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Kanye West becomes the richest black man in US history

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Kanye West became a certified billionaire a year ago – as did his soon-to-be ex-wife Kim Kardashian West.

The new total has been reported by Bloomberg and gives West a commanding lead over the likes of investor and businessman Robert F Smith and basketball legend Michael Jordan.

After claiming he was $53m (£38m) in debt just three years ago, the rapper and fashion tycoon became a certified billionaire last year with the help of his successful apparel and sneaker brand, Yeezy, and a new multi-year contract with clothing retailer Gap.

Yeezy, West’s sneaker and apparel business with Adidas AG and Gap Inc., is valued at $3.2bn (£2.2bn) to $4.7bn (£3.4bn). Pic: FASHION SOCIETY

Yeezy, West’s sneaker and apparel business with Adidas and Gap, is valued at $3.2bn (£2.2bn) to $4.7bn (£3.4bn). Pic: Fashion Society

According to Bloomberg, West’s Yeezy brand – and deals with Gap and sportswear giant Adidas – is valued at $3.2bn (£2.2bn) to $4.7bn (£3.4bn).

The new Yeezy Gap line, set to release later this summer, is expected to be worth more than $970m (£694m).

As he is the sole owner of the Yeezy company, much of West’s personal net worth comes from there.

Some also come from the $1.7bn (£1.5bn) that he earns from additional assets – including his significant investment into his soon-to-be ex-wife’s Skims label.

Reality star Kim Kardashian – who herself became a billionaire last summer – recently filed for divorce from the Gold Digger rapper after nearly seven years of marriage.

TMZ said sources described the divorce as “amicable”, saying Kardashian West is asking for joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s four children, which West is “fine” with.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have filed for divorce

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have filed for divorce. Pic: AP

Despite the COVID pandemic, sales for Yeezy’s Adidas trainers continued to grow, rising by 31% to nearly $1.7bn (£1.5bn) in annual revenue last year and making Yeezy $191m (£136.7m) in royalties, according to a private document reviewed by Bloomberg.

An unaudited balance sheet of West’s finances has also revealed that West has $122m (£87m) in cash and stock, while his entire music catalogue is worth $110.5m (£79m).


About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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