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
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
James Dawes: Evil is the strongest word we have to prepare ourselves to kill others.
August 23, 2014 -- Updated 0159 GMT (0959 HKT)
As protests over the shooting of an unarmed black teen calmed down, the question remains: Where's the police officer who pulled the trigger?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
CNN's Tim Lister: Getting rid of ISIS will be tougher than taking on al Qaeda.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 0042 GMT (0842 HKT)
American patients infected with Ebola are being released from the hospital. What now?
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1048 GMT (1848 HKT)
One of the first observers at the MH17 crash site in Ukraine describes the harrowing scene.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
Five survivors of acid attacks capture India's attention with a "ground breaking" photo shoot.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 0036 GMT (0836 HKT)
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid gestures during the UEFA Super Cup match between Real Madrid and Sevilla at Cardiff City Stadium on August 12, 2014 Cardiff, Wales.
"We are like one grain of sand against a whole beach," says Eibar fan Unai Eraso.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
August 22, 2014 -- Updated 1022 GMT (1822 HKT)
From fierce protests in Ferguson, to an Ebola survivor discharged from a hospital in Atlanta, browse through the photos of the week.
ADVERTISEMENT