old, proving that the young man had what it took to pursue a successful musical career. That same year, Morrison reportedly asked his dad to purchase a saxophone for him and began taking sax lessons and mastering music reading. By the time he was 15, Morrison had dropped out of Orangefield Boys Secondary School and was on his way to becoming one of the world's most influential musicians.

Van Morrison picked up odd jobs to pay the bills while he pursued his music career

So many of us know the realities of picking up odd jobs to help pay the bills, whether it be babysitting gigs or working at the local coffee shop instead of catching a movie with friends. Van Morrison was no exception, and when he was still playing with local bands, including the Monarchs and Harry Mack Showband, he was picking up side jobs to help cover expenses (via Strictly Rock).

According to BBC News, Morrison worked as a window cleaner while still playing at the local level, which we can imagine was as humbling an experience as it sounds. And get this. According to Think Business, the average weekly income for workers in industrial positions in Ireland in the mid-1960s was about $14.50. So, while he was pursuing a career in music, working a window cleaning job on the side, it's likely that Morrison was making just shy of $3 a day (which, if you're doing the math, is $0.38 an hour if working an eight-hour day). 

The musician initially saw himself pursuing this career path

When we listen to the soulful sound of Van Morrison's voice, it's hard to think of him pursuing any other career path. But it might shock you to learn that he had an entirely different idea of his future career while he was still in school. 

In a sit-down with The Guardian, Morrison revealed that it wasn't until he left school that he realized he wanted to pursue a career in music. Before this epiphany, Morrison had plans to become a veterinarian; however, others could see his passion and talent for music. "When I was in school I wanted to be a vet, and one of the teachers said he thought I was going to be a singer," Morrison shared. "I sang at the school concert ... [The teacher] was going around the class, saying, 'What are you going to be?' and he pointed at me and said: 'You're going to be a singer, obviously.' And I said: 'Me?' He knew more than I did." 

When asked if he had actually wanted to become a vet, Morrison shared that he didn't know what other path to pursue, so settling on being a vet sounded like a fine choice.

The young artist found immense success in 1967

Up until his solo career took off, Van Morrison played in a number of different bands (as aforementioned). But the song that really set his career in motion was the hit "Brown Eyed Girl," and, as noted by the Belfast Telegraph, the song took Morrison to new heights of success. "Brown Eyed Girl" not only resonated with fans in Morrison's home of the U.K., but it also became a hit across the pond in the U.S. The song's easy melody and touching lyrics made it an instant classic — all these years later, it's just as beloved now as it was then — paving the way for Morrison's future success.

Does Morrison, himself, have the same love for the track? Surprisingly, the answer is no. He was quoted, saying, "I've got about 300 songs that I think are better," which just goes to show how dedicated Morrison was (and is) to the quality of his music. In 2003, the song charted at No. 110 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. And the Belfast Telegraph noted that, in 2007, the hit song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Van Morrison's 1970 album, Moondance, took him to new heights of success

If you don't know "Brown Eyed Girl," we'd be pretty shocked. If you don't know "Moondance," well, get listening. The 1970s brought even more success for the Northern Irish singer, and with the release of both the song and the hit album "Moondance," Van Morrison shot to even greater levels of success. As noted by Rolling Stone, the album represented the type of music that Morrison "dig[s]." "Two horns and a rhythm section — they're the type of bands that I like best," he said of his inspiration for the album's sound.

Morrison was clearly onto something. From tracks like "Into the Mystic" to hits like "And It Stoned Me," the "Moondance" album stood the test of time and still remains (at least in our opinion) one of Morrison's best albums to date. The hit single of the same title as the album also stands alone in its success. "Moondance" took the 231st spot on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2003. Interestingly, Morrison shared that the record – one of his most beloved songs – actually started out as a "saxophone solo," and, clearly, we're all better off for it.

The 1980s were prosperous for Van Morrison

Coming off of the success of his hits, including "Brown Eyed Girl," Van Morrison felt the fruits of his labor. The 1980s was a prosperous decade for him, and a time which saw him experiment with R&B and soulful lyrics. As Hot Press noted, Morrison's first 1980s release was "Common One," which was far more jazz-inspired than some of his previous work. Along came "Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart" in 1983, followed by "A Sense Of Wonder" in 1985. Morrison's album, "Avalon Sunset," released in 1989, was just as much a musical success as a critical one. 

According to Billboard, the album stayed on the charts for a whopping 39 weeks. As for how much money Morrison raked in from the album, the rough number requires some calculating. As reported by Discogs, the average sale of "Avalon Sunset" was $9.18. If you consider that an artist makes about $15% of that sale cost per album sold, 500,000 albums sold would have earned Morrison just shy of $700,000. And, given that the album was certified gold, as noted by BRIT Certified, Morrison made at least that much money from "Avalon Sunset" alone.

Van Morrison had a strong connection with his first wife, Janet Rigsbee

As noted by Boston Magazine, Van Morrison met his first wife, Janet Rigsbee, during a tour in the U.S. in 1966. She was just 19 at the time, but their meeting was said to be electric — Rigsbee even described it as an "alchemical whammo" of an introduction. The pair reunited a couple of years later in New York City, and, in order for the musician to escape threats of deportation, the two got married. "Scary men were indeed banging on our door [in New York], swearing to Van his career was over," Rigsbee told Boston Magazine. 

Where the pair were living at the time wasn't "wonderful" — as Rigsbee described it, they were "broke, desperate, and hunted," but it was during this time that Morrison sat at their kitchen table writing the bulk of his hit 1968 album "Astral Weeks," which pretty much turned him into an overnight success. "Van liked to work in a sort of stream-of-consciousness way back then, letting the tape recorder continue to run while he just sort of played guitar and improvised," Rigsbee said (per Boston Magazine). The two welcomed a daughter before splitting in 1973.

Van Morrison's second marriage was allegedly marred by some serious drama

Van Morrison is known for his reclusive style — not known as one to sit down for many interviews — Morrison can come across as a bit stand-offish. But that didn't stop him from sweeping socialite Michelle Rocca off her feet in the 1990s, and, as noted by the Belfast Telegraph, their opposites-attract connection seemed "utterly beguiling." 

But, here's something we didn't expect when digging into Van Morrison's life and finances. Morrison allegedly had an affair with his tour manager, Gigi Lee, in the mid-2000s. She got pregnant, claimed the baby was Morrison's, and gave birth to a son in 2009. If you're doing the math, you know that Morrison was married to Rocca at the time. As noted by Smooth Radio, Morrison maintained that Lee's child was not his, and, to make matters worse, the baby died at only 13 months old from hyperglycemia, as noted by the Independent. This devastating loss was made even worse when Lee, herself, died in 2011. Morrison and Rocca eventually divorced in 2018, and, according to the Independent, the settlement with his ex cost Morrison about $20 million.

The singer-songwriter has kept a fairly low real estate profile

When we look at the net worth of a star like Van Morrison, we often look into their real estate. You can tell a lot about a celebrity based on their real estate portfolio; however, Morrison hasn't shared much regarding his. What we do know is that Morrison only has one property that is publicly known: his Mill Valley, California, estate.

Celebrity Net Worth noted that Morrison's home in Marin County, California — which he has maintained even after moving back to the U.K. (via the Marin Independent Journal) — has served as his central hub whenever he is in the States. The home is worth between approximately $5 and 7 million, although it is unknown when he purchased the home and for how much. A quick search on Zillow shows that many of the homes in Mill Valley start in the millions — fairly common, though, for California real estate — so we wouldn't be surprised if Morrison is sitting pretty on a lucrative property there.

Van Morrison held Las Vegas residencies throughout the 2010s

As an artist, one of the biggest locations that you can have attached to your name is Las Vegas, and Van Morrison has held a number of residential shows in Sin City. As noted by 94.5 Bay FM, Morrison frequented Vegas a number of times in the late 2010s, each time holding "multiple-night engagements" at Caesars Palace's Colosseum. His latest concerts there, as of publication, were his 2020 shows that made up a five-show residency held on January 31 and February 1, 5, 7, and 8 (if you're recounting correctly, this was just before COVID-19 shut everything down in the U.S.). 

As of publication, Morrison has a number of shows coming up in the States, including performances in Colorado, California, Florida, and, you guessed it, three in Las Vegas (as per his website). Given that artists, including Celine Dion and Adele, have been paid up to $100,000 per show in Vegas (via CheatSheet), it's no wonder that the venue has seen the likes of Morrison. Considering all of this, it makes sense that Van Morrison has assumed a significant net worth, upwards of about $90 million (via Celebrity Net Worth).