Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$2 Million
Date of Birth:
Nov 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997 (30 years old)
Place of Birth:
5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)
Songwriter, Singer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist
United States of America

💰 Compare Jeff Buckley’s Net Worth

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What was Jeff Buckley’s Net Worth?

Jeff Buckley was an American musician and singer who had a net worth of $2 million at the time of his death in 1997. Jeff Buckley was popular in the 1990s, releasing his only studio album, “Grace,” in 1994. While preparing to record his second album, he drowned while taking an evening swim in the Mississippi River in 1997. Since his death, more of his material has been posthumously released and other artists like Leonard Cohen have recorded covers of his material.

Early Life

Jeff Buckley was born on November 17, 1966 in Anaheim, California. He was the only son of Mary and Tim Buckley. He was raised by his mother and stepfather, Ron Moorhead, in Southern California and grew up with his half-brother, Corey Moorhead. While growing up, he moved many times around the Orange County area. Buckley’s biological father, Tim, was a singer-songwriter who released a series of folk and jazz albums in the 1960s and 1970s. He only met him once, at the age of eight. His father died of a drug overdose in 1975.

Buckley was raised around music, as his mother was a classically trained pianist and cellist. His stepfather introduced him to artists and bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and Pink Floyd. The first album he owned was “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin. He also grew up singing with his mother and learned how to perform harmony parts. He began playing guitar at the age of five and by the age of 12, had decided he wanted to become a musician. He attended Loara High School and played in the school jazz band. After finishing high school, he moved to Hollywood to attend the Musicians Institute for one year.


After his studies, Buckley spent the next six years working in a hotel and playing guitar in various bands. He toured with the dancehall reggae artist Shinehead and also collaborated with Michael J. Clouse, to form X-Factor Productions. In 1990, he moved to New York City to continue pursuing his music career. He developed a following by playing at cafes around the city, often performing cover songs. In 1991, he played a tribute concert for his father called “Greetings from Tim Buckley.” The same year, he began co-writing with Gary Lucas.

As Buckley continued playing for the café crowd in New York City, he started attracting record label executives. By the summer of 1992, he signed with Columbia Records. He began recording his solo material and the album “Grace” was released in August 1994. The album included seven original songs and three covers. Despite slow initial sales, the album went gold in France and Australia over the next two years. Later, the album would go gold in the U.S. and platinum in Australia.

Over the next two years, Buckley toured internationally to promote “Grace.” He played a number of international festivals, like Glastonbury Festival and Meltdown Festival. In 1996, the drummer for Buckley’s band, Matt Johnson, left the band. Following his departure, the band did not perform live again until February 1997. During this time, Buckley began working on a new album. He tragically died before the album could be released.

(Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

After his death, a collection of demo recordings and a full-length album he had been working on were released as a compilation album, titled “Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk.” In 2015, tapes of a 1993 recording session for Columbia Records were discovered by Sony. The recordings were released on the album “You and I” in March 2016.

Buckley’s music also experienced a resurgence in popularity in 2002 when Leonard Cohen’s cover of Buckley’s song “Hallelujah” was used on an episode of “The West Wing.” Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah” went to the number one spot on the iTunes chart in 2008 after it was performed by Jason Castro on “American Idol.” The song also debuted at number one on the “Billboard” Hot Digital Songs chart, giving Buckley his first number one hit on any “Billboard” chart.

Personal Life and Death

Buckley dated artist Rebecca Moore from 1991 to 1993. This relationship inspired his record, “Grace.” It also provoked him to move to New York permanently. From 1994 to 1995, Buckley had an intense relationship with Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins. He later was in a relationship with Joan Wasser, known professionally as Joan As Police Woman. Reportedly, he proposed to her shortly before his death.

On the evening of May 29, 1997, Buckley’s band flew to Memphis to work with him in the studio on his new material. That evening, Buckley went swimming fully clothed in the Mississippi River. Keith Foti, a roadie in Buckley’s band, remained on shore. Foti looked up at one point to see that Buckley had vanished as the wake of a tugboat had swept him away from shore and under the water. A rescue effort was made but Buckley’s body was not recovered until June 4. His death was ruled an accidental drowning, as there were no signs of drugs or alcohol in his system.

Following his death, a number of Buckley’s friends and fellow artists paid tribute to him by recording songs written for or inspired by him. Some of these artists include Elizabeth Fraser, Rufus Wainwright, Glen Hansard, PJ Harvey, Chris Cornell, Steve Adey, Duncan Sheik, Pete Yorn, Lisa Germano, Aimee Mann, Lana Del Rey, and Juliana Hatfield, among others. He has also been cited as an influence by artists like Adele, Bat For Lashes, Ben Folds, Jonny Lang, and Chris Cornell, among others.

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