A couple of years ago, when Aretha Franklin died, journalists noticed something odd about her financial history.
Despite being one of the most successful recording artists of all time, and having a net worth estimated at $60 million, the Queen of Soul had an unusual habit: she refused to perform unless she was paid in cash.
Now, we don't recommend that approach, especially if you're making that kind of money. It's an almost foolproof way to get a call from the IRS-which Aretha Franklin did.
But her reasons for doing it weren't crazy. As a struggling young singer, she had seen many other black artists get cheated out of the money they were owed. The lesson she took from that? That you can only be confident you're getting what you've been promised when you actually have the money in your hands.
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