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Will Family Drama Affect Brian McKnight’s $10M Net Worth Amid Canceled Concert Due to Backlash?

Despite the controversy over his dismissive comments about his older children, fact remains 17-time Grammy nominee Brian McKnight is considered one of the most successful artists in the nation, writing countless ballads that have been played or sung at engagement parties, weddings, and anniversaries. Lately, the ’90s chart-topper has made headlines for everything but his music.

Photo via Instagram, @brianmcknight23

The artist recently made public that he disowned his eldest set of children, claiming they were “products of sin,” and even changing his name so that his newborn son is his junior and not his first biological child.

This statement has caused major backlash for the artist. In fact, one of his recent performances in Detroit was abruptly canceled after facing a wave of criticism over allegations of him being an absentee father.

However, his personal life has not hindered him being a successful businessman with an estimated net worth of $10 million with multiple streams of revenue. His wealth primarily stems from his music career as he serves not only as the performer but the producer and the songwriter for most of his biggest hits.

McKnight Music

He first gained recognition for his exceptional talent as a singer in his church choir and as the lead singer of his school band. Signing his first professional recording deal with Wing Records at the age of 19.

McKnight’s debut self-titled album on Mercury Records in 1992 sold over 1 million copies, but his breakthrough came with the release of his album ‘Anytime’ in 1997, which sold over 2 million copies. His next major offering to the world was “Back at One” in 1999, which sold over 3 million copies worldwide. These three albums were the first of 12 solo projects that would lead to the staggering sales of 25 million albums globally.


The 54-year-old, with over three decades in the music industry, also makes money touring. In 2024 alone, the legacy artist has a total of 13 spot dates starting in February and ending in December, according to Concert Archives.

The Celebrity Talent booking agency states that he charges between $75,000 to $149,000 to perform.

Radio Show, Social Media

From 2006 to 2010, McKnight served as the host of “The Brian McKnight Morning Show” on KTWV The Wave in Los Angeles. His presence on radio further diversified his income streams and enhancing his net worth. It also prepared him for the Social Media/ Podcasting era.

Currently, he uses his social media platforms to host a live session on TikTok titled “WeeklyReplies.”

It was on this show and in the comment section that he recently addressed his estrangement  from his children (Brian McKnight, Jr., Niko McKnight, and Briana McKnight) and declared his love for his new family, his wife Leilani Malia Mendoza, whom he married in 2017, her children from a previous relationship, Julia McPhee, Jack McPhee, and their son together Brian Kainoa Makoa McKnight. Tragically, the couple lost their first child together named Kekoa McKnight through miscarriage.

Real Estate

Outside of his entertainment career, McKnight has made some modest investments in real estate. In 1999, he purchased a home in Chatsworth, California, for approximately $1.3 million, later selling it in August 2019 for nearly $1.8 million. He currently has a $3 million home in Buford, Georgia, according to Real Estate Insider. These ventures demonstrate McKnight’s financial acumen beyond the entertainment.

Legal Problems

Despite his success, McKnight has faced challenges, including financial troubles resulting from alleged fraud by his former accountant, according to Celebrity Net Worth. These setbacks, including tax issues and legal battles, serve as a reminder of the complexities that accompany fame and fortune.

In 2014, he filed a lawsuit against Vernon Brown and Company, alleging that Brown’s negligence resulted in significant financial harm, according to TMZ. McKnight asserted that Brown failed to pay any of his taxes for nearly a decade, leading to over a million dollars in back taxes and more than $500,000 in penalties and interest.

Five years later, Brian McKnight found himself embroiled in another legal ordeal, this time involving his business manager, Kevin R. Foster. In 2019, the Depart of Justice reports, Foster, aged 43 and hailing from Montclair, New Jersey, received a sentence of 89 months in prison and was directed to pay over $7.9 million in restitution. The verdict followed a jury’s conviction of Foster on 16 charges, spanning wire fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, tax evasion, and filing false tax returns.

The saga unfolded when McKnight, along with fellow musician Ne-Yo, agreed to invest in a company Imperial, unaware of Foster’s role as an officer/controller of Imperial. Foster, abusing his position of trust, illicitly withdrew funds from his victims’ accounts, surpassing authorized limits.

Additionally, Foster funneled some of these ill-gotten gains to one of Imperial’s business associates in a bid to sustain the company’s operations.

Despite this unfortunate setback, McKnight continues to thrive as a businessman and artist.

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