Forbes has disputed viral news reports that rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West is the richest Black person in U.S. history. The latest valuation of his recent business deals put his net worth at $6.6 billion.
Bloomberg reported that Yeezy, West’s sneaker/apparel partnership with Adidas, is worth between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion. It said the African-American rapper owns a 100% stake in Yeezy and also has a partnership with The Gap which is valued at $1 billion. West also has additional income coming from his $110 million music catalog, $122 million in cash and stocks and business investments with his estranged wife Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS underwear brand, the report added.
According to documents viewed by Bloomberg, Gap expects its Yeezy line to break $150 million in sales in its first full year in 2022 and envisions it becoming a billion-dollar revenue brand in 2023. The documents also showed that sales for Yeezy’s Adidas sneakers survived the effect of the pandemic by posting a growth of 31% and making nearly $1.7 billion in revenue while netting $191 million in royalties.
With the reported net worth of $6.6 billion, West has surpassed Oprah Winfrey’s $3.5 billion net worth, David Steward’s $3.9 billion net worth, and Robert F. Smith’s $6.5 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
But, according to Forbes, West is worth less than one-third of the amount recently reported based on its own calculation. It said reports on the Black celebrity’s worth are based on the magical thinking around sales that don’t yet exist.
Forbes estimates his worth to be $1.8 billion, which is a big jump from last May’s estimate of $1.3 billion, stressing that his total worth is nowhere near the reported $6.6 billion.
Forbes further emphasized that the founder of Vista Equity Robert F. Smith remains the richest Black person in the U.S. with an estimated net worth of $6 billion while Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, worth $11.8 billion, is the richest Black person in the world.
West had previously claimed he was worth $3 billion although Forbes published that his net worth was lower than he claimed. Displeased with Forbes’s valuation of his worth, West, according to the People, texted Forbes, “It’s not a billion. It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.”