Skip to main content

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

By Alan Duke, CNN
March 27, 2013 -- Updated 0930 GMT (1730 HKT)
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
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
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