David Bowie fans around the world were devastated in 2016 when the legendary artist died of liver cancer. But what was to become of his fortune?
According to Rolling Stone, Bowie was worth a staggering $100 million at the time of his death. This included an impressive real estate portfolio. According to Architectural Digest, he owned properties in Mustique, Lausanne and Los Angeles — oh, and a boat docked in the Mediterranean. Back in 1992, the singer told the publication he hadn’t visited the boat nearly enough — but it was there if he ever felt the urge. It’s also worth noting that since his death, Bowie’s estate has sold his music catalog for a whopping $250 million (via Variety).
Part of what made Bowie so lucrative, according to BBC News, was that in addition to his musical accolades, he was also something of a pioneer in the financial world. After realizing that his ex-manager would always make 50% of his music, Bowie, his finance manager and a banker developed a concept now known as “Bowie Bonds” that allowed investors to get a share of his future earnings acquire. Not only did this allow the singer to buy out the ex-manager, it also helped him amass a fortune, hence the impressive net worth at the time of his death. However, our question remains: What happened to all of this after Bowie’s tragic death?
Bowie’s wife and children got the lion’s share
For most of David Bowie’s early years, the icon lived a life of enjoyment through a variety of personalities. In his later years, however, he became involved in family life. And as an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald per BowieWonderworld.com reveals, he couldn’t be happier about it. He even told the outlet that his wife, supermodel Iman, and their daughter, Alexandria Zahra Jones, would be joining him on tour since he “couldn’t take being apart from them.” So it’s no wonder that when writing his Testament Iman, Alexandria and his son from his first marriage, Duncan Jones, took center stage.
It’s no secret that Bowie and Iman’s love story was the stuff of fairy tales. Iman even stated that she would never marry again after his death. Speaking to Hello last year, she revealed she wouldn’t even use the term late husband. “A few years ago, someone referred to David as my late husband, and I said, ‘No, he’s not my late husband. He’s my husband,'” she shared. According to ET, Iman received the majority of Bowie’s estate – an estimated 50% of his net worth.
As for his children, ET revealed that both received a $25 million inheritance. Also, Alexandria would get the family home in upstate New York when she turns 25 years old.
…but he also had two loyal employees with him
David Bowie’s relationship with Iman was one of love, but unfortunately the same cannot be said of his first wife, Angela Barnett. Thus, after their split and while Bowie was on tour, Duncan Jones spent much of his upbringing with his nanny Marion Skene. Per Mail Online, Jones said he always considered her my mother. That no doubt played a role in Bowie’s decision to leave her an impressive sum in his will. According to ET, the former nanny was allotted $1 million.
Skene wasn’t the only employee Bowie made provisions for, however. He also bequeathed $2 million to his assistant of nearly five decades, Corinne Schwab, according to The Telegraph. According to the outlet, the singer not only considered her Bowie, but also his best friend who helped him get through his darkest times, including his substance abuse struggles. “Coco was the only person who told me what an idiot I was becoming and she freaked me out,” he said. Rolling Stone reports that he also left her shares in a company called Opposum Inc., although Mirror speculated that this might have been a practical joke about his longtime bestie as no company by that name exists.
Bowie might have had an impressive net worth and the ability to live an incredibly extravagant lifestyle, but it’s heartwarming to know that at the end of the day, his greatest treasures were his loved ones.