Billy Taylor Net Worth

Billy Taylor Net Worth 2023: Wiki Biography, Married, Family, Measurements, Height, Salary, Relationships

William "Billy" Taylor net worth is
$5 Million

William "Billy" Taylor Wiki Biography

Born William Taylor on the 24th July 1921 in Greenville, North Carolina USA, Billy was a musician, jazz pianist and composer, and also lectured on jazz at several colleges across the USA. He passed away in 2010.

Have you ever wondered how rich Billy Taylor was, at the time of his death? According to authoritative sources, it was estimated that Taylor’s net worth was as high as $5 million, an amount earned largely through his successful career as a jazz musician, active from the mid- 1940s. During his career, Billy released over 40 albums as a bandleader, while he also contributed to the work of other musicians, including Johnny Hartman, Coleman Hawkins, Sal Salvador and Lucky Thompson among many others.

Billy Taylor Net Worth $5 Million

Billy’s family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was five, where he spent the rest of his childhood. Inspired by his parents who were both musicians, young Billy took-up several musical instruments but was best on piano, and so started taking piano lessons with Henry Grant, who was also a piano teacher to Duke Ellington. Billy was good enough to make his professional debut when he was 13 years old, earning a dollar. He went to Dunbar High School, which at the time was the first school in the USA for African-Americans. Billy then enrolled at Virginia State College and majored in sociology, but graduated with a degree in music in 1942, as pianist Dr. Undine Smith Moore took Billy under his wing once he noticed his musical talents.

Billy then moved to New York City to pursue his professional career, finding his first job in 1944 when he joined Ben Webster’s Quartet, and then until the ‘50s, played with a number of musicians, including Don Redman, Bob Wyatt, Sylvia Syms and Billie Holiday, before he became the house pianist at the jazz club Birdland. There, he played with J. J. Johnson, Stan Getz, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, eventually becoming the longest-tenured pianist in the aforementioned club.

After earning a name for himself as a club player, Billy wanted to prove himself as a composer; in 1952 he made a breakthrough with the song “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”, and throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, enjoyed more success as composer with such albums as “The Billy Taylor Trio with Candido” (1954), which was a collaboration with Cuban percussionist Candido Camero, “My Fair Lady Loves Jazz” (1957), “Impromptu” (1962), and “Sleeping Bee” (1969), the sales of which increased his wealth to a large degree. Billy continued making new material until 2002 when he suffered a stroke, although not many albums struck a chord with the public.

Aside from playing and recording jazz music, Billy started an educational program about jazz, entitled Jazzmobile, and was also the Musical Director of NBC’s The Subject Is Jazz”, and a DJ and program director on New York’s radio station WLIB during the ‘60s. With his Jazzmobile, Billy produced the jazz special aired on National Public Radio, which received the Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting Programs. In the early ‘80s, Billy was appointed as an on-air correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning, and interviewed over 250 musicians during his stint on the show, winning an Emmy Award for his interview with famed bandleader Quincy Jones. He was also a well-respected educator, serving as the Wilbur D. Barrett Chair of Music at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, and a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale, while also holding jazz courses at several universities, including Long Island University, Manhattan School of Music, Howard University as well as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, from which he obtained a Master’s degree, and a PhD in 1975.

In recognition of his success, Billy received numerous awards, including a Grammy Award and a National Medal of Arts, and was also the artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, where during his reign, Billy organized a number of successful concert series, including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series. He also served on the National Council of the Arts, becoming one of only three jazz musicians to achieve such a position. He also showcased his musical talents at the White House seven times during his career. In 2010 he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.

Regarding his personal life, Billy was married to Theodora from 1964 until his death; the couple had two children together. He passed away on the 28th December 2010 after a heart attack.

Net Worth$5 Million
Date Of BirthJuly 24, 1921
DiedDecember 28, 2010, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States
Place Of BirthGreenville, North Carolina USA
ProfessionMusician, jazz pianist, composer, broadcaster, educator
EducationDunbar High School, Virginia State University; Henry Grant, ,Duke Ellington (educators)
SpouseTheodora Castion Taylor (m. 1964–2010, his death)
ChildrenKim Taylor-Thompson, Duane Taylor (died 1988)
ParentsWilliam E. Taylor Sr., Antoinette Bacon Taylor
AwardsPeabody Awards for Jazzmobile, NEA Jazz Masters Award (1998), Emmy Award (1983), Grammy Award (2004), Lifetime Achievement award (1984, Down Beat magazine's), National Medal of Arts (1992),Tiffany Award (1991), (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award
Record LabelsTaylor Made
AlbumsThe Billy Taylor Trio with Candido (1954), My Fair Lady Loves Jazz (1957), Impromptu (1962), Sleeping Bee (1969), Billy Taylor Trio (1955), The Billy Taylor Trio with Candido (1954), Billy Taylor at the London House (1956), Taylor Made Jazz (1959), The Billy Taylor Touch (1958), One for Fun (1959)
Music GroupsBen Webster's Quartet, jazz club Birdland
NominationsHall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education, North Carolina Music Hall of Fame (2010)
MoviesThe Choir (TV Mini-Series documentary, 2006), Independent Lens (TV Series documentary, 2012), Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey: On Broadway (1969, TV movie)
TV ShowsCBS News Sunday Morning, Jazz Party (TV Series, 1958), Charlie Parker 10th Memorial Concert (Limelight Records, 1965)
1One of the great bebop musicians, a contemporary of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he performed at the famed Birdland club as house pianist in the 1950's. He became musical director for The David Frost Show in 1969 and later formed the Billy Taylor Trio for which he composed and arranged (including a piece of chamber music entitled 'Homage'). His best-known composition was the anthemic 'I Wish I Knew (How it Feels to be Free)'. He held a doctorate in music education and promoted jazz through his Jazzmobile movement from the 1960s.
2He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1992 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
3Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999.
4Jazz pianist.


P.O.V.2016TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Mr. Church2016performer: "So You Think You're Cute" / writer: "So You Think You're Cute"
What Happened, Miss Simone?2015Documentary writer: "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
Britain's Got Talent2013TV Series writer - 1 episode
The Central Park Five2012Documentary lyrics: "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free" / music: "I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free"
Independent Lens2012TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno2011TV Series writer - 1 episode
Banda sonoraTV Series lyrics - 1 episode, 2010 music - 1 episode, 2010
The World Unseen2007writer: "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
The Choir2006TV Mini-Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Life on Mars2006TV Series writer - 1 episode
Ghosts of Mississippi1996lyrics: "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" / music: "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey: On Broadway1969TV Movie writer: "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" - as William Taylor
Jazz Party1958TV Series performer - 1 episode

Music Department

Film '721971TV Series composer: theme "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free"
The Subject Is Jazz1958TV Series musical director


The Cool World1963Mission


Alberta Hunter: My Castle's Rockin'1988TV Movie documentary


The Girls in the Band2011DocumentaryHimself
In Good Time: The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland2011DocumentaryHimself, Pianist
Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer2007DocumentaryHimself
Independent Lens2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Duke Ellington's Washington2000TV Movie documentaryHimself
Culture Shock2000TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
The Legend of Bop City1998DocumentaryHimself
Great Performances1998TV SeriesHimself
Kennedy Center's 25th Anniversary1996TV SpecialHimself
CBS News Sunday Morning1990TV Series documentaryHimself
Trumpetistically, Clora Bryant1989Video shortHimself
Alberta Hunter: My Castle's Rockin'1988TV Movie documentaryHimself (narrator)
Liberty Weekend1986TV Special documentaryHimself
The Core of the Apple1986TV Series documentaryHimself - Musician
Jazz Counterpoint1985TV SeriesHimself - Host
Bilder aus Amerika1982TV Series documentaryHimself - Musician
A Salute to Duke1981TV Special
Black Journal1975TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1969-1972TV SeriesHimself - Orchestra Leader / Himself - Bandleader / Himself
The Mike Douglas Show1971TV SeriesHimself - Bandleader
Louis Armstrong: 1900 - 19711971TV Movie documentaryHimself
Dial M for Music1965TV SeriesHimself - Host
Mr. Broadway1964TV SeriesHimself
Jazz Party1958TV SeriesHimself - Pianist
The Subject Is Jazz1958TV SeriesHimself
Tonight!1956TV SeriesHimself - Pianist
Adventures in Jazz1949TV SeriesHimself

Known for movies

IMDB Wikipedia

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