Patsy Cline’s Net Worth: The Country Star’s Vast Fortune

Patsy Cline's net worth
Patsy Cline on a publicity portrait for Decca Recods in 1960. Image by Decca Records on Wikimedia Commons.

Just because Patsy Cline’s career was short-lived, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t lucrative.

With her multiple hit songs that proved her to be a standout vocalist in her day and even beyond, it’s no wonder she built such substantial wealth in a minimal amount of time.

What was Patsy Cline’s net worth? Find out that and more about our favorite female country singer below.

How Much Money Was Patsy Cline’s Net Worth?

Patsy Cline’s net worth when she died in 1963 was an estimated $10 million after numbers were adjusted for inflation.

Don’t scoff too much at that number. 

In terms of 2023 net worth, that translates to more than $98 million, an 883.14 percent increase by today’s standards.

That’s a massive wealth that anyone would be happy to earn.  

patsy cline rich
Publicity photo of Patsy Cline by MCA records, distributed around 1973-1975. The picture was originally taken for Decca records. Image by Decca Records on Wikimedia Commons.

Patsy Cline’s Early Career

From an early age, Patsy Cline had her sites set in Nashville, Tennessee. 

She was only 15 years old when she first wrote the famous Grand Ole Opry asking for an audition, to which she received a request for recordings and pictures.

Around that time, she also got a chance to audition for Gospel singer Wally Fowler who was headlining a concert in her hometown. 

That audition was successful, and soon after, she received a call to come and audition for the home stage of country music, the Opry.

While the audition for Moon Mullican, an Opry performer, seemed to have gone well, Cline never heard any news from him.

Thankfully, though it probably seemed like it at the time, that wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning.

Finding a Group to Perform With

Patsy Cline started to perform regularly after meeting Bill Peer and was a regular member of his group, Bill Peer’s Melody Boys and Girls. 

The group’s main venue was the Moose Lodge in Brunswick, Maryland, which is where Cline met her first husband.

This connection is the answer to why did Patsy Cline change her name. Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley. She took the stage name “Patsy” following Peer’s encouragement after joining the group. The following year, she married Gerald Cline, after which she took her new husband’s last name.

Thus, Patsy Cline was born.

Patsy Cline’s First TV Performance

Along with her time in the group, her talent was recognized in August 1953, when we competed in a local country music contest and ended up winning $100, which would be a $1,000 prize by today’s standards. 

It also led to being a regular performer on Connie B. Gay’s Town and Country Time, surrounded by such country music artists as Jimmy Dean and Roy Clark.

Related: The 50 Best Country Songs From Jimmie Rodgers to Morgan Wallen

Those performances on television received Cline critical acclaim, with The Washington Star magazine writing, “She creates the moods through movement of her hands and body and by the lift of her voice, reaching way down deep in her soul to bring forth the melody.

Most female country music vocalists stand motionless, sing with monotonous high-pitched nasal twang. Patsy’s come up with a throaty style loaded with motion and E-motion.”

Patsy Cline’s First Record Deal

Patsy Cline received her first record deal in 1954 when she signed with Four Star Records after Bill Peer compiled several demo tapes featuring Cline’s classic voice.

Unfortunately, her salary for the two-year recording deal didn’t garner her much income, as the contract stipulated that the production company would receive most of the cash and income from the sales. She was only paid a little more than two percent.

Her first single with the label, which was leased to the larger company Decca Records, did not initially bring her much success, nor did the follow-ups. 

Despite this, she continued to record all kinds of music for the label, including traditional country, pop, rockabilly, and gospel, which was met with mixed reviews by critics.

Don’t worry Patsy, your big break was coming soon.


Patsy Cline’s Breakout Performance

In 1956, Patsy Cline was asked to perform on the hit show Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, for which she had auditioned for many months prior.

When the big day came to perform, January 18, 1957, Cline was ready, having chosen to perform “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold), but the show’s producer, Janette Davis, had another song in mind. Just a little number called “Walkin’ After Midnight.”

While Cline initially hesitated to perform it, we’re pretty sure she is glad she ultimately gave in. 

That performance led to her winning that show’s contest that night. The song would later prove to be her first hit single as Decca Records put a rush on its release. 

It came out on February 11, 1957, and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot Country and Western Sides chart. 

Her first crossover hit, it reached at number 12 on the Billboard pop music chart and has been considered a classic country song ever since.

Patsy Cline’s Career

From the moment she performed “Walkin’ After Midnight” on that stage, the success that it propelled her to makes us have no question as to why her net worth grew to be so high.

It opened doors to many more appearances on significant TV networks. It also led to her official debut on the Grand Ole Opry many years after her first audition. All these numerous performances earned her a staggering ten thousand dollars.

She didn’t keep the money for herself, though. She gave it all to her mother to help pay the mortgage on their Winchester house.

Patsy Cline’s Albums

Patsy Cline released her first studio record under Decca Records in 1957. 

The self-titled debut album brought us classics such as “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray” and “Then You’ll Know.” Even though they weren’t as popular as “Walkin’ After Midnight,” we love them all the same.

By the early 1960s, she started to garner more positive career results when she hired Randy Hughes as her manager after moving to Nashville. 

He stipulated that she earn 50 dollars per booking and got her many more Opry performances. S

he officially became a member of the Opry in January 1960 and formally signed with Decca Records later that year after her contract with Four Star Records ended.

Cline released her second studio album Showcase, which featured top country songs “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy,” and her third and final studio album, Sentimentally Yours, in 1962, which included songs like “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Anytime.”

Patsy Cline Posthumous Releases

Patsy Cline’s career was cut short when she died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, in Camden, Tennessee, at the age of 30.

Because of the sudden nature of her death, it’s not surprising to learn that Patsy Cline had several pieces of music already recorded before her death that had yet to be released.

These included “Sweet Dreams (Of You)” and “Faded Love,” which were released as singles later that same year.

They were part of a more significant compilation album, The Patsy Cline Story. 

Four years later, her record company, Decca Records, released Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits compilation album, which peaked at number 18 on the Billboard country chart and was certified diamond in sales by the RIAA.

In 2005, the album was included on the Guinness World Book of Records list for being a female artist’s longest album on any record chart.

Even 17 years after her death, the posthumous releases of Cline’s recordings were making marks on the country charts, including the 1980 album Always. 

The title track also made the Billboard country chart.

patsy cline house
Patsy Cline House in Winchester, Virginia. Image by APK on Wikimedia Commons.

Who Owns Patsy Cline’s House?

She may have only lived in it for a year, but Patsy Cline loved her 2,770-square-foot dream house at 815 Nella Drive in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. 

She and her husband were able to purchase the home thanks to her success and string of hits.  

After the “I Fall to Pieces” singer’s death, her husband, Charlie Dick, sold their home to singer Wilma Burgess. Burgess believed firmly that the historical house was haunted.

In an interview for the documentary Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, Burgess said: “You’d be in an upstairs room, and the toilet downstairs would flush by itself. Doors would open and close by themselves.”

Related: 16 Best Movies About Music

Burgess moved out of the home after only a few years there.

The only other known honors of “Patsy Cline’s Dream Home” are Tom Courtois and his husband, Steven. They bought the home in 2011.

In 2021, it was listed for sale again for $549,000. That’s a pretty steep price.

Who Own’s the Rights to Patsy Cline’s Music?

Talk about a loaded question. No one person owns the rights to Patsy Cline’s impressive collection of music. A lot depends on the songwriting credits, the production, and more.

For example, Cline’s biggest hit song, “Crazy,” was written by living legend Willie Nelson. Because of that, he controls any and all publishing rights to the song. 

Regarding Cline’s recording of the classic hit, her estate or her record label, Decca Records, owns all rights to that.

patsy cline 1982
Country Pop singer Patsy Cline performed at the The Mint Las Vegas in Downtown Las Vegas during November and December 1962. Image by Shane Collins Wiki on Wikimedia Commons.

Patsy Cline Early Life

Patsy Cline was born to Hilda Virginia (Patterson) and Samuel Lawerence Hensley.

Her birthday is September 8, 1932.

She became interested in music when she was 13 and started performing in the local Baptist choir with her mother. She was also a self-taught piano player.

By 14, she auditioned for the local radio station WINC, and by 16, she dropped out of high school and began performing more and more.

Is Patsy Cline’s House Still Standing?


The Patsy Cline Historic House, which the singer lived in from the ages of 16 to 21 (1948-1953), is included on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

How Many Husbands Did Patsy Cline Have?

Patsy Cline was married twice. She married her first husband, Gerald Cline, on March 7, 1953.

Gerald Cline said about their first meeting at the Moose Lodge in Brunswick, Maryland, where Patsy performed: “It might not have been love at first sight when Patsy saw me, but it was for me.”

It’s too bad that love didn’t last. The two divorced in 1957 after living separately since the end of the previous year.

Charlie Dick was Patsy Cline’s last husband before her death. The two met in 1956 while Cline was performing and later married on September 15, 1957.

After they met, Cline reportedly told Grand Ole Opry pianist Del Woods, “Hoss, I got some news. I met a boy my own age who’s a hurricane in pants! Del, I’m in love, and this time, it’s for real.”

Did Patsy Cline Have Any Children?

Two is how many children Patsy Cline left behind.

Her children, Julie and Allen Randolph (Randy) were just four and two years old when they tragically lost their mother.

As the singer’s will stipulated, her mother, Hilda Virginia Hensley, gained custody of the children. Hensley was also the one who inherited Patsy Cline’s money.

Cline left her mother her revenue and continued royalties to help raise her two children.

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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