Yoko Ono Net Worth & Biography

By Mixxerly Updated: OCTOBER 07, 2021

Find out how much money does Yoko Ono make monthly and yearly. How much is Yoko Ono's net worth?

Introduction

NET WORTH
$750M

Yoko Ono (Ono Yōko) is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter and peace activist. Her work also encompasses performance art, which she performs in both English and Japanese, and filmmaking. She was married to English singer-songwriter John Lennon of the Beatles from 1969 until his murder in 1980.

Ono grew up in Tokyo and moved to New York in 1953 to live with her family. She became involved in New York City's downtown artists scene, which included the Fluxus group. With their performance Bed-Ins for Peace in Amsterdam and Montreal in 1969, Ono and Lennon used their honeymoon at the Hilton Amsterdam as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War.

She achieved commercial and critical acclaim in 1980 with the chart-topping album Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Lennon that was released three weeks before his murder, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. As of , Yoko Ono has an estimated net worth of about $750M.

Net Worth

Ono studied piano from the age of 4 to 12 or 13. She attended kabuki performances with her mother, who was trained in shamisen, koto, otsuzumi, kotsuzumi, nagauta, and could read Japanese musical scores. At 14 Yoko took up vocal training in lieder-singing. In early 1980, John Lennon heard Lene Lovich and the B-52's' "Rock Lobster" while on vacation in Bermuda. The latter reminded him of Ono's musical sound and he took this as an indication that she had reached the mainstream. As of , Yoko Ono has an estimated net worth of about $750M.

Favorite Quotes from Yoko Ono

“We don’t read people’s wishes. The wishes are supposed to be direct communication to the Universe. Your interception will weaken the power of the wish.” – Yoko Ono
“Some people say, “Sometimes I have violent thoughts, what can I do?” So I say, “Well, have them!” Cos we should not try to control ourselves. It’s very bad to control ourselves in this sense. If you have any emotion at all, if its a bad emotion or good emotion, think about it, you should just understand that you have those emotions.” – Yoko Ono
“I just want to be healthy and stay alive and keep my family going and everything and keep my friends going and try to do something so that this world will be peaceful. That is the most ambitious and the most difficult thing, but I’m there trying to do it.” – Yoko Ono
“I trust in my inspiration, really, and that’s difficult because sometimes you would rather be technical. And once you empty your mind, empty your brain, it’s really incredible. I’m very caring about things that dash into my brain, and I make sure I don’t just clog it.” – Yoko Ono
“The human race is a very, very magical race. We have a magic power of witches and wizards. We’re here on this earth to unravel the mystery of this planet. The planet is asking for it.” – Yoko Ono
“Your thoughts create reality. The most pragmatic way to create world peace is to use your power of visualization. Think Peace, Act Peace, Spread Peace, Imagine Peace. Your thoughts will soon cover the planet. The most important thing is to believe in your power. It works.” – Yoko Ono

Early life and family

Yoko Ono was born on February 18, 1933, in Tokyo City, to Isoko Ono (Ono Isoko) and Eisuke Ono (Ono Eisuke), a wealthy banker and former classical pianist. Isoko's maternal grandfather Zenjiro Yasuda (Yasuda Zenjirō) was an affiliate of the Yasuda clan and zaibatsu. Eisuke came from a long line of samurai warrior-scholars. The kanji translation of Yōko means "ocean child".

Two weeks before Ono's birth, Eisuke was transferred to San Francisco by his employer, the Yokohama Specie Bank. The rest of the family followed soon after, with Ono meeting her father when she was two. Her younger brother Keisuke was born in December 1936. Ono was enrolled in piano lessons from the age of 4. In 1937, the family was transferred back to Japan, and Ono enrolled at Tokyo's elite Gakushūin (also known as the Peers School), one of the most exclusive schools in Japan.

The family moved to New York City in 1940. The next year, Eisuke was transferred from New York City to Hanoi, and the family returned to Japan. Ono was enrolled in Keimei Gakuen, an exclusive Christian primary school run by the Mitsui family. She remained in Tokyo throughout World War II and the great fire-bombing of March 9, 1945, during which she was sheltered with other family members in a special bunker in Tokyo's Azabu district, away from the heavy bombing. Ono later went to the Karuizawa mountain resort with members of her family.

Starvation was rampant in the destruction that followed the Tokyo bombings; the Ono family was forced to beg for food while pulling their belongings in a wheelbarrow. Ono said it was during this period in her life that she developed her "aggressive" attitude and understanding of "outsider" status. Other stories tell of her mother bringing a large number of goods to the countryside, where they were bartered for food. In one anecdote, her mother traded a German-made sewing machine for 60 kilograms (130 lb) of rice to feed the family. Ono told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on October 16, 2007, that "He was in French Indochina, which is Vietnam actually.... in Saigon. He was in a concentration camp."

By April 1946, Gakushuin was reopened and Ono re-enrolled. The school, located near the Tokyo Imperial Palace, had not been damaged by the war, and Ono found herself a classmate of Prince Akihito, the future emperor of Japan. She graduated in 1951 and was accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University as the first woman to enter the department. However, she left the school after two semesters.

Career

Ono studied piano from the age of 4 to 12 or 13. She attended kabuki performances with her mother, who was trained in shamisen, koto, otsuzumi, kotsuzumi, nagauta, and could read Japanese musical scores. At 14 Yoko took up vocal training in lieder-singing. At Sarah Lawrence, she studied poetry with Alastair Reid, English literature with Kathryn Mansell, and music composition with the Viennese-trained André Singer. Of this time Ono has said that her heroes were the twelve-tone composers Arnold Schoenberg and Alban Berg. She said, "I was just fascinated with what they could do. I wrote some twelve-tone songs, then my music went into [an] area that my teacher felt was really a bit off track, and..... he said, 'Well, look, there are people who are doing things like what you do and they're called avant-garde.'" Singer introduced her to the work of Edgar Varèse, John Cage, and Henry Cowell. She left college and moved to New York in 1957, supporting herself through secretarial work and lessons in the traditional Japanese arts at the Japan Society.

In early 1980, John Lennon heard Lene Lovich and the B-52's' "Rock Lobster" while on vacation in Bermuda. The latter reminded him of Ono's musical sound and he took this as an indication that she had reached the mainstream (the band had in fact been influenced by Ono). In addition to her collaborations with experimental artists including John Cage and jazz legend Ornette Coleman, many other musicians, particularly those of the new wave movement, have paid tribute to Ono (both as an artist in her own right, and as a muse and iconic figure). For example, Elvis Costello recorded a version of Ono's song "Walking on Thin Ice", the B-52's (who drew from her early recordings) covered "Don't Worry, Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)" (shortening the title to "Don't Worry"), and Sonic Youth included a performance of Ono's early conceptual "Voice Piece for Soprano" on their experimental album SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century.

Ono's final album of the 1980s was Starpeace, a concept album that she intended as an antidote to Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense system. On the cover, a warm, smiling Ono holds the Earth in the palm of her hand. Starpeace became Ono's most successful non-Lennon effort. The single "Hell in Paradise" was a hit, reaching No. 16 on the US dance charts and No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100, and the video, directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński received major airplay on MTV and won "Most Innovative Video" at Billboard Music Video Awards in 1986. In 1986, Ono set out on a goodwill world tour for Starpeace, primarily visiting Eastern European countries.

Ono went on a musical hiatus until she signed with Rykodisc in 1992 and released the comprehensive six-disc box set Onobox. It included remastered highlights from Ono's solo albums and unreleased material from the 1974 "lost weekend" sessions. She also released a one-disc sampler of highlights from Onobox, simply titled Walking on Thin Ice. That year, she sat down for an extensive interview with music journalist Mark Kemp for a cover story in the alternative music magazine Option. The story took a revisionist look at Ono's music for a new generation of fans more accepting of her role as a pioneer in the merger of pop and the avant-garde.

Ono's feminist concept album Blueprint for a Sunrise was released in the year 2001. In 2002, Ono joined The B-52's in New York for their 25th anniversary concerts; she came out for the encore and performed "Rock Lobster" with the band. Starting the next year, some DJs remixed other Ono songs for dance clubs. For the remix project, she dropped her first name and became known simply as "ONO", in response to the "Oh, no!" jokes that dogged her throughout her career. Ono had great success with new versions of "Walking on Thin Ice", remixed by top DJs and dance artists including Pet Shop Boys, Orange Factory, Peter Rauhofer, and Danny Tenaglia.

In 2009, Ono recorded Between My Head and the Sky, which was her first album to be released as "Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band" since 1973's Feeling the Space. The all-new Plastic Ono Band lineup included Sean Lennon, Cornelius, and Yuka Honda. On February 16, 2010, Sean organized a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music called "We Are Plastic Ono Band", at which Yoko performed her music with Sean, Clapton, Klaus Voormann, and Jim Keltner for the first time since the 1970s. Guests including Bette Midler, Paul Simon and his son Harper, and principal members of Sonic Youth and the Scissor Sisters interpreted her songs in their own styles.

In April 2010, RCRD LBL made available free downloads of Junior Boys' mix of "I'm Not Getting Enough", a single originally released 10 years prior on Blueprint for a Sunrise. That song and "Wouldnit (I'm a Star)", released September 14, made it to Billboard's end of the year list of favorite Dance/Club songs at No. 23 and No. 50 respectively. The next year, "Move on Fast" became her sixth consecutive number-one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart and her eighth number-one hit overall. In January 2012, a Ralphi Rosario mix of her 1995 song "Talking to the Universe" became her seventh consecutive No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, and both songs charted again as favorites on Billboard's year-end lists for Dance/Club songs for 2011.

In 2013, she and her band released the LP Take Me to the Land of Hell, which featured numerous guests including Yuka Honda, Cornelius, Hirotaka "Shimmy" Shimizu, mi-gu's Yuko Araki, Wilco's Nels Cline, tUnE-yArDs, Questlove, Lenny Kravitz, and Ad-Rock and Mike D of the Beastie Boys. Her online video for "Bad Dancer" released in November 2013, which featured some of these guests, was well-liked by the press. By the end of the year she had become one of three artists with two songs in the Top 20 Dance/Club and had two consecutive number 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Charts.