After pursuing music relentlessly, Dee Snider became a household brand, and today he is living off of it since Dee Snider’s net worth is $7 million. Although music was his bread and butter for a long time, he has since evolved to become a voice-over artist and author, having finished writing his first fiction novel in late 2020. Let’s take a look at how he managed to accumulate millions of dollars.
Starting a Band So Girls Would Notice Him
Snider is the eldest of six children born to Bob and Marguerite. His mother was an artist and art teacher, while his father worked as a cop. While Marguerite spent most of her time keeping the children clean and fed, Bob was the disciplinarian who often gave Snider a hard time. According to Ranker, the strict upbringing resulted in Snider being rebellious, so he had long hair, listened to heavy music, and kept a messy bedroom. His sister, Sue, introduced him to heavy music and Alice Cooper records, and Snider soon became obsessed with them. The musician’s love for music led to him crushing on Susan Dey from “The Partridge Family.” She was not only beautiful, but she also sang in a band and played the keyboard. Dreaming of being Dey’s boyfriend was all he could since, in reality, no girl was interested in him. He was out of place because he was not smart enough to hang out with the bright kids. On the other hand, he could not be friends with the musicians. Despite donning the look with the long hair, he neither drank nor abused drugs. As a nerd who was obsessed with comic books, Snider barely made friends. Therefore, he decided the best thing he could do was form a band hoping to attract girls and maybe have some company. After all, he had had enough practice since, in middle school, he had joined the school choir.
Famous But Broke
Unfortunately, the band he formed after graduating from high school did not do well. All was not lost because he had been performing with other bands in bars and clubs, and word got around that he could sing. In 1976, the founder of Twisted Sister, Jay Jay French, the band’s guitarist, asked Snider to audition. According to Metal Castle, Snider said that the band needed a singer, and they had heard about him in the club circuit. Since he loved the early 1970s glitter rock scene, the singer jumped at the chance. French later disclosed that the sole reason they initially hired him was that he could cover Led Zepellin and Aero smith. Twisted Sister wanted to become popular, and covering such bands was the ticket to fame; thus, hiring Snider offered them that opportunity. He achieved his aim to join a band and attract girls that same year because his wife, Suzette, then 15, went to see the band perform thinking it was a girl band. He told her he would be famous one day and in 1981 the lovebirds got married. True to his words, Twisted Sister became famous and released album after album. “Stay Hungry,” released in 1984, is the band’s most commercially successful album, but the members were not getting anything in return for their effort. As revealed in Blabbermouth, after selling records worth tens of millions of dollars, they did not receive any royalty checks. Snider further disclosed that as the songwriter for all of Twisted Sister’s songs, his publishing company collected his songwriter royalties for him. However, it was not part of the deal he had made with Atlantic records. Although they started receiving royalties in 1997 after their debt was wiped clean, it was far too late.
Becoming a Voice-Over Artist
Snider left Twisted Sister in 1987. The hiatus of Twisted Sister resulted in him being broke. He said he started a year with zero-dollar income and borrowed money to keep his family fed despite being one of the most famous heavy metal frontmen. With no luck in music, Snider decided to try his luck in voice-over acting. He started auditioning for voice overs and hit the jackpot with the New York Lottery’s Quick Draw in 1995. For a regional advertisement, the gig earned him tens of thousands of dollars. The money kept flowing because the job was consistent. Besides being the MSNBC voice in 2003, he landed a regular gig with “Breaking the Band” since its premiere in 2018. His time in Twisted Sister helped him get the narrating gig because the production company, based in England, wanted an American who would use American colloquialism. On February 6, 2021, he even had to narrate how he broke up his band and was impressed by the person who played him in the reenactment. Although Snider does not reveal how much he earns from the voice-over acting gigs, Hollywood celebrity Morgan Freeman makes between $1 million and $2 million being the voice of Visa Debit Cards.
Selling His Rights
Even though the band started receiving their royalty paychecks, Snider said the amount was a joke. The best option for him was to sell his rights to the Twisted Sister music; thus, he sold a catalog of 69 songs to Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG). The singer explained his reasons later to Ultimate Classic Rock. He received a “lot of money” from UMPG, considering that the publishing group offers the musicians several years’ worth of annual income. The best thing about the deal is that he would be taxed at 20% instead of 50% because the sales were a capital gain. Although his deal with UMPG cannot compare to Bob Dylan’s, who sold over 600 songs for $300 million, Snider has no complaints whatsoever. With a net worth of $7 million, he has more than enough money to live on and invest if he so wishes.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee