Vincent Price Made a Decision That Cost Him Millions

Michael Jackson’s masterpiece “Thriller” — the biggest selling album of all time — was made all the creepier by Vincent Price’s spooky rap. While Price appeared in more than 90 movies and starred on dozens of television shows, it was actress Peggy Lipton who suggested him for the performance on Jackson’s hit song. At the time, she was married to the album’s producer, Quincy Jones. A recording engineer noted that Price was delighted to contribute his vocals to the song, but was startled by the headphones because he had never used them before. Nevertheless, Price ended up nailing the rap, completing his session in only two takes. Jones noted that recording voiceover work is notoriously difficult and praised Price’s work and accuracy.  Price, however, made a big mistake when it came to his pay. When he agreed to do the voice work, he was given a choice between taking a percentage of the album proceeds or being paid a flat $20,000. He chose the $20,000 because his career was well-established and money wasn’t a big issue. Considering that more than 122 million copies of the album have been sold to date, Price’s decision to take the $20,000 was not a lucrative one.