Johnny Lee - Updated Jul 2024

Updated On June 3, 2024
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Alta Loma, Texas, USA
Birth Sign

Alta Loma, Texas, USA

Johnny Lee

Johnny Lee is an American Country Singer. Johnny Lee released the country and pop crossover hit “Lookin’ for Love” which was able to end up on multiple Billboard Top lists. He is also a Guitarist.

Early Life and Childhood

Johnny Lee was born on July 3, 1946, in Alta Loma, Texas, USA. He is 77 years old and is under the astrological sign of cancer. He holds American nationality and his birth name is John Lee Ham.

The name and information regarding Johnny’s parents are not available at the moment. Similarly, information related to his other family members such as his siblings, cousins, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and others are also not available until now. However, we do know that he grew up along with his parents and family members on a dairy farm in nearby Alta Loma which is now part of Santa Fe, Texas.

Johnny Lee – Education

Regarding Lee’s educational background and qualifications, the names of the institutions he attended are unknown as of now. However, when he was in high school he went on to form a rock n’ roll band, “Johnny Lee and the Roadrunners”. And, after graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy and was able to serve a tour of duty on the USS Chicago, a guided missile cruiser. When he was discharged, he went on to change his name from John Lee Ham to Johnny Lee.

Johnny Lee

Caption: Johnny Lee’s picture when he was young (Source: eBay)

Career and Professional Life

Johnny Lee spent years as a Journeyman performer. He was able to play Lone Star honky tonks as well as a record for various labels, before finally breaking through as a major crossover star in the year 1980 with the hit “Lookin’ for Love”.

He has an easygoing style which helped him give his music a personality that was relatable as he brought life to songs about love as well as honky tonk life. The 1980 album was his best-selling album and also one of his strongest. He then went on to release 1984’s Workin’ for a Livin’ and 2002’s Live at Billy Bob’s Texas.

After he was discharged from the Navy, he went around from Texas to California looking for gigs. He was finally able to land his first serious break when he met honky tonk man Mickey Gilley in the year 1968. Gilly went on to sign Lee as a backing vocalist and trumpet player. Then, for the next five years, he became part of Gilley’s band.

And, when Gilley was playing road dates, he on the other hand was the headliner in his absence. Likewise, Johnny Lee was able to step out as a solo act in the year 1973. However, he did cut a few songs for the tiny Astro label. But when they failed to chart, he again began working along with Gilley. He was able to score minor successes recording for ABC/Dot (“Sometimes”) and GRT (“Country Party”).

More About His Career

And, his big shot came in the year 1979, when filmmaker James Bridges came to Texas to shoot the movie Urban Cowboy. The high-powered music business mogul, Irving Azoff helped Johnny land a small part in the film playing himself. He even asked Lee to record a song for the soundtrack. And, it was the time when he was provided the song “Lookin’ for Love”.

Moreover, his days on the pop charts were over by the year 1981. However, he was able to be a consistent hitmaker on country radio for the coming few years. He even was able to tour regularly with his own band and chart high with tunes such as “Bet Your Heart on Me,” “Sounds Like Love,” “Hey Bartender,” “You Could Have Heard a Heart Break,” as well as “The Yellow Rose” (the latter a duet with Lane Brody).

In the year 1985, he was able to record his last album for WEA, 1985’s Workin’ for a Livin’; after 1989’s New Directions, a one-off release for Curb. With the album’s highest-charting single, “I Can Be a Heartbreaker Too,” peaked at a disappointing number 53 on the country charts, his days with the major labels were over.

Johnny Lee

Caption: Johnny Lee singing on the stage (Source: The Boot)

Declining of the fame

Furthermore, even if his recording career was starting to fade, he was able to remain active as a touring act, playing regularly in Texas and the Southwest. And, even documenting two shows with independent live albums.

Those albums were 1999’s Live at Gilley’s and 2002’s Live at Billy Bob’s Texas. But he did continue to record for smaller labels. He even released The 13th of July, It’s a Long Way Back, and the holiday-themed album Santa Claus Is Lookin’ for Love.

Then, in the year 2008, he started appearing regularly in Branson, Missouri, playing his hits for his longtime fans. He was able to have a comeback in the year 2016 with You Ain’t Never Been to Texas.

This combined his trademark smooth country sound with his take on soul and blues classics (“Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” and “Two Steps from the Blues”). Moreover, 2021’s Everything’s Gonna Be Alright was able to star a timely message of resilience in its title tune.

Relationship Status

Johnny Lee tied the knot with Dallas actress Charlene Tilton in the year 1982. The couple has a daughter together whose name is Cherish and was born in the year 1982. However, the pair is no longer together and they separated in the year 1984.

He then went on to marry his second wife, Deborah Spohr Lee, in the year 1986. They also have a son together, Johnny Lee Jr. Lee is no longer with Deborah as well.

However, his second wife passed away on November 7, 2002, after a long battle with prescription painkillers. His son, Johnny Lee Jr. also passed away in the year 2014 when he was just 23 years old due to a drug overdose.

Johnny Lee

Caption: Johnny Lee along with his daughter, Cherish Lee (Source: The Hollywood Times)

Body Measurements

Johnny Lee has a height of 5 feet 8 inches and his weight is 80 Kg but his other body measurements are still under review. Moreover, Lee has dark green eyes and black hair which is slowly turning white due to his old age.

Johnny Lee – Social Media

Johnny Lee does own his social accounts. His Instagram account is under the name “johnnyleemusic” and has garnered 50.5K followers on it. Likewise, he has accumulated 85K followers on his Facebook account.

Net Worth 2024

As per Celebritynetworth, Johnny Lee has a net worth of $5 million and his main income source seems to be his career as a singer.