Let’s start with a fun fact. Chance the Rapper never sold a physical album. Yet, he won a couple of Grammy awards. And he earns millions and millions of dollars. Born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Chance the Rapper is an American singer and songwriter. Born in Chicago, he released his debut mixtape in 2012.
Johnathan started gaining attention in 2013 after his mixtape Acid Rap appeared. He then released his third mixtape Coloring Book in 2016. This one earned him three Grammy awards, millions of followers, and a ton of money.
As of August 2020, Chance the Rapper fortune is more than $33 million. And that is without selling physical albums. Besides his solo career, he is also a member of the Chicago collective Savemoney.
|Name:||Chancellor Johnathan Bennett|
|Birthday:||April 16, 1993|
|Net Worth:||$33 million|
|Occupation:||American Rapper, Singer, Songwriter,
Record Producer, Activist, Actor, Philanthropist
Career Ups and Downs
Born in Chicago as Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Chance grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. His father worked as an aide to the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington. He then worked for Senator Barack Obama. When Chance was 16, his father started working in the Department of Labor during Obama’s first term. He personally met the president in his youth and talked to him about a rap career.
Fun fact: he is a rapper, but his interest in music started with Michael Jackson. He listened to the King of Pop exclusively on cassettes until his fifth grade. Growing up, his parents played music like Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, and other jazz and gospel artists.
He heard his first hip hop track by Kanye West, Through the Wire. That was on the radio. He instantly purchased the album and started listening to more hip hop. Chance began rapping in sixth grade. His cousin let him use the studio. And during his freshman year, he formed the hip hop duo Instrumentality with a friend.
During his high school years, teachers joked with his aspirations of a rap career. During his senior year, Bennett recorded his first full-length project. That was following a 10-day suspension for marijuana possession. The mixtape 10 Day was an instant success.
He announced the project publicly in December 2011 with the song Windows. In 2012, Complex magazine highlighted him as one of the 10 new Chicago rappers to watch out for. After that, he spent eight months of recording, writing, and trying to come up with something. He then released the mixtape on April 3, 2012. Since then, that first mixtape gained more than 500,000 downloads.
Bennett started gaining nationwide attention with his second mixtape, Acid Rap. Released on April 30, 2013, on DatPiff, the mixtape amassed more than 1.5 million downloads. That helped him get guest appearances on other artists’ songs. Acid Rap earned Best Mixtape nomination at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards. The album debuted at Number 63 on the Billboard Top Hip Hop Albums chart.
In the summer of 2013, Chance performed at the Lollapalooza festival. His album Acid Rap made it to the 50 best albums of 2013 lists. It made it to Number 26 on Rolling Stone’s list and Number 4 on Complex’s list.
In May 2014, Bennett made it to the annual freshman class of XXL magazine. Other artists on the list included Troy Ave, Kevin Gates, Ty Dolla $ign, Joe Connor, Lil Durk, and more. Then, in January 2015, he made it to the 30 Under 30 list by Forbes. On December 12, 2015, he performed the song Somewhere in Paradise on Saturday Night Live.
In 2016, Chance the Rapper was one of the main figures on Kanye West’s album The Life of Pablo. He co-wrote and appeared on several tracks, including Waves, Famous, Feedback, and more. Kanye had to delay the album because Chance wanted to include Waves into the final cut.
In April 2016, he met with President Obama again. This time, he had fame and popularity. Chance was one of the musicians including Alicia Keys and Busta Rhymes to meet with Obama. At the White House, they discussed the My Brother’s Keeper Challenge initiative.
In May 2016, Chance released his third mixtape, Coloring Book. He made it exclusive for streams on Apple Music. And in the first week, it reached 57 million streams. That helped it debut at Number 8 in the US Billboard 200 chart. This was the first release to chart solely on streams on the Billboard chart.
By the summer of 2016, Bennett announced his Magnificent Coloring Tour with a special event in Chicago’s Guaranteed Rate Field. The line-up included Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Wayne, and others. Kanye West made a surprise appearance.
In September 2016, Chance expanded his industry portfolio. H&M asked him to headline their new campaign. By the end of the year, he continued his Magnificent Coloring Tour. Yet, he canceled the shows in Europe due to personal reasons.
By the end of the year, he announced the making of his debut album. He got an offer from Kanye West to sign with his GOOD Music label. But he refused, saying his popularity as an independent artist allows him freedom. He did not want to attach his name to a label.
In February 2017 he performed at the 59th annual Grammy Award. He earned 7 nominations and won 3 awards. In July the same year, he got a nomination for an Emmy for the song Last Christmas.
In November 2017, he headlined the Obama Foundation community event at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
For the next few years, Chance collaborated with many big-time artists, including Ed Sheeran. In January 2020, he announced that he will host the reboot of the Punk’d TV show.
Bennett’s music is versatile and uplifting. He uses jazz-inspired melodies and gospel influences in his music. That makes him different than other rappers. His lyrics often contain references to Christian theology.
Awards and Achievements
Chance the Rapper is an award-winning rapper. Yet, he doesn’t sell physical copies of his albums. Here is a quick summary of his awards.
– Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2017 for Coloring Book
– Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2017
– Best Performance Grammy Award in 2017 for No Problem
– BET Humanitarian Award in 2017
– BET Award for Best New artist in 2017
– Kids Choice Award for Favorite Collaboration in 2019 for No Brainer
– Teen Choice Award for Hip Hop Song in 2017 for I’m the One
And many more awards by American Music Awards, iHeart radio music awards, BET Awards, Soul Train awards, and more.
Chance the Rapper cash flow is more than $33 million. But he is a curious case of rappers earning money. He is one of the biggest hip hop artists of the era. Yet, he doesn’t sell physical copies of his albums. He doesn’t have a contract with any record label. His fans and listeners can find his music only on streaming services like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music. Some of it is for free.
He says “I never wanted to sell my music, because I thought putting a price will limit my fans”. While fans get his music for free, Chance earns money through their listens. Spotify pays artists between $0.006 and $0.0084 for every stream.
Yet, Chance earns more money from Apple Music. He worked out a deal for $500,000 to give them first dibs to the 2016 album, Coloring Book.
Chance makes money from touring and selling merchandise. And the numbers prove his way. For his “Be Encouraged Tour“, he earned $500,000 per night. Talk about a high booking price. During the tour, he even offered VIP packages to fans. For example, selfies he can Tweet from his personal account cost $250.
Chance donates a big chunk of his money to charities. He constantly helps communities in Chicago through the Social Works nonprofit organization. He donated $1 million in 2017. He also helped them raise $2.2 million for public schools in Chicago.