What Was Bon Scott’s Net Worth?

Bon Scott was a Scottish and Australian singer and songwriter who had a net worth equal to $10 million at the time of his death in 1980 (after adjusting for inflation). Bon Scott was best known for being the lead singer of AC/DC. With the band, Bon released the albums “High Voltage” (1975), “T.N.T.” (1975), “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (1976), “Let There Be Rock” (1977), “Powerage” (1978), and “Highway to Hell” (1979). Before joining AC/DC, Scott was a member of the bands the Spektors, the Valentines, and Fraternity.

Sadly, Scott was found dead in London in February 1980 after a night of drinking. He now has one of the most visited gravesites in Australia. AC/DC was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, and the following year, “Classic Rock” magazine ranked Bon #1 on its “100 Greatest Frontmen” list.

Early Life

Bon Scott was born Ronald Belford Scott on July 9, 1946, in Forfar, Angus, Scotland. He was the son of Isabelle Cunningham Mitchell and Charles Belford Scott, and he grew up in Kirriemuir with younger brother Derek. Bon’s older brother, Sandy, died in infancy. Scott’s parents ran a bakery, and the family immigrated to Australia in 1952, settling in Melbourne. Bon’s parents welcomed another child, Graeme, in 1953, and the family relocated to Fremantle. Scott became a member of the Fremantle Scots Pipe Band and learned to play the drums. He attended the John Curtin College of the Arts, but he left school when he was 15 years old. Bon then worked as a crayfisherman and farmhand, and he trained as a weighing-machine mechanic. In 1963, he was sent to the Fremantle Prison assessment center and the Riverbank Juvenile Institution on charges that included giving the police a false name, stealing petrol, and “having unlawful carnal knowledge.” Scott later tried to join the Australian Army, but they rejected him and deemed him “socially maladjusted.”

Early Bands

In 1964, Bon formed the band the Spektors, serving as the drummer and occasional lead vocalist. In 1966, the Spektors merged with the band the Winstons and formed a new band called the Valentines. Scott was a co-lead singer in that band with Vince Lovegrove, and their cover of the song “Every Day I Have to Cry” made it onto the local record chart. Though their single “Juliette” charted on the National Top 30, the Valentines split up in 1970 because of artistic differences. Bon then moved to Adelaide and joined the band Fraternity. The band released the albums “Livestock” (1971) and “Flaming Galah” (1972), which reached #51 and #28, respectively, on Australia’s Kent Music Report.

The band went on hiatus in 1973, and Scott began working at a fertilizer plant and started singing with the band the Mount Lofty Rangers. Bon’s bandmate Peter Head taught him how to “bridge chords and construct a song,” according to Vince Lovegrove.

In May 1974, Scott got into an argument with one of his bandmates, and after storming out of rehearsal, he was involved in a motorcycle accident. Bon was in a coma for three days and spent three weeks in the hospital. Lovegrove was running a management agency at that point and tasked Scott with odd jobs while he recovered. Lovegrove later introduced Scott to the members of AC/DC, who were looking for a new lead vocalist.

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AC/DC

Bon Scott became AC/DC’s new lead singer in October 1974, and the band released their debut album, “High Voltage,” in Australia on February 17, 1975. The album was certified 5× Platinum and reached #14 on Australia’s ARIA Chart. Their follow-up, “T.N.T.,” was released in Australia in December 1975, and it reached #2 on the ARIA Chart and went 9× Platinum. The singles “High Voltage” and “It’s a Long Way to the Top” reached the top 10 on the Kent Music Report. The album “High Voltage” was released internationally in May 1976 with tracks from the band’s first two albums, and it was certified 3× Platinum in the U.S. and Platinum in Germany and Switzerland. Next, AC/DC released the 1976 album “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” which went 6× Platinum in Australia and the U.S. and featured the top 10 single (in Australia) “Jailbreak.” The band’s next two albums, 1977’s “Let There Be Rock” and 1978’s “Powerage,” were certified Platinum or higher in Australia and the U.S. AC/DC’s last album before Scott’s death was 1979’s “Highway to Hell,” which went 7× Platinum in the U.S., 5× Platinum in Australia, and 2× Platinum in Canada. The title track was featured on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”

Personal Life

Bon married Irene Thornton on January 24, 1972. They separated two years later and divorced in 1977. AC/DC’s former manager, Michael Browning, wrote in his book “Dog Eat Dog” that when he visited Scott, who had overdosed on drugs, in a Melbourne hospital in 1975, “Bon was bragging to me the last time he was in that hospital he was visiting two separate girls, both unknown to each other, who were both giving birth to his kids at the same time. So there’s at least two of Bon Scott’s children out there, or at least two I can vouch for.”

Death

On February 19, 1980, Scott was found dead at the age of 33 in his friend Alistair Kinnear’s Renault 5. After visiting the London club the Music Machine the previous night, he was reportedly left to sleep in Kinnear’s car at 67 Overhill Road, and Alistair stated that he found a lifeless Bon there the following evening. Scott was pronounced dead at King’s College Hospital, and the coroner’s report stated that Bon died of “acute alcohol poisoning,” classifying his passing as “death by misadventure.” Despite the fact that Kinnear said that he found Scott’s body on the evening of February 19th, Paul Chapman, the guitarist for the band UFO, claimed that he had been informed of Bon’s death by Scott’s friend Joe Fury that morning, and AC/DC photographer Robert Ellis also said that he heard the news that morning. Bon was cremated, and his family interred his ashes at Fremantle Cemetery. In 2006, the National Trust of Australia added his gravesite to the list of classified heritage places. After Scott’s death, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson to be their new lead singer, and they released the album “Back in Black” in July 1980 as a tribute to Bon.

Awards and Honors

In 2003, “Rolling Stone” ranked “Highway to Hell” #199 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” In 2004, the album’s title track was ranked #254 on the magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” In 2006, Bon was ranked #5 on “Hit Parader’s” list of the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Vocalists.” The 1975 AC/DC song “It’s a Long Way to the Top,” which was featured in the Jack Black film “School of Rock,” earned a nomination for Best Music, Adapted Song at the 2004 Online Film & Television Association Awards. Bronze statues of Bon have been erected at Western Australia’s Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour (2008) and Bellies Brae Car Park in Kirriemuir, Scotland (2016).

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