Family of the most successful performer of “White Christmas” was involved in estate dispute
I recently read a story online about Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977), the singer behind the popular song “White Christmas”. The song was written by Irving Berlin (May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989), and the most popular version was the recording by Bing Crosby released in 1942. According to the article, this recording is the world’s best-selling single with 50 million copies sold across the globe. It can be heard on the radio, public spaces, and stores every Christmas season. White Christmas is also one of the biggest hits of the careers of both Berlin and Crosby.
Bing Crosby was married twice. He was first married to actress Dixie Lee in 1932. They had four sons: Gary Crosby, Dennis Crosby, Phillip Crosby, and Lindsay Crosby. Dixie died on November 1, 1952. Bing was married a second time to actress Kathryn Grant. They had three children: Harry Crosby, Mary Crosby, and Nathaniel Crosby. All four sons from his first marriage have passed away.
Dispute arose between the two families and was settled in 1999
According to the story, Bing died at the age of 74 on a golf course in Spain. At the time, Harry had been performing with his father while on a tour which had started in Britain. After Bing’s death, Harry went into banking.
When Dixie died in 1952, she left her estate to her four sons. When Bing died in 1977, he left his estate to his second wife, Kathryn. A company called HLC Properties Ltd. was formed the manage the interests of the estate. In 1999 the families settled a dispute over the estates for approximately £1.2 million. According to the story, Harry and the children of Bing’s four sons from his first marriage no longer see each other. Additionally, Bing’s estate is presently in partnership with Universal pictures to help promote and spread his work.
According to another story online, although the families reached a settlement in 1999, HLC was awarded $2 in royalties from Universal Music Group in 2010. Given the popularity of “White Christmas” and the potential for future earnings and royalties, the Crosby estate may become involved in future litigation like the estates of many other superstar musicians.
Have a happy and peaceful holiday season!