How did Ricky Powell die? Here is a look at photographer's star clients and his massive net worth
After completing his graduation, Powell connected with The Beastie Boys through a mutual friend and joined them on an early tour
Hip-hop photographer, author and honorary 'fourth Beastie Boy' Ricky Powell has died at the age of 59 due to heart failure, his manager and business partner, Tono Radvany, confirmed on February 1.
“I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed,” Radvany said.
Who was Ricky Powell?
Born on November 20, 1961, Brooklyn native Ricky Powell made a name for himself immortalizing local legends on film and chronicling the early days of hip-hop. Powell was best for his working relationship with the Beastie Boys, Powell was a prolific photographer who clicked iconic images of Run-DMC, Madonna, Eric B and Rakim, Laurence Fishburne, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Basquiat, Sofia Coppola, Vin Diesel and other icons of the downtown Manhattan scene, for the better part of a decade. His photographs ran in the New York Times, the Village Voice and Rolling stone, among others.
On April 15, 2020, he became the subject of a documentary titled 'Ricky Powell: The Individualist'. The film features archival photographs and footage shot by Powell himself along with interviews with Powell and some of his most well-known subjects. Powell exhibited both his photographs and his signature street style at BRAVE Art, Whistler in 2006.
Released in 1998, 'Oh Snap!: The Rap Photography of Ricky Powell', featured 88 photos — 53 of which were in color. Powell's first book 'Oh Snap!' was a 10-year retrospective of some of the best-known rap and hip hop artists of all time, including old school rappers Public Enemy, Run DMC and LL Cool J.
“In '85 I had a girlfriend that went to NYU, a weird kook, an art kook I met in this club, Dance Interior. We’d go to clubs and we’d each take a camera. I would take her spare – a little point-and-shoot, easy to carry, on this little strap. It just went from there: taking pictures on the run, on the hang-out tip,” he said in a Medium interview.
After completing his graduation, Powell connected with The Beastie Boys through a mutual friend and joined them on an early tour, earning the honorary title of “the fourth Beastie Boy,” and was immortalized on the Paul’s Boutique cut “Car Thief”. Soon, he became the official photographer of many big names, after which he applied his gritty aesthetic to high fashion shoots, commercial campaigns and celebrity culture.
“My grandmother used to take me shopping on Orchard Street in the late 60s. She used to talk Yiddish with all the shop owners. It was special. So in faces, I look for authenticity, down to earth, sometimes comical shit. Models or posers don’t do a thing for me,” he told Interview Magazine.
What was Ricky Powell's net worth?
According to Celeb Age Wiki, Powell's net worth stands between $1 Million to $5 Million. A majority of his wealth comes from his photo exhibitions and books.