Soul star Dionne Warwick files for bankruptcy

Dionne Warwick - one of the biggest selling female vocalists of all time - has filed for bankruptcy in the US after accruing debts of almost $10m (£6.6m).

The 72-year-old soul superstar's debts include nearly $7m owed to the US Internal Revenue Service and over $3m in business taxes owed to the state of California.

Warwick, who had 56 of her singles make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, filed a Chapter 7 petition in the US bankruptcy court in New Jersey on 21 March.

The personal bankruptcy filing was due to 'negligent and gross financial mismanagement' in the late 1980s through to the mid-1990s, her publicist said.

The Walk On By singer and holder of five Grammy awards, lists $20,950 in monthly income from royalties and retirement income. But her monthly expenses total $20,940, which include $5,000 for housekeeping and $4,000 for a personal assistant, leaving her just $10.

Warwick's publicist Kevin Sasaki, said the singer, a cousin of the late Whitney Houston, said she had repaid the taxes, but penalties and interest had accumulated over the years.

'In light of the magnitude of her tax liabilities, [Dionne] Warwick has repeatedly attempted to offer re-payment plans and proposals to the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board for taxes owed,' Sasaki said.

'These plans were not accepted, resulting in escalating interest and penalties. Although the actual amount of back taxes owed has been paid, the resulting penalties and interest has continually accrued.'

Warwick, who has sold over 100m records, celebrated a 50-year career in show business last March with a one-off event at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.

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