What is Vanilla Ice’s net worth?

Vanilla Ice is an American rapper, actor, and television host who has a net worth of $12 million.

Vanilla Ice, born Robert Van Winkle, rocketed to fame in the early 1990s with his hit single “Ice Ice Baby.” The song became the first hip-hop track to top the Billboard charts. His debut album, “To the Extreme,” propelled him into the limelight, selling over 15 million copies and making him an iconic figure in the music industry. Despite the meteoric rise, Vanilla Ice faced criticism and controversy over authenticity and his place in hip-hop culture.

After his initial success, Vanilla Ice’s popularity waned, but he continued to release music, exploring different genres, including hard rock and nu-metal, in albums like “Hard to Swallow.” Beyond music, Vanilla Ice ventured into reality TV, starring in “The Vanilla Ice Project,” which showcased his skills in home renovation and real estate. This career pivot revealed a new side of the artist to the public, earning him a fresh wave of recognition.

Ice Ice Baby Royalties

As part of his 2018 divorce and spousal/child support case, Vanilla’s ex-wife Laura revealed that at that time he was still earning around $400,000 per year in royalties from “Ice Ice Baby.”

2018 Divorce and Finances

In November 2018, Vanilla Ice’s wife of 21 years, Laura, filed documents connected to their divorce. These documents gave a number of interesting revelations about Ice’s finances. First, they claimed that Ice was worth a minimum of $10 million at that point. His average monthly income at that time was $68,000 (around $800,000 per year). In a fascinating twist, the documents claimed that roughly half his income is from “Ice Ice Baby” royalties, aka around $400k per year. The filings also revealed that Ice had $3 million worth of liquid assets, and owns 15 properties, eight cars, and a boat that have a combined value of around $5 million total. His real estate portfolio might be worth MUCH more, depending on market conditions and valuations. After receiving this information, a judge ordered Ice to pay $121,000 in previous support payments plus $10,000 per month until a final settlement is reached.

Early Life

Vanilla Ice was born Robert Matthew Van Winkle on October 31, 1967, in Dallas, Texas. Van Winkle is the name of the man his mom was married to when he was born. His mom divorced that man with Van Winkle was four. He never knew his biological father. His mother remarried a car salesman, and Van Winkle spent his childhood moving back and forth between Dallas and Miami, where his stepfather worked. Van Winkle learned to breakdance when he was 13 and started getting into the early hip-hop scene. His friends gave him the nickname Vanilla Ice because he was the only white boy breakdancing. He didn’t like the nickname, but it stuck. Soon he started taking place in rap battles at parties under the moniker MC Vanilla. In Texas, Van Winkle formed a breakdancing group called The Vanilla Ice Posse. He was 16 when he wrote “Ice Ice Baby.”

In 1985, Ice graduated from high school and competed in motocross. He won three championships and was considering a career in the sport when he broke his ankle during a race and lost interest in it. He used the downtime while his ankle was healing to perfect his dance moves. He started beatboxing and breakdancing as a street performer in malls. One night, he went to a nightclub called City Lights, where a friend dared him to take part in the open-mic night. He was a hit with the crowd, and the club’s manager asked Ice if he wanted to be a regular performer there. Ice said yes. He opened for N.W.A., Public Enemy, 2 Live Crew, Tone Loc, Paula Abdul, and more while working at City Lights.

In early 1987, Ice was stabbed five times in a fight outside the nightclub. He was in the hospital for ten days. Two years later, as part of the Stop the Violence Tour, he opened for Ice-T, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and others.


His manager saw great promise in Ice during the Stop the Violence Tour, and the two began working on Ice’s demo tape. In 1989, the independent record label Ichiban Records released “Play that Funky Music” as the A-side of the single and “Ice Ice Baby” as the B-side. A DJ at a Georgia radio station played “Ice Ice Baby” on accident; he’d intended to play “Play That Funky Music.” The audience went nuts for “Ice Ice Baby.”

“Ice Ice Baby” became a huge hit. Then, one night, rapper Suge Knight and his bodyguards were eating at the same West Hollywood restaurant as Van Winkle. Knight and his bodyguards sat down at Ice’s table. Later that night, Knight showed up at Van Winkle’s hotel room on the 15th floor of the former Bel Age Hotel (currently the London Hotel) on Sunset Boulevard. According to Ice’s recollection. Knight pulled him out onto the balcony and threatened to throw him off unless he signed the rights to “Ice, Ice Baby.” Van Winkle did sign the rights over. Knight used that money to finance Death Row Records.

Van Winkle’s debut album, “To the Extreme,” is the fastest-selling hip-hop album of all time. The album topped the album charts for 16 weeks. Van Winkle released five more studio albums: 1994’s “Mind Blowin’,” 1998’s “Hard to Swallow,” 2001’s “Bi-Polar,” 2005’s “Platinum Underground,” and 2011’s “W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity, and Focus).” He also recorded an album of cover songs called “Vanilla Ice is Back” in 2008.

Vanilla Ice contributed to the soundtrack of the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze” with the song “Ninja Rap,” which Vanilla Ice performed in the film. In 1991, he was paid $1 million to appear as the star of the critically panned movie “Cool As Ice.” Years later, Vanilla appeared on season two of the reality television show “The Surreal Life.” Since 2010, he has starred in the DIY Network show “The Vanilla Ice Project.” The show follows Ice as he flips houses in Florida. The show had 105 episodes spanning nine seasons at its conclusion in 2019.

Vanilla Ice Net Worth

Personal Life

Vanilla Ice dated Madonna for eight months in 1991-1992. Ice married Laura Giaritta in 1997; they have two daughters, Dusti Rain (born 1998) and KeeLee Breeze (born 2000). She filed for divorce in 2016. Vanilla Ice had his third child with a new wife in 2018.

Ice attempted suicide with a heroin overdose on July 4, 1994, but was revived by his friends. In 1995, Ice took a break from music and focused on motocross and jet skiing in Florida. By the summer, Ice was the world’s No. 6-ranked sit-down jet ski racer, competing nearly every weekend and earning a Kawasaki sponsorship.

Star Island Mansion

At the peak of his fame in the 1990s, Vanilla Ice lived on Miami’s ultra-exclusive Star Island, a few doors down from Gloria Estefan. He bought his 1-acre, gated Star Island estate for $1.8 million in July 1991. He then reportedly spent $1 million on renovations and upgrades to the 9,000-square-foot, 9-bedroom mansion. In recent interviews, Vanilla has claimed that during his time owning this mansion, he entertained drug lord Pablo Escobar at the home. He claims they raced speedboats many times, threw huge parties, and that Pablo frequently landed helicopters at his house. Based on what Pablo was up to between 1990 and 1993, these claims may not be accurate. Pablo was on the run from authorities in Colombia for much of 1990 and was imprisoned for all of 1991. He escaped in 1992 and continued living on the run until he was killed in December 1993.

Vanilla sold 15 Star Island to a Venezuelan entrepreneur named Claudio Osorio in May 1997 for $2.7 million. During his time owning the home, Osorio hosted the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for fundraisers. Osorio and his wife filed for bankruptcy in 211. He was arrested in December 2012 and charged with being involved in a $40 million fraud. Federal prosecutors claimed that between 2007 and 2010, Osorio and several associates lied about their company’s finances to investors and instead pocketed millions of dollars that were used to fund lavish lifestyles. He was convicted and, in 2013, sentenced to 12.5 years in jail. While all this was going on, 15 Star Island was sold at auction for $12.7 million in November 2011. Today the property is worth north of $50 million. Here is a video tour:

Other Real Estate

In 2018, Vanilla Ice put his Melbourne Beach, Florida house on the market for $4.8 million. The waterfront home, which was featured on The Vanilla Ice Project, has four bedrooms and two baths.

In April 2004, Vanilla Ice paid $716,000 for a home in Wellington, Florida. In October 2019, Vanilla Ice transferred ownership of this property to his ex-wife for $10. She listed it for sale in August 2020 for $909,000, ultimately accepting $770,000 in December 2020.

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Kay Adams