Johnny Mathis Bio, Wiki, Age, Height, Family, Gay, Singer, Salary, and Net Worth

Johnny Mathis is an American Singer who sings popular music and began his career singing singles of standard music.

Johnny Mathis Profile

Johnny Mathis is an American Singer who sings popular music and began his career singing singles of standard music. He became known as an album artist, with several dozen of his albums achieving gold or platinum status and 73 making the Billboard charts. 

Johnny Mathis Photo
Johnny Mathis Photo

Johnny Mathis Age

Mathis was born on September 30, 1935, in Gilmer, Texas, United States as John Royce Mathis. He is therefore 87 years old as of 2022.

Johnny Mathis Height

He stands at an approximate height of 5 feet

Johnny Mathis Family

Mathis was born and raised in Gilmer, Texas United States to his loving and caring parents, Clem Mathis and Mildred Boyd. Both his parents were domestic cooks. He was raised in a family of seven children and he is the fourth in his family. Johnny is of African-American and Native American-heritage. His family moved to San Francisco when he was about five years old settling on 32nd Avenue in the Richmond District, where he was raised.

His father was previously working in vaudeville where he was a singer and pianist and when he saw his son’s talent bought an old upright piano for $25(US $385 in 2021 dollars) and encouraged his music. He started learning songs and routines from his father and his parents ran his fan club. Mathis’ first song was “My Blue Heaven.” He began singing and dancing for visitors at home, school, and church functions.

Johnny Mathis Gay

The year 1982 saw US Magazine quote an article of Mathis stating that homosexuality is a way of life that he has grown accustomed to. He later said that that comment was supposed to have been off the record and did not publicly discuss his sexual orientation for many years after that. Back in the year 2006, he stated that his silence had been because of death threats he received as a result of that 1982 article.

Later on, the 13 of April 2006 saw him being granted a podcast interview with The Strip in which he talked about the subject once again. He also talked about some of his reluctance to speak on the subject was partially generational. In an interview with CBS News Sunday Morning on the 14th of May 2017, he discussed the US Magazine article and confirmed that he is gay. He comes from San Francisco and it’s not usual to be gay in San Francisco.

Johnny states that he had some girlfriends, and some boyfriends, just like most people. He has not gotten married in his lifetime, hence he knew he was gay. He spoke to many news sources which include CBS about his sexuality and his story coming out.

Back in the month of November 2015, he returned home from a concert in Ohio to find his Hollywood house destroyed by a fire. Asides from this, he had owned it for about 56 years. While the character Shy Baldim from The Marvelous Mrs. Miasel is a composite character based on several different singers, Rachel Brosnahan said he identifies the most with the character.

Johnny Mathis’s Net Worth

Mathis has an estimated net worth of between $400 Million which he has earned through his successful career as a Singer.

Johnny Mathis Education

When Mathis was about 13 years old, his voice teacher, Connie Cox accepted him as her student in exchange for work around her house. He studied with Cox for about six years learning vocal scales and exercises, classical and operating singing, and voice production. The first band he sang with was formed by his high school friend Merl Saunders. He eulogized Saunders at his funeral in the year 2008 and thanked him for giving him his first chance as a singer.

Asides from this, he was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He was also a high jumper and hurdler and played on the basketball team. Back in the year 1954, he went on to enroll at San Francisco State College on an athletic scholarship and was intending to become an English teacher and a physical education teacher. When he was there, he set a high jump record of 1.97 meters (6 feet 5.5 inches.)

The record is still one of the college’s top jump heights and was only 7 cm (3 inches) short of the 1952 Olympic record of 2.04 meters(6 feet 8.5 inches. Mathis and future NBA Star Bill Rusell were featured in a 1954 sports section article of the San Francisco Chronicle demonstrating their high-jumping skills(Russell was number 1 and Mathis was number 2 in the city of San Francisco during that time.)

Johnny Mathis Career

Mathis is a well-known singer for singing popular music. In the course of his career, he has received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three recordings. Johnny was frequently described as a romantic singer. In the course of his career, he has sung Brazilian and Spanish music, traditional pop, rhythm and blues, Tin Pan Alley, and soul.

He has also sung soft rock, country music, show tunes, blues, and disco songs for his album Mathis Magic in 1979. Mathis also recorded six albums of Christian music. During a 1968 interview, he cited Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Lena Horne among his musical influences.

While singing at a Sunday afternoon jam session with a friend’s jazz sextet at the Black Hawk Club in San Francisco, he attracted the attention of the club’s co-founder, Helen Noga. She later went on to become his music manager and found his job singing weekends at Ann Dee’s 440 Club.

The month of September 1955 saw her learn that George Avakian, the head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records and was on vacation near San Francisco. Later on, after repeated calls, Noga persuaded Avakian to come near Mathis at the 400 Club. Later on, after hearing Mathis sing, he sent his record company a telegram stating: he has found a phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way asking them to send black contracts.

When he was at San Francisco State, he had become noteworthy as a high jumper. The year 1956 saw him ask to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team which would travel to Melbourne that November. After his father’s advice, he opted to embark on a professional singing career.

His first record album, Johny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song was a slow-selling jazz album. He stayed in New York City in order to sing in nightclubs. His second album was produced by Columbia Records vice-president and record producer Mitch Miller, who helped to define the Mathis sound.

Miller preferred that Mathis sing soft, pairing him with the conductor, romantic ballads, and music arranger Ray Conniff and later, Glenn Osser, Robert Mersey, and Ray Ellis. Later on, in the year 1956, he recorded two of his most popular songs: “Wonderful! Wonderful!” and “It’s Not for Me to Say.” In the same year, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer signed him up to sing the latter song in the movie Lizzie in the year 1957.

Johnny Mathis Showbiz millionaire

His appearance on the popular TV program The Ed Sullivan Show in June 1957 helped increase his popularity. Later on in that year, he released “Chances Are” which became his second single to sell a million copies. The month of November 1957 saw him release “Wild Is the Wind,” which featured in the film of the same name. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Asides from this, he performed the song at the ceremony in March 1958.

A week before his appearance at the Academy Awards, his greatest Hits was released. This album spent an unprecedented 490 consecutive weeks( nearly nine and one-half years) on the Billboard top 200 album charts. This includes three weeks at number one. It also held the record for the most weeks on the top Billboard top 200 albums in the US for about 15 years. This was until Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon(March 1973) reached 491 weeks in October 1983.

The year 1958 saw him make his second film appearance for 20th Century Fox, singing the song “A Certain Smile” in the film of that title. This song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. By the end of the year, he was set to earn $1 Million a year.

The critics called him “the velvet voice.” The year 1962 saw Ebonyu Magazine list Mathis as one of 30-35 millionaires on the list of “America’s 100 Richest Negroes.” He had two of his biggest hits in 1962 and 1963, with “Gina” number 6 and “What Will Mary Say”(number 9).

Johnny Mathis Split from Noga/Popularity plateau

The month of October 1964 saw him sue Noga to void their management arrangement which Noga fought with a counterclaim in the month of December 1964. Later on, after splitting from Noga, he established Jon Mat Records, incorporated in California on 11th May 1967.

He went on to produce his recording, and Rojon Productions was incorporated in California on the 30th of September 1964 in order to handle all of his concert, theater, showroom, and television appearances. Johnny also does promotional and charitable activities. He had previously founded Global Records in order to produce his Mercury albums. His new manager and business partner were Ray Haughn, who until his death in the month of September 1984 helped guide Mathis’s career.

While he continued to make his music, the ascent of the Beatles and early 1970s album rock kept his adult contemporary recordings out of the pop singles charts. This was until he experienced a career renaissance in the late 1970s. Asides from this, he has the 1976 Christmas number one single in the UK with the song “When a Child Is Born.” Later on in the year 1978, he recorded “Too Much, Too Little, Too Later” with singer Deniece Williams. The lyrics and music were arranged by Nat Kipner and John McIntyre Vallins.

He later released a single in 1978 and it reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, number three on the UK Singles Chart, and number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart. Asides from this, it topped the US R&B and adult contemporary charts. “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late” was certified gold and silver in the US and in the UK by the RIAA and the British Phonographic Industry, respectively. For him, it was his first number-one hit since his 1957 chart-topper “Chances Are.”

Later on, the duo released a follow-up duet, their version of “You’re All I Need to Get By,” peaking at number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. Back in the year 1983, they were credited with performing “Without US,” the theme song for the American television sitcom Family Ties, from its second season onwards.

It was the success of the duets with Williams that prompted him to record duets with a variety of partners. These include Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Stephanie Lawrence, Nana Mouskouri, Jane Olivor, and Gladys Knight. Later on, A compilation album, also called Too Much, Too Little, Too Late released by Sony Music in 1995. She featured the title track among other songs by Williams and Mathis.

Johnny Mathis Recent years

Between the years 1980 and 1981, he recorded an album with Chic’s Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, I Love My Lady, which remained unreleased in its entirety until its 2017 appearance in the 68-disc collection The Voice of Romance: The Columbia Original Album Collection. Later on, three tracks appeared on a Chic box set in 2010 and a fourth, the title track, on Mathis’ Ultimate Collection in 2011 and the Chic Organization’s Up All Night in 2013.

Later on, he returned to the British Top 30 album chart in 2007 with the Sony BMG release The Very Best of Johnny Mathis in 2008 with the CD “A Night to Remember,” and again in 2011 with “The Ultimate Collection” Mathis continues to perform live.

However, from 2000 forward, he limited his concert performances to about fifty to sixty per year. Asides from this, he is one of the last pop singers who travel with his own full orchestra(as opposed to a band). The 14th of January 2016 saw him perform to a sold-out audience in The Villages as part of his “60th Anniversary Concert Tour.”

Johnny Mathis’s Career achievements

Together with Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Mathis, and Tony Bennett. They also carry the distinction of having the longest tenure of any recordings artists on the Columbia label. Having the exception of a four-year break to record for Mercury Records in the mid-1960s, he has been with Columbia Records throughout his career from 1956 to 1963 and from 1968 till date.

Bob spent a number of years at Asylum Records and then re-signed with Columbia. He also recorded for Verve and his own Improv label from 1972 to 1986 when he returned to Columbia. Johnny has also been with the label since his 1973 album “Piano Man;” Streisand and Springsteen have never left.

He has also had five of his albums on the Billboard charts simultaneously, and an achievement equaled by only three other singers: Frank Sinatra, Barry Manilow, and (posthumously) Prince. Asides from this, he has released 200 singles and had 71 songs chart around the world.

Johnny Mathis Other appearances

Mathis had taped twelve of his own television specials and made over 300 television guest appearances with 54 (Rojon Productions Archives) of them being on The Tonight Show. Then, longtime Tonight Show host Johnny Carson said, ” Johnny Mathis is the best ballad singer in the world.” Asides from this, he appeared on the show with Carson’s successor, Jay Leno on the 29th of March 2007 in order to sing “The Shadow of Your Smile” with the saxophonist Dave Koz.

In the course of his years, his songs have been heard in 100-plus television shows and films around the globe. Through his appearance on the Live by Request broadcast in the month of May 1998 on the A&E Network, he has the largest television viewing audience of the series. Back in the year 1989, he sang the theme for the ABC daytime soap opera Loving.

He has also served as a narrator for ’51 Dons, a 2014 documentary film about the integrated and undefeated 1951 San Francisco Dons football team. This time was denied a chance to play in a bowl game because it refused to agree to not play its two African-American players, Ollie Matson and Burl Toler who were childhood friends of Mathis. He also appeared in the Season 14 finale of Criminal Minds, “Truth or Dare,” in which he played an old friend of David Rossi. Asides from this, he served as Best Man at Rossi’s wedding.

Johnny Mathis Honors and awards

Back in the year 2013, the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded Mathis the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy’s National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes have made creative contributions of outstanding artist significance to the Field of recording. Asides from this, he has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings back in 1998 for “Chances Are,” in 2002 for “Misty,” and in 2008 for “It’s Not for Me to Say.”

The 21st of June 2014 saw him being inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Ronstadt, Nat King Cole (whose daughter Natalie Cole accepted the award on his behalf), and Shirley Jones. The awards were presented by the Center for the Performing Arts’ artistic director Michael Feinstein. He defined their website, as “Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.

In 1978, his hit duet “The Last Time I Felt Like This” from the film Same Time, Next Year was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Mathis and Jane Olivor sang the song at the Academy Awards ceremony, in his second performance at the Oscars.

He got his first debut 20 years earlier in the year 1958 when he sang “Wild Is the Wind” by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington from the movie of the same name. Asides from this, he was awarded the Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The year 2007 saw him being inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Back in the year 1988, he appeared as a guest vocalist accompanied by Henry Mancini on Late Night with David Letterman to sing Henry’s there to “Viewer Mail” segment. The year 2011 saw him receive the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement presented by Awards Council member General Colin Powell. Back in the year 2017, San Francisco State University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree. He later attended San Francisco State for three semesters before withdrawing in 1956 to pursue his music career.

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