Morten Harket is an icon from the raving 80s who has captured millions of hearts, even from today’s generation. Here’s a feature on A-ha’s lead vocals and Morten Harket net worth.
The music of the 80s and 90s has made a lasting impression on avid music listeners. The decade witnessed a surge of aspiring singers and composers. The Billboards was spammed by one-hit-wonders and modern legends in the making, vying for the music industry.
Nickelback and Creed with Scott Stapp are some bands that dominated the punk and rock music field. Modern rock was the popular genre of the 90s. Electronic dance music and new wave picked up just as disco fell out of trend. Synthpop was categorized under “new wave” and popularized by bands like Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Alphaville, and A-ha.
Most of A-ha’s music is the type you’d want to just sing along to. The three men that composed the group are equally brilliant, but it is no secret that their lead vocalist shines a little brighter than the rest. Read on to know the success story of A-ha’s Morten Harket.
As for his thriving career, Morten Harket net worth for 2022 is estimated at $60 million.
[Related Read: Tori Kelly Net Worth]
Morten Harket Bio
Morten Harket’s gentle voice can render a horde of screaming crowds silent.
Sound engineer Gerry Kitchingham who worked on A-ha’s famous single “Take On Me,” describes Morten’s voice as an incredibly strong falsetto with an almost choir-boyish clarity.
Morten Harket’s Early Life
Morten Harket was born on September 14, 1959 in Kongsberg, Norway. His father, Redid, was a chief physician at a hospital, while his mother, Henny, was an educator who taught economics. He grew up in Asker, in Southern Norway with siblings Gunvald, Håkon, Ingunn and Kjetil.
At the age of four, Morten already knew how to play the piano. As he got better, he started making up songs. His father signed him up for piano lessons when Morten was a little older, focusing more on classical music.
But it didn’t work out because young Morten didn’t have the patience. The genre just didn’t suit him. He preferred songs by Uriah Heep, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, David Bowie, and James Brown.
[Related Read: Melanie Martinez Net Worth]
Morten Harket’s Career and Achievements
Morten was at school when he first saw the guitarist and singer-songwriter Paul Waaktaar Savoy and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen perform on stage. The two were band members of a group called Bridges and were locally touring for performances.
Morten stood there mesmerized. At the time, he was nothing more than a fan. It was beyond him that they’d end up in a group with him as lead vocalist and frontman.
The Bridges was a band just waiting to catch a break. While continuously submitting recordings to studios, the group switched genres, leaving the sixties and seventies psychedelic music behind. They also focused more on songwriting, with a few ballads and original melodies in mind.
Unfortunately, members started leaving the band until only Magne and Paul were left. Either they got tired of waiting for that career-making break or were simply not into it just as Paul and Magne were. But to their surprise, Morten came knocking on the door.
Take On Me
Morten took a gamble. He found where Paul lived and went to his house. Before he could knock, Morten heard the two playing a melody that was new to him. Morten described it as otherworldly. He came at the exact moment that the iconic “Take On Me” rift was composed.
He became a member of the band the second he walked into the house. He jumped right in and shared his opinions. And luckily, Morten gets to tag along on the upcoming London trip.
The band officially formed in 1982, before the scheduled visit to London. Paul came up with the name stylized as “a-ha.” It was originally meant for a song. Morten saw it amongst Paul’s scribbles and suggested using it as their band name.
Breaking Into the Music Industry
The Warner Bros representatives were instantly impressed after meeting the Norwegian trio. Firstly, they were determined young lads who came from a country that no one was familiar with at the time. Secondly, the sample of “Take On Me” with Morten’s vocal range was amazing.
The band released their first album, Hunting High and Low, in 1984, and with it, the single, “Take On Me”. The studio even produced a music video, but the song did not do well on the charts.
They made a second attempt, and the results were the same. It cost the studio time and money, but everyone believed in the song’s potential. So they gave it a third try.
Warner Bros invested in re-recording the song and producing a new music video. They signed record producer Alan Tarney to adjust certain elements and improve the overall output of the song. His idea was to use synthesizers, especially on the main rift, creating the sound we all know.
After hearing the improvement in the song, Morten got an idea of how he, as the lead singer, should adjust to the change. And yes, it is the falsetto part of the single that Morten is famous for.
“Turn Him Into a Comic Book Hero.”
Warner Bros creative director Jeff Ayeroff joined the production. He figured the song wasn’t making enough impact because the previous music videos were entirely off the mark. After consulting a few friends in the business, he decided to go with an animated video.
Jeff assigned Mark Patterson to sketch Morten. The samples turned out so well and gave the idea of creating a comic book-themed story for the video.
Just as Todd McFarlane’s illustration would pop out of the panels, they turned Morten into a cool comic book hero that comes to life. That groundbreaking concept eventually made the song skyrocket to the charts.
Reaching Global Success
“Take On Me” peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the UK Singles Chart. Finally, the band got the recognition they deserved within the music scene.
The song continues to be part of popular culture, covered and sampled by various singers and used in the soundtracks of numerous TV shows, films, and video games.
The original video was remastered in 2018 and had a total view count of 1.46 billion. The reception of the song has yet to die down. It’s been almost four decades since Take On Me was re-released for a third time in 1985, along with the animated video.
Though the band went on a number of hiatuses since their global success, A-ha never broke up. Their reunions never failed to fill up an entire venue. Fans from around the world and of different generations always came together just to be in the presence of such legendary performers.
Awards and Achievements
A-ha has a total of 81 nominations and won 56 awards. The boys from Norway earned nominations for the American Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, a Grammy award, and more.
From a long list of awards and recognitions, the best honor Harket received along with his bandmates was knighthood. They were appointed Knights of the 1st Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. The honor was given by King Harald for their outstanding contribution to Norwegian music and their services to the country and mankind.
The group’s second-best achievement is setting the record of Largest Paying Audience, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. They were also inducted into the Norwegian Hall of Fame in 2011.
As a solo artist, Morten Harket holds the record for holding the longest note in UK chart history: 20.2 seconds in the band’s song “Summer Moved On” (2000). His falsetto is also regarded as the greatest in the history of popular music.
In 1995, Harket earned four awards from Spellemannprisen, also known as the Norwegian Grammy
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Morten Harket Net Worth
How Much is Morten Harket Net Worth?
Morten Haket has an estimated net worth of $60 million for the current year. Harket is the frontman and lead singer of the Norwegian band A-ha. Their legacy has transcended through generations, continuously gaining supporters for their iconic music.
Is Morten Harket Married?
Morten Harket was married once, in 1989, to Camilla Malmquist. The couple had three children before they separated in 1998. Harket’s second relationship was with Anne Mette Undlien, with whom he has a daughter named Henny.
Morten’s third and current relationship is with American actress Inez Andersson. The couple shares a daughter named Karmen.
What is Morten Harket Doing Now?
The Norwegian pop music icon still makes music and performs at gigs and concerts. Harket is also active in soundtrack production for several popular films and TV shows.
Morten Harket Net Worth – Final Thoughts
Mystifying is probably the best word to describe the 80s. The decade hardly pops up in casual conversations, but all of a sudden, you hear a song that clicks, and it is actually from that period. It was a time when genres created songs that were more fantasy-like.
But Morten Harket and his fellow A-ha musicians are almost impossible to forget. They braved a lot of shaky odds to chase their dream, leaving their homes for a country initially that offered no certainties. But they believed in what they had, so they sang, persisted, and succeeded globally.
Like the highest honor he received from his homeland, Morten Harket net worth is more than deserved. He left an immeasurable legacy to the world of music.
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Celebz Net Worth, Copywriter
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content. I’m a full-time traveler, and I’ve been to 49 countries and 5 continents.
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.