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Kanye West becomes the richest black man in US history

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

By Manpreet Kaur Sachdeva | Sky News |

Kanye West has become the richest black man in U.S. history, with his net worth reported to have reached $6.6bn (£4.7bn).

Kanye West has become the richest black man in US history. Pic: AP
Kanye West has become the richest black man in US history. Pic: AP

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 trainer brand, Yeezy, and a new multi-year contract with clothing retailer Gap.

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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 be released 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 of his wealth also comes from the $1.7bn (£1.5bn) that he earns from additional assets – including his significant investment in 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.

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).