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It’s official: Kanye West is now a billionaire.
Over the years, West’s finances have remained mostly a mystery. But now, Forbes reports that the rapper-turned-footwear mogul has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.
West can attribute his entry into the billionaires club to his lucrative sneaker company, Yeezy. The sneaker brand — which is produced, marketed and distributed by Adidas — was on track to $1.3 billion in footwear revenue in 2019, according to a Bank of America document reviewed by Bloomberg.
While the bulk of West’s income is generated from Yeezy, the rapper also possesses about $200 million in other assets, including real estate properties and his music catalog. Bloomberg reports that Ye’s music catalog — which includes everything from the albums The College Dropout to Jesus Is King — is worth about $110.5 million, according to a valuation by the Valentiam Group.
In true West fashion, soon after Forbes published its story proclaiming him a billionaire, the rapper argued that he’s actually worth more than that. “It’s not a billion,” West texted to Forbes. “It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.”
West’s personal accountant, David Choi, provided an unaudited balance sheet to Bloomberg, claiming the rapper’s net worth to be $3.15 billion.
Indeed, West has come a long way since claiming to be $53 million in debt just four years ago. In February 2016, after revealing his financial woes on Twitter, the rapper also used the social media platform to personally ask Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to invest $1 billion in his work.
“I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome… This is my true heart…,” West tweeted at the time. “Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas … after realizing he is the greatest living artist and greatest artist of all time.”
When Forbes last checked in with Kanye West, the mercurial hip-hop superstar-turned-footwear magnate was tiptoeing through a parking lot crop circle comprised of hundreds of pairs of his Yeezy sneakers. “I’m not a numbers guy,” he explained ten months ago. “To ask me to somehow translate this to numbers is to ask your grandmother exactly what the recipe of the cake was.” There’s only one number that West cares about. A billion, as in dollars. And he cares a lot. After months of requests, West shared his financial records, revealing details about his wildly popular Yeezy sneaker empire—and his fixation on outside validation. in bio.
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This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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