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Bobby O’Jay Net Worth | Wife

Bobby O’Jay Net Worth – $1.5 million

What was Bobby O’Jay’s net worth at the time of his death? Who is Bobby O’Jay’s wife?


Once the program director and host of WDIA’s Fun Morning Show, Bobby O’Jay will long be remembered as the king of Memphis radio.

The IHeartMedia stalwart, who had been a part of the WDIA station for close to four decades, was welcomed into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame for his contributions to the industry in the summer of 2021.

Known for his charisma, engaging personality, and passion for music in all its forms, one of the most celebrated radio personalities in the US had long made his home at the historically Black WDIA.

Bobby O’Jay’s life was cut short on May 3, 2022, not long after he celebrated his 39th year with the radio station.

Here’s what we know about his life.

The Origin Story

Bobby O’Jay was born Joe Louis Jones, in Batesville, Mississippi, on 8 August 1953—he was one of nine siblings.

O’Jay and his siblings attended Patton Lane high school.

Bobby O'Jay Net Worth


After securing his first gig on air at the tender age of 19, Joe Louis Jones began tossing around ideas for his radio name.

He settled on Bobby O’Jay because—in his own words—it would be easy for listeners to remember.

It also rhymed with DJ—a term that was only just becoming more popular to describe disc jockeys and radio personalities.

The early 80s were a busy time for the up-and-coming radio DJ. 1983 saw him switch stations and head to Black-owned and operated WDIA.


Bobby O’Jay married his girlfriend Sharon in the 1980s, too.

The pair would go on to have six children together—daughters Bonita, Kacey, and Chandi, and sons Joey, Nicholas, and Joshua.

O’Jay’s wife was an integral part of his radio career, and station executives were used to seeing her interact with listeners and fans.

She was also featured in many of Bobby’s storytime-style segments.

Sharon became ill in 2015, and sadly she passed away in 2017.

On June 1, 2020, Bobby remarried, this time tying the knot with Kim Ojayrleda.

The pair were together until Bobby’s sudden death on May 3, 2022, at the age of 68.

The Rise of a King

Bobby O’Jay knew he wanted to be a disc jockey from a young age.

While Bobby was taking a break from picking cotton in Batesville, Bobby’s cousin—WLOK radio show host Melvin A-Cookin’ Jones—showed up.

Bobby, who was 12 years old at the time, loved the stories Melvin had to tell.

The Memphis radio personality liked the swagger, the exposure to music, the worldliness he imagined of the radio industry.

“Melvin planted the seed,” Bobby would say in an interview on FOX decades later.

In 1972, at just 19 years old, O’Jay had already shown a lot of promise in the music industry—he was offered his first gig on live radio in Montgomery, Alabama.

He would spend the next 11 years fine tuning his skills and building bonds with listeners.

He earned millions of followers over a decade—often engaging them by talking about his personal life, current affairs, and hot topics close to his heart.

He also built a reputation for his hotline—with listeners calling in for engaging, humorous, and surprisingly deep conversations on air. It was official: this was what Bobby O’Jay was born to do.

O’Jay made the switch to WDIA—which would eventually be taken over by media giant IHeartMedia—in 1983.

In later interviews, he would speak openly about how blessed he was to “make a decent salary at all the radio stations I’ve worked. I’ve never had this job and that job.”

The Batesville native received countless accolades for his services in radio, including being honored by the Living Legends Foundation in 2000, the National Radio Hall of Fame, and being inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in 2021.

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The Fall of a Great One

On May 3, 2022, just minutes before the iconic radio DJ was due to open phone lines on the Fun Morning Show, Bobby O’Jay lost consciousness.

Later, O’Jay’s family would share with fans and listeners that he had suffered a heart attack.

Listeners who were tuned into the station at the time shared that they were waiting to call in, but the music continued to play as they awaited O’Jay’s signature announcement that the lines were open.

Close friend, colleague, author, and world-renowned photographer Mark Stansbury would make an official announcement of his friend and colleague’s passing.

At the time, he called Bobby insightful, a good man, and a pioneer for Black radio.

“I always enjoyed being with Bobby on his show or otherwise,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said at the time.

In July 2022, a street was officially named after the radio personality.

The section of Union Avenue was unanimously voted in by the local council as a dedication to Bobby O’Jay and stretches from Riverside Drive to South Main Street in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bobby O’Jay – Net Worth & Salary

O’Jay earned most of his wealth from his radio career.

In 1983, he joined WDIA, and was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in 2021. 

Bobby O’Jay’s annual salary was not disclosed, however, a radio station DJ had an average salary of $60K in the US.

Therefore, at the time of his death, Bobby O’Jay had an estimated net worth of $1.5 million.

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