Joe Bonsall left 51 years legacy with The Oak Ridge Boys and a net worth of $7 million after succumbing to health issues on July 9, 2024

Joe Bonsall had problems in walking and even wished that no funeral to be held for him.


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American country music’s leading boy band, The Oak Ridge Boys, bids farewell to Joe Bonsall, the tenor vocalist, on July 9, 2024, who had been with the group from 1973 to 2023. The news was released by a spokesperson of the Bonsall family.

The group started in 1943 as The Oak Ridge Quartet, with Wally Fowler, Lon “Deacon” Freeman, Curly Kinsey, and Johnny New as the founding members.

However, the turn of events revealed that the official Oak Ridge Boys, with country music as the focus, were from 1977, with members Duane Allen, William Lee Golden, and Richard Sterban still in the group.

Joe Bonsall was a significant part of the band’s fame in the early 1980s, mainly during the release of Dallas Frazier’s original song, Elvira, in 1981. It is one of the band’s signature songs.

The fifth album, Fancy-Free, which contained the ORB’s version of Elvira, became the best-selling album, and the song was certified platinum after selling two million units.

In addition to record label royalties, this alone must have earned the group around $1.5 million, which each band member received equally.

The Oak Ridge Boys has a combined net worth of around $35 million, with Joe Bonsall holding $7 million

As a member of The Oak Ridge Boys for over 50 years, Joe Bonsall enjoyed all the tours and album releases starting from 1973.

Joe Bonsall, born on May 18, 1948, to parents Joseph Sloan Bonsall Sr. and Lillie Maaude Collins, was a native of Philadelphia who initially took off his music career as a member of the Keystone Quartet.

Later, Richard Sterban, his former Keystone member, led Joe to join The Oak Ridge Boys band as the tenor vocalist. They released over 30 albums together until 2023, with Joe still in the band.

Some of the major hit albums given by the group include Bobbie Sue (1982), American Made (1983), Deliver (1983), 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection (2000), Rock of Ages, Hymns and Gospel Favorites (2015), and 17th Avenue Revival (2018).

Collectively, the band sold over 41 million records, won five Grammys and has a list of Platinum and Gold recordings, which add up to the group’s $34 million net worth.

Among these, William Lee Golden holds an estimated net worth of $7 to 10 million, Richard Sterban of $5 million, and Duane Allen of $10 million.

If we add up the band members’ net worth and look at Joe Bonsall’s share, his estimated net worth should be around $7 million to $9 million, although none of the official sites have evaluated the tenor vocalist’s earnings.

In addition to music albums, Joe Bonsall was also an author, with 10 books published under his name, including a four-part children’s book series and a life story about his parents.

A memoir, I See Myself, will be released in November 2024. Sadly, the author won’t be able to see the release as Joe Bonsall passed away after suffering from a neuromuscular disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) for almost four years.

May Joe Bonsall’s gentle soul rest in peace. We at Superslice send our regards to his wife and family.

Additional Information

  • Joe Bonsall was married to his wife, Mary Ann Bonsall, and were parents to two daughters: Jennifer and Sabrina. They were also Breanne and Luke’s grandparents and Chance and Grey’s great-grandparents.
  • He announced his retirement from road tours with The Oak Ridge Boys in January 2024 because his health worsened. Joe also announced that Ben James will be his replacement.
  • Joe was 76 years old when he took his last breath in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Muskan Ghimire
Muskan Ghimire
Muskan Ghimire is an enthusiastic writer, editor, and blogger who likes to share updates on recent political, sports, and entertainment news. She has the writing and editing experience of more than two years. Over this time, she significantly enhanced her writing skills, crafting clear and engaging content. She has also accumulated in-depth knowledge in various niches, making her subject matter expert capable of editing with precision. With time, she has achieved SEO mastery, which lets her optimize content for search engines, improving visibility and ranking. Meanwhile, she has honed her communication skills, thanks to the continuous interactions with writers, bloggers, and show biz professionals, which led to new opportunities and collaborations.


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