- Richest Celebrities › Rock Stars
- Net Worth:
- $80 Million
- Date of Birth:
- May 12, 1950 (73 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
- Songwriter, Musician, Guitarist
- United States of America
💰 Compare Billy Squier’s Net Worth
- Early Life
- Hip Hop Sampling
- Personal Life
- Bono Apartment Battle
- Award Nominations
What is Billy Squier’s Net Worth?
Billy Squier is an American rock musician, singer, and songwriter who has a net worth of $80 million. Billy Squier is best known for the 1981 single “The Stroke,” which was ranked #59 on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.” Arguably more important to his net worth, Billy is considered one of, if not THE, most sampled artists in hip-hop history. His 1981 song “The Stroke” was sampled for Eminem’s song “Berserk” and his 1980 song “The Big Beat” has been sampled dozens of times, notably for Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” Billy reportedly demands the as much as 75% of all royalties generated by the sample song and he has undoubtedly earned tens of millions of dollars in royalties over the years through these arrangements. His song catalog is easily worth $50 million.
Billy has released the studio albums “The Tale of the Tape” (1980), “Don’t Say No” (1981), “Emotions in Motion” (1982), “Signs of Life” (1984), “Enough Is Enough” (1986), “Hear & Now” (1989), “Creatures of Habit” (1991), “Tell the Truth” (1993), and “Happy Blue” (1998), and three of those albums were certified Platinum or higher in the U.S. Squier is known for singles such as “Lonely Is the Night,” “My Kinda Lover,” “Everybody Wants You,” and “Rock Me Tonite,” and both “Everybody Wants You” and “Rock Me Tonite” reached #1 on the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart.
Billy Squier was born William Haislip Squier on May 12, 1950, in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Billy graduated from Wellesley High School in 1968, and during his youth, he learned how to play guitar and piano. He didn’t become seriously interested in music until he discovered John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (when Eric Clapton was in the band). Squier formed the band the Reltneys at the age of 14, and he first performed publicly in 1968 at the Boston nightclub the Psychedelic Supermarket, where he once saw Eric Clapton play with the band Cream. After deciding to take music more seriously, Billy and a friend from school started the band Magic Terry & the Universe in New York. In 1971, Squier briefly studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He initially wanted to pursue a teaching career, but he went back to New York to play with a pop group called the Sidewinders instead.
In the mid-1970s, Billy signed a record deal while he was a member of the band Piper, and the group released the studio albums “Piper” and “Can’t Wait.” “Circus” magazine called the band’s self-titled album “the greatest debut album ever produced by a US rock band.” Piper opened for Kiss during the band’s 1977 tour. After Piper split up, Squier signed with Capitol Records as a solo artist in 1979. He released his debut solo album, “The Tale of the Tape,” in May 1980, and it reached #169 on the “Billboard” 200 chart. Billy’s follow-up, 1981’s “Don’t Say No,” reached #5 on the “Billboard” 200 chart and #4 on Canada’s “RPM” chart, and it was certified 3× Platinum in the U.S. and Platinum in Canada. The album featured the singles “The Stroke,” “In the Dark,” “Lonely Is the Night,” and “My Kinda Lover,” and “The Stroke” and “In the Dark” were both top 10 hits on the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart. Squier’s third solo album, “Emotions in Motion,” was released in 1982, and it reached #5 on the “Billboard” 200 chart and #8 on Canada’s “RPM” chart. The album went 2× Platinum in the U.S. and Platinum in Canada, and the single “Everybody Wants You” topped the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart. Next, he released the 1984 album “Signs of Life,” which peaked at #11 on the “Billboard” 200 chart and was certified Platinum in the U.S. and Gold in Canada. The album included the singles “Rock Me Tonite,” “All Night Long,” “Can’t Get Next to You,” and “Eye on You,” and “Rock Me Tonite” reached #1 on the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart.
In 1985, Squier’s song “Shake Down” was featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack for “St. Elmo’s Fire.” The following year, he released the album “Enough Is Enough,” which reached #61 on the “Billboard” 200 chart. Freddie Mercury performed backing vocals on the single “Love Is the Hero,” and he co-wrote the track “Lady With a Tenor Sax.” Billy’s 1989 album “Hear & Now” peaked at #64 on the “Billboard” 200 chart, and 1991’s “Creatures of Habit” reached #117 on that chart. “Don’t Say You Love Me” from ” Hear & Now” and “She Goes Down” from “Creatures of Habit” both reached #4 on the “Billboard” Mainstream Rock chart.
After releasing 1993’s “Tell the Truth,” Squier left Capitol Records. His ninth solo album, “Happy Blue,” was released on the independent label J-Bird Records, in 1998. As of this writing, Billy has not released another album since “Happy Blue,” but in February 2023, he shared a clip of a new song titled “Molly,” and the full track was later released under the title “Harder On A Woman.” IMDb lists more than 100 soundtrack credits for Squier, including “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), “Billy Madison” (1995), “Scary Movie” (2000), “Blades of Glory” (2006), “Let’s Go to Prison” (2006), “Couples Retreat” (2009), “ParaNorman” (2012), “We’re the Millers” (2013), and “Girls Trip” (2017).
Hip Hop Sampling
Perhaps most importantly to his net worth, Billy Squier is one of the most-sampled musicians by hip-hop artists. Rick Rubin sampled his song “The Big Beat” for Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” and “The Stroke” for Eminem’s song “Berzerk.”
Run DMC sampled “The Big Beat” for 1983’s “Here We Go (Live at the Funhouse).”
Mickey Avalon sampled “The Stroke” for his 2009 song “Stroke Me.” He would later reveal that Billy requested and received 75% of the song’s royalties. Below is a list of “The Big Beat” sample tracks:
The Big Beat samples:
- Jay-Z, “99 Problems”
- Kanye West and Pusha T, “Looking for Trouble”
- Dizzee Rascal, “Fix Up, Look Sharp”
- Nas feat. Will.i.am, “Hip Hop is Dead”
- Puff Daddy, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down”
- A Tribe Called Quest, “We Can Get Down”
- Big Daddy Kane, “Put Your Weight On It,” “Get Down,” “Ain’t No Half Steppin,” “The Beef Is On,” and “3 Forties and a Bottle of Moet”
- Ice Cube, “Jackin’ for Beats”
- Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire”
- Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “Magic Carpet Ride”
- Run-D.M.C, “Here We Go”
The Stroke samples:
- Eminem, “Berserk”
- Mickey Avalon, “Stroke Me”
- Company Flow, “Wurker Ant Uprise”
- Grandwizzard Johnny O and the Mighty Sorcerer Crew, “When It Breaks”
Billy married professional soccer player Nicole Schoen in 2002. In a 2000 “New York Post” article, Squier spoke about his volunteer work with the Central Park Conservancy, stating, “I much prefer the company of nature to the poison of the business community. When money enters the aesthetic, it changes the perspective on it all.” In 2009, Billy told the Michigan publication “Northern Express,” “I am a big supporter of conservancy efforts and I volunteer for the Central Park Conservancy where I am responsible for the care of 20 acres of the park. He added, “I love landscaping and gardening, so this has been very rewarding. I think as a performer, or for that matter regardless of your profession, it is important to discover things outside of your profession that help you learn about who you are as a person.”
Bono Apartment Battle
For over 30 years Billy has lived in an ultra-exclusive New York City building called the San Remo. Over the years celebrity residents have included Bono, Steve Martin, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg and Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. In 2015, Demi listed her 7,000 square foot South Tower penthouse for $75 million. She and Bruce bought the unit in 1990 when they were married, she retained it in the divorce. She ultimately accepted $45 million in 2017.
Bono bought his unit from Steve Jobs in 2003 for $14.5 million. Soon after moving in, Bono noticed that smoke from the lower unit fireplaces was billowing into his penthouse. Of the 135 units in the San Remo, only 40 have fireplaces. After Bono complained, the building’s co-op ordered fireplace-owning residents to stop using them. Billy was one of those fireplace owners. He was livid to learn that he would no longer be able to use his fireplace. He fought the co-op and Bono vigorously, but ultimately lost.
If Billy misses his fireplace, he also owns a 1-acre property in upscale Bridgehampton on Long Island.
In 1986, Squier earned a Grammy nomination for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television for the “St. Elmo’s Fire” soundtrack.