Michael Flatley: How Rich Is He and How Did He Earn It All?


My mum was watching a Michel Flatley DVD the other night, which got me wondering about how rich the fleet footed dancer really is and how he made his money.

He has been in the news a number of times for his massive wealth so how did he make it all?

The Facts on Flatley

When I started my research the first thing that surprised me is that Michael Flatley is American. I guess that I´ve never heard him speak, as I always genuinely assumed that he is Irish. It turns out that he was born in Chicago to Irish parents. He started dancing at 11 and by 17 years he had won the World Championship for Irish dance as well as a local boxing prize in the windy city. He also won the All-Ireland flute competition. If we fast forward to the current time then as well as being the highest paid dancer in the world he also holds a record for being the fastest dancer alive.

The Flatley Finances

The Flatley fortune has been reported differently in recent years, making it hard to work out exactly how much he owns. According to the Wikipedia page on him, he was worth £350 million in 2006 but this rose to £421 million by 2010. Meanwhile, the 2013 Sunday Times list of the richest musicians has him in 7th place with £191 million. A Daily Mail article from 2011 has his fortune listed as £240 million. Maybe his fortune has fluctuated like this or perhaps not all of the estimates are accurate. In either case, it is clear that he has amassed a lot of money as well as homes in Ireland, the UK, the US, France and Barbados. He is also said to have the world´s most valuable insurance policy for a dancer´s legs, with some sources stating it as £25 million.

How He Made His Money?

So how does a dancer earn so much money that he can have houses all over the world and can insure his legs for a world record amount? Flatley got his breakthrough when his Riverdance show was put on as the intermission act during the 1994 Eurovision song contest, although he left the show the following year. He then brought out Lord of the Dance, Celtic Tiger and Feet of Flames shows. As well as giant world tours, he also earned from big worldwide DVD sales on these shows. One piece of interesting information I found says that the Lord of the Dance show paid him £800,000 every week. Another titbit suggested that his US property investments were worth £122 million. It seems that Flatley was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the newfound interest in Irish dancing. He then maximised his earning potential by working hard on a variety of different shows, generating passive income streams from the DVDs and investing wisely.

What We Can Learn From This?

Having a natural talent is great but it isn´t enough to guarantee a successful career and a big personal fortune. Instead, we need to show the sort of drive, dedication and financial savvy that Michael Flatley has shown over the years. He still shows no sign of slowing down and sitting back to count his money just yet.

Do you think that Michael Flatley is a good role model for anyone looking to make the most of their talent?

8 Responses to Michael Flatley: How Rich Is He and How Did He Earn It All?

  1. Kathy says:

    By buying LOTD and other shows, he gets income even if he isn’t dancing in that specific show. Great demonstration of passive income at work. Of course, he did have to take a risk that the endeavors would not pan out, but every investment has risk.

  2. Janeen says:

    So interesting, thanks for taking a look at something that I would’ve never considered. I didn’t realize his rise to fame started all the way back in 1994, I tend to think of him as an early 2000’s phenomenon. Hopefully the guy took care of body and won’t be in pain the rest of his life.

    • Robert Bell says:

      He certainly is an interesting case Janeen. I seem to remember him having a health scare a few years back but he is looking good again now

  3. Alexis says:

    He definitely worked and used his talent wisely, but was also smart on seeking out different ways to collect income.

  4. You make a great point at needing drive in addition to talent. You can just watch some gifted college athletes that burn out in the pro’s main;y because they don’t have the drive to succeed and be the best. Just because you are good, doesn’t mean you can just waltz through life. You still have to work hard and push yourself to stay at the top of your game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *