Remember 'Ghostbusters' singer Ray Parker Jr.? He’s living his best life at 64 & making major cash
Ray Parker Jr. a singer, songwriter, and actor, was highly famous back in the ‘60s and ‘80s. He is better known for writing and performing the song “Ghostbusters,” from the film of the same name. These days, Parker Is enjoying a lavish life at 64 and is mostly thanks to the royalties of the hit song.
After three decades, the “Ghostbusters” theme song still can make people dance and yell in unison “Who you gonna call?” so is not surprising that Parker is still enjoying of the earning from the song. He’s not only the singer, but also the songwriter, so the royalties are even higher.
The song has been remixed and remastered on several occasions, including the two sequels of the original film, which together grossed over $685 million. On top of that, Parker also gets royalties from songs he wrote for Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Chaka Khan, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin and more.
At 64, Parker is enjoying a good life that steamed from his hard work. He and his wife, Elaine, have been married for 24 years and have four kids: Ray III (Little Ray), Redmen, Gibson, and Jericho.
Parker is often treating his wife to sumptuous dinners, trips, and parties with his famous friends, including Eddie Murphy, Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Denzel Washington and more.
One of his recent purchases was a Rolls Royce car that he proudly showed off on social media. But not everything is fun and games. Parker still makes sure to give back to the community, promoting charities and attended events to raise awareness to a different array of social issues.
THE START OF HIS CAREER
Ray Parker Jr., a Northwestern High School graduate, started his career in the music industry as a guitarist of the band that played at the legendary 20 Grand nightclub. He toured with The Spinners and wrote his first songs with Marvin Gaye at 16.
He worked with Stevie Wonder and was also part of Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra, until 1977, when he formed Raydio, an R&B group, with Vincent Bonham, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael.
Raydio released three albums and had several singles on the top 10 of the charts before splitting in 1981. Parker continued with a solo career and the next year; he released his first hit song, “The Other Woman.”
STORY BEHIND “GHOSTBUSTERS”
In 1984, Parker was approached by the “Ghostbusters” producers to create a song for the film. He had only a few days before the film was due because they had contacted other songwriters first and the director didn’t like what they had to offer.
But there was a particular reason why. The song had to include the word “Ghostbusters” which complicated things for anyone working on the song. But Parker was in for the challenge.
Talking to the Professor of Rock about the creative job behind the song, Parker revealed that he drew inspiration from a TV commercial.
“So four in the morning, I’m sleepy. All the music’s done. I got no words. None. And then there’s a commercial that comes on T.V., And I think it’s a pesticide or commercial […] And it had a phone number and it said call this number if you wanna get rid of pests. I’m like, “That looks like the Ghostbusters.”
Parker realized he had to say “Who ya gonna call?” and then a crowd would answer “Ghostbusters,” in that way, he didn’t have to say the word “Ghostbusters” in the song itself.
“Because it’s a crowd, they’re not really in the record. They’re not musical. So that takes away the word Ghostbusters. That gets it out of the song. So we can have a song,” he stated.
OUTLIVED BY HIS CREATION
The song was nominated for an Academy Award, but Stevie Wonder’s “Just Called To Say I Love You” ended winning. However, Parker got a Grammy and a BAFTA Award for the piece.
Parker is aware that the song is probably going to outlive him, but he finds that is fantastic news for his kids and future grandkids. However, it is not all about the money for the singer:
“I got to tell you the best part of the song is when I see five or 10-year-old kids and they’re smiling and happy. And everywhere I go they are just so happy and that surpasses the fame, surpasses the money,” he stated.