Lou Reed was always ahead of his time, and that has turned out to be true financially, too. The legendary Velvet Underground frontman’s estate has swelled to $30 million since his death last year at age 71. More than $20 million of that came after Reed’s October 27 passing, as The Guardian reports, citing a filing in a New York City court.
Reed’s manager, Robert Gotterer, said in the filing he had brought in $20,379,169 since being asked to help oversee licensing and copyrights for the estate last November. As the New York Post‘s Page Six reports, that’s on top of roughly $10 million Reed left his wife and family in his will. That also doesn’t include retirement accounts or life insurance.
The jump in value stands to reason. In just the week of Reed’s death, which didn’t include a full day after news he had succumbed to liver disease, album sales jumped by 607 percent, Billboard reported at the time, citing Nielsen SoundScan. Velvet Underground’s sales climbed by 236 percent over the same period. Reed’s 1972 album Transformer led the way, while the top seller with his iconic band was 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico.
Reed’s wife, the performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson, stands to receive $15 million. Reed’s sister, Margaret Reed Weiner, is in line for $5 million, with an eye on caring for the two siblings’ elderly mother. Anderson wrote in an obituary that “Lou was a prince,” and it’s inspiring to see how, with a highly unconventional pop career, he was able to provide such a princely bequest for his loved ones.