James Mtume net worth as of his death was estimated at $700 million. He was an R&B and jazz musician, songwriter, radio personality, and record producer from the United States.

In 1981, James Mtume and his band members won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song.

James Mtume grew up in South Philadelphia and went to Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.

  • Name: James Mtume
  • Profession: Jazz Singer
  • Death date: January 9, 2022
  • Birth Country: United States

James Mtume Net Worth and Biography

James Mtume Net Worth

James Forman was given the name Mtume on January 3, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 He was the son of jazz saxophonist Jimmy Heath and was raised by his mother, Bertha Forman, and stepfather, James “Hen Gates” Forman, a Philadelphia local jazz pianist.

He grew up in a musical family, with jazz artists frequently visiting his parents’ home. He studied piano and drums, but from his adolescence, he pursued athletics as a swimmer, becoming the first black Middle Atlantic AAU champion in the backstroke, and enrolling in Pasadena City College on a swimming scholarship in 1966.

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Mtume joined the US Organization in 1966 while attending Pasadena City College. The US Organization was a Black emancipation organization founded by Hakim Jamal and Maulana Karenga.

¬†Mtume got his name, which means “messenger” in Swahili, from Karenga, who assigned names to members of the group based on their personality attributes. He was a member of the first Kwanzaa celebration in 1966.

He co-edited The Quotable Karenga with Clyde Halisi in 1967, which has been described as “the best expression of Karenga’s ideas.” Mtume resigned from the US Organization in 1969.

Mtume made his professional debut on Kawaida, an album released in 1969 by his uncle, Albert Heath. Alkebu-lan: Land of the Blacks, his debut release under his own name, was recorded live at The East, a Black nationalist communal arts and education facility in Brooklyn, and released on Strata-East Records.

Both albums were meant to bridge the gap between free jazz and cultural identity.

After returning from the West Coast, he relocated to New York City and began working as a sideman for McCoy Tyner (Asante CD), Freddie Hubbard, and Miles Davis, whose band he eventually joined and played in for the next few years.

He shared the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song with fellow Mtume band member Reggie Lucas for composing and producing Stephanie Mills’ top-ten hit “Never Knew Love Like This Before,” for which she also received a Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance.[10]

Mtume composed music for the show New York Undercover in 1994, as well as arranging musical appearances for other musicians on the show.

Mtume launched a lawsuit against Sony Music/Epic Records in July 2018, attempting to retrieve the rights to two albums and his smash single “Juicy Fruit.”

Mtume claimed sole ownership of the recordings, but Sony claimed the albums were recorded for hire.

Personal life and death

Mtume was the father of musicians Damu and Fa Mtume. He died on January 9, 2022, in South Orange, New Jersey, at the age of 76. His death happened six days after his birthday.

Net Worth

 James Mtume’s estimated net worth at the time of his death was $700,000.


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