What is Connie Francis’s Net Worth?
Connie Francis is an American singer who has a net worth of $25 million. Connie Francis was the top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 60s. Notably, she is the first woman to have had a number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100, which she accomplished with “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” in 1960. Among her surfeit of other hits were “Second Hand Love,” “Where the Boys Are,” “Many Tears Ago,” and “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You.”
Connie Francis was born as Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero on December 12, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey to Italian-American parents George and Ida. Because she grew up in an Italian-Jewish neighborhood, she became fluent in Yiddish. Francis was frequently encouraged by her father to get involved in local activities, which led to her appearances in talent contests and pageants. As a teenager, she went to Newark Arts High School, and then to Belleville High School, from which she graduated in 1955.
In the early-to-mid 50s, Francis appeared on the NBC television variety show “Startime Kids”; she also took a job singing on demonstration records. Eventually, she landed a contract with MGM Records, leading to the release of a string of commercially disappointing singles. Moving over to the movie side of MGM, Francis recorded the singing for Tuesday Weld in the musical film “Rock, Rock, Rock!” and the singing for Freda Holloway in the musical “Jamboree.”
Francis had her first chart success in late 1957 with “The Majesty of Love,” a duet with Marvin Rainwater. However, it was too-little too-late for her record label, as her contract was not renewed. As a result, Francis chose to pursue a career in medicine, and almost accepted a four-year scholarship to NYU. Her singing career ultimately won out when, in 1958, her recording of “Who’s Sorry Now?” blew up after she performed the song on the television program “American Bandstand.” The song went on to reach number one in the UK and number four in the US, launching Francis to international fame.
Further Chart Successes
After the massive success of “Who’s Sorry Now?,” Francis teamed up with Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, who presented her with a number of songs they had written. One of the songs, “Stupid Cupid,” went on to become Francis’s next major hit. Her career continued to take off after that with multiple further hits in the late 50s, including “My Happiness,” “Among My Souvenirs,” “Lipstick on Your Collar,” and “Frankie.” Moreover, Francis released the album “Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites,” which remains her most commercially successful album. She followed that with seven more albums of various ethnic favorites in different languages. Although this marked a transition for Francis to more cosmopolitan adult music, she nevertheless continued recording youth-oriented singles that lit up the charts. Her top-ten hits in the early 60s included “Breakin’ in a Brand New Broken Heart,” “When the Boy in Your Arms (Is the Boy in Your Heart),” “Second Hand Love,” and “Where the Boys Are.” She also recorded “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool,” the first single by a female artist to top the Billboard Hot 100. She went on to have another number-one hit in 1962 with “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You.”
Francis was notable for recording cover versions of her own songs in a variety of languages, leading to her success in countries around the world. Her singles topped the charts in Germany, Italy, and Spain, among other places. However, by the mid-60s, Francis’s chart success began declining due to the British Invasion and the changing trends in music that movement ushered in. Her final top-ten hit was 1962’s “Vacation,” and her final top-40 hit was 1964’s “Be Anything (but Be Mine).” However, Francis continued to perform well on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
Later Music Career
Later in her career, Francis released such albums as “Who’s Happy Now?,” “I’m Me Again,” “Where the Hits Are,” and “With Love to Buddy,” a tribute album to Buddy Holly. She also continued performing live, including on the 30th anniversary special of “American Bandstand.” In the early 2000s, Francis performed in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Manila.
Due to her musical stardom, Francis began starring in major motion pictures. Her first acting role was in the 1960 teen comedy “Where the Boys Are,” based on the eponymous Glendon Swarthout novel that also provided the name to her signature hit song. Francis subsequently starred in “Follow the Boys,” “Looking for Love,” and “When the Boys Meet the Girls.”
Tragedies and Health Struggles
In late 1974, Francis was raped at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson’s Lodge in New York, and almost suffocated from the mattress the rapist threw upon her. She went on to sue the motel chain for inadequate security, winning a reported $2.5 million judgment. In the years following the incident, Francis sunk into a depression that led to an opioid addiction. She rarely left her home during this time. Francis experienced another tragedy in 1981 when her brother George Jr. was murdered by the Mafia.
Francis has been married a total of four times. Her first husband was press agent and hotel employee Dick Kanellis, to whom she was briefly wed in 1964. Francis had another short marriage, to salon owner Izzy Marion, in 1971. Two years after that, she married restaurateur and travel-agency owner Joseph Garzilli, the only husband she had for more than a year. They adopted a baby boy named Joey and eventually divorced in 1977. Francis’s fourth husband was television producer Bob Parkinson, whom she married and divorced in 1985. Earlier in her career, Francis was in a romantic relationship with singer-songwriter Bobby Darin; she would later publicly regret not marrying him.