Skip to main content

Dionne Warwick, down to $1,000 cash, files for bankruptcy

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 5:30 AM EDT, Wed March 27, 2013
Dionne Warwick is down to her last $1,000 in cash.
Dionne Warwick is down to her last $1,000 in cash.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Her tax woes stem from "negligent and gross financial mismanagement," publicist says
  • Warwick is down to her last $1,000 in cash, but owes $10.7 million
  • Most of her debt is for taxes owed from the 1990s, court documents say
  • Success began in in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over," followed by 18 straight Top 100 hits

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Dionne Warwick, one of the most recognizable pop voices of the 1960s, filed for bankruptcy last week, citing more than $10 million in tax debt dating back to 1991.

"Due to several consecutive years (the late '80s through the mid-'90s) of negligent and gross financial mismanagement, Dionne Warwick has realized the current necessity to file personal bankruptcy," Warwick publicist Kevin Sasaki said in a statement to CNN Tuesday.

Warwick, 72, made hits out of many Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs, and won five Grammys in a 50-year career. The singer is down her last $1,000 in cash and only owns furniture and clothing worth $1,500, according to the Chapter 7 filing in New Jersey.

The bankruptcy documents filed in New Jersey on Thursday outline a sad financial situation for Warwick, a cousin of the late Whitney Houston.

Along with $7 million in federal IRS debt, Warwick said she owes more than $3 million to the state of California in franchise taxes. Another $500,000 is owed to a lawyer and a business manager, the filing said.

Best Advice: Dionne Warwick
Dionne Warwick talks legendary career

"In light of the magnitude of her tax liabilities, Warwick has repeatedly attempted to offer repayment plans and proposals to the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board for taxes owed," Sasaki said. "These plans were not accepted, resulting in escalating interest and penalties. Although the actual amount of back taxes owed have been paid, the resulting penalties and interest has continually accrued."

Warwick's total assets are worth just $25,500, mostly because of two fur coats and two sets of diamond earrings valued at $13,000, the documents showed. She also claimed clothing worth $5,000, art worth $5,000 and furniture valued at $15,500.

Warwick recently took a credit card debt management class, it said, perhaps relating to a $20,000 Visa debt.

Her monthly income was listed at $20,950, although she is eligible for a pension from the SAG/AFTRA union, the filing said. Warwick listed her employment with Star Girl Productions, an entertainment management company.

She has been touring in recent months, singing her hits for fans in Europe and South America, according to her website.

Warwick's success began in 1962 with "Don't Make Me Over," followed by 18 consecutive Top 100 singles.

Other Bacharach/David classics include "Walk on By," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Message to Michael," "Promises Promises," "A House is Not a Home," "Alfie," "Say a Little Prayer," "This Girl's in Love With You," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "Reach Out For Me" and the theme from "Valley of the Dolls."

"Warwick has spent many years of her career raising funds for several humanitarian and philanthropic causes without compensation," Sasaki said. "Aside from carrying the banner for world hunger, she was the first musical artist to donate all sales and proceeds from her landmark recording, 'That's What Friends Are For' to AIDS and The American Foundation For AIDS Research (amfAR)."

2012: Dionne Warwick sings Hal David's last lyrics

CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:42 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
updated 3:15 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
updated 6:08 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 4:58 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
updated 10:14 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 6:21 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT