Sir Mix-a-Lot Net Worth
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Sir Mix-a-Lot Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth

What is Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Net Worth?

Sir Mix-a-Lot is an American MC and producer who has a net worth of $30 million. Sir Mix-a-Lot is most well-known for his 1992 hit, “Baby Got Back,” which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Though he didn’t become famous internationally until the early 1990s, Sir Mix actually had already gone platinum several years earlier with his 1988 debut album “Swass,” which was released through Mix’s own label, Nastymix. This album also contained a hit single “Posse on Broadway,” the title of which referred to a street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district.

His 1989 album “Seminar” went Gold. His really big break came with the 1992 album “Mack Daddy” which featured the chart topping single “Baby Got Back”. Baby Got Back was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and sold 2.4 million singles in its first year, making it the second best selling single of 1992 behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”. Sir Mix even won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance thanks to the song.

Sir Mix’s popularity declined over the following years. His next few albums received very little label promotion and were not even certified Gold. After a three-year hiatus, he teamed up with another group, The Presidents of the United States of America to form a super group called “Subset”. However, they didn’t end up releasing anything officially. In 2003, Sir Mix-a-Lot signed with the independent Artist Direct label for his 2003 album Daddy’s Home.

(Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Dick Clark Productions)

Did Sir Mix-a-Lot Make $100 Million Off “Baby Got Back”?

In a 2014 interview, Sir Mix was asked how much money “Baby Got Back” has made over the years. Here is Mix’s exact response:

Baby Got Back” has made a lot of money bro. I mean because, I believe, first of all, why own your publishing if you’re not willing to leverage it? The reason you own publishing is because as you get on in your career, you can still monetize those tracks, #1, and #2, you can continue to record music with integrity. So in other words, I can get into the studio, and I’m doing a new record now, and I could give a shit less who buys it! Because I make money off my publishing… So that’s the luxury you get from owning your publishing and, more importantly, using it properly. So ya, Baby Got Back, tens of millions I think would be low… It’s definitely made over $100 million dollars.

So does that mean Sir Mix-a-lot made $100 million off his most famous single? No. Is it possible that the song generated over $100 million in gross revenue for Mix’s record label and anyone else who has royalty rights? Yes. But keep in mind that royalties flow through a number of owners and rights holders. The way royalties break down, even if Mix did own the master AND the song generated $100 million in gross revenue, Mix’s take from that would be $23 million AT BEST. At worst, it would be around $8 million. And both those numbers are before fees are paid to agents, managers, lawyers, and production/marketing. Finally, it should also be noted that Baby Got Back is built off a sample from the song “Technicolor” by the band “Channel One”, so they will definitely be getting a generous get of all royalties.

I reached out to a contact who works in the music publishing business who confirmed the numbers we posted in the previous paragraph are within the ball park of the most likely scenario. My contact explained that “Mix’s label, Universal Music Group (UMG), probably owns the master which would give them the right to the majority of record’s revenue. In order for Sir Mix-a-Lot to make the kind of money he’s implying in that interview, he would have to own the master, the publishing outright, and he would have had to pay Channel One a flat fee to license their sample. All three options are unlikely. Not impossible but unlikely. But considering what Mix implied in that interview, he probably splits 50/50 with UMG for administration on the publishing. Assuming the $100 million number is actually accurate, MAYBE he’s made $40 million AT MOST off that one song.”

For a rough comparison of what Sir Mix could have made off “Baby Got Back”, we can look at the song “Every Breath You Take” by the Police. Sting wrote and owns the original track separately from his band mates. In 1997, Puff Daddy sampled Every Breath for his Notorious BIG tribute track “I’ll be Missing You”. Unfortunately for Diddy, no one from Bad Boy Records thought to secure Sting’s permission to sample the 1983 pop song for the updated 1997 remix. Had Diddy asked permission first, he likely would have been required to hand over 25% of I’ll Be Missing You’s publishing royalties to Sting. By forgetting to ask permission before the song was released, Sting was able to demand and receive 100% of the remix’s publishing royalties. Because “Ill Be Missing You’ went on to become the number one selling single OF ALL TIME, Sting still earned approximately $20-40 million from the remix, according to his own business manager. To this day, he earns an estimated $2000 per day in royalties from the track. That works out to $730,000 a year.

Early Life

Born Anthony Ray on August 12, 1963, Sir Mix-a-Lot was raised in the suburbs of Seattle, Washington. His mother worked as a nurse at the local jail. As he was going to high school, the school districts began an effort to begin integrating the school system amongst the black and white students. He has since spoken about the experience of being bussed to different schools and how ultimately it was beneficial for his future career, as he was able to take advantage of music programs that were offered in better-funded schools. From an early age, Ray was a fan of hip-hop and rap and he began rhyming in the early 1980s. One of his early jobs was fixing keyboards and other musical equipment.

Career

While still in high school, Ray began DJing at parties and at local community centers, going by the name Sir Mix-a-Lot. By 1983, he began playing weekends regularly at the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club in South Seattle. Soon afterward, he starting throwing his own parties at the Rotary Boys and Girls Clubs in the central part of the city. While doing so, he met ‘Nasty’ Nes Rodriguez, a local radio DJ who hosted the show “Fresh Tracks,” the West Coast’s first rap radio show on the Seattle station KKFX.

This meeting led to a partnership with Nasty Nes and a local businessman, Ed Locke, to found the Nastymix record label in 1983. The first song that the label produced that received significant airplay outside of Seattle was “Square Dance Rap” in 1986, on which Sir Mix-a-Lot was featured. The track was picked up by DJs in clubs nationwide, he embarked on a tour through Florida, New York, and a few other states. While at a show in Arizona, a local street sign inspired him to write his next hit, “Posse on Broadway.” The track was released in 1987 and made the Top 100 initially but disappeared from the charts quickly. However, the song remained popular in the Seattle music scene.

In 1988, Sir Mix-a-Lot released his debut album, “Swass.” The album featured all of his previously released singles as well as two new ones: “Square Dance Rap” and “Iron Man.” The latter was a rap metal track that sampled from a Black Sabbath song of the same name. The album went on to be successful and was certified platinum in 1990 by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the interim, Sir Mix-a-Lot also released “Seminar” in 1989, his second album.

In 1991, Sir Mix-a-Lot signed to the Def American label and released his third album, “Mack Daddy,” in 1992. The single, “Baby Got Back,” was featured on the album and soon became a number-one hit that went double platinum. The song also won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. The music video that accompanied the song was also popular, though MTV received so many complaints for its visuals that they decided to only air it after 9 p.m.

In 1993, Sir Mix-a-Lot worked with the Seattle grunge band, Mudhoney, on the song “Freak Momma,” which as featured on the soundtrack for the film “Judgment Night.” The next year, he released his fourth album, “Chief Boot Knocka.” The album reached the 69th spot on the Billboard 200 and the 28th spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. One of the album singles, “Just Da Pimpin’ in Me,” was nominated for a Grammy Award but lost to a track by Dr. Dre.

In 1996, he released his next album, “Return of the Bumpasaurus.” However, the record was given very low promotion on his label and experienced lackluster sales, prompting Sir Mix-a-Lot to leave the label. A few years later, he signed with the independent label, Artist Direct, for his 2003 album, “Daddy’s Home.” He also released a DVD in 2004 called “Shhhhh…Don’t tell ’em That,” which offered a look at his career and his musical comeback with his 2003 album release.

Sir Mix-a-Lot also has worked on other projects outside of music. He appeared on Adult Swim’s “Tom Goes to the Mayor” in 2006 and then on Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” in 2008 singing a parody song of “Baby Got Back” called “Table Be Round,” referencing King Arthur.

In 2010, Sir Mix-a-Lot released a new single called, “Carz.” He also was featured on a track on Puscifer’s remix album, “All Re-Mixed Up.” In 2013, he produced the album “Dream” for the band Ayron Jones and The Way. He also collaborated with the Seattle Symphony in 2014 on a new composition by Gabriel Prokofiev. His “Baby Got Back” success was back in the spotlight the same year when rapper Nicki Minaj released the single, “Anaconda,” which sampled heavily from “Baby Got Back.”

Sir Mix-a-Lot continues performing at various festivals around the country.

Personal Life

Ray has never been married, nor has he had any children. He generally keeps his personal life private and very few of his romantic relationships have ever been public in the press. He continues to live in Washington, where he has a number of residences, both in Seattle and elsewhere in the state. He is a keen car collector and has a very impressive collection of luxury and muscle cars.




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