Otis Redding Family

The family of Otis Redding has preserved his legacy for three generations through shared family values and entrepreneurial prowess

Athletes and entertainers face unique wealth management opportunities, considerations and challenges. The athletes and entertainers we interviewed shared their personal stories and perspectives to highlight the need for more financial education in the sports and entertainment world. We thank them for being strong advocates of financial literacy.

Redding Family advice

"Focus on achieving long-term, multigenerational wealth and your legacy. It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about what you do with the money that you have."

One of the greatest artists of all time

Otis Redding’s legendary song “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” was released in January 1968, becoming the singer-songwriter’s first Billboard® Number One single. Tragically, the 26-year-old artist had passed away a month earlier when his plane, en route to a performance in Madison, WI, crashed into the icy waters of Lake Monona.

Otis, known as “The King of Soul,” is ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. He topped the charts with the two soul ballads, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Try A Little Tenderness,” later sampled by Jay-Z and Kanye West on their song “Otis.” A prolific songwriter, Otis also penned the lyrics for “Respect,” Aretha Franklin’s iconic signature anthem.

He was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and honored with a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY® Award in 1999.

Shared family values

Offstage, Otis was a family man who cared deeply about his community and was also a talented entrepreneur. His wife, Zelma, and their children and grandchildren have carried on his philanthropic and business endeavors, preserving multigenerational wealth through shared family values. “We are upholding the legacy of someone who left so much for us. It’s not just about the music. My dad was philanthropic. He was a supporter of education and all things that improve the lives of children. We uphold what my dad was already doing,” noted daughter Karla Redding-Andrews.

If you manage your money the right way, you have more freedom to do what you want.

A music phenom

Otis grew up in Macon, GA where he sang in the Vineville Baptist Church choir. He won the local talent show at the Douglass Theater 15 times in a row, until he was no longer allowed to compete. A 1962 recording session at Stax Records in Memphis led to the single “These Arms of Mine.” His fame continued to rise over the next five years. Otis was invited to perform at the Apollo Theater in New York City, followed by sold-out concert tours across the US, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean. He was in the prime of his career, with appearances slated at the New York Philharmonic and Washington’s Constitution Hall, before his untimely death in 1967.

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