Kanye West net worth: $1.3 billion
Born in 1977 as Kanye Omari West, Kanye West has gained international fame as a rapper and fashion designer. He’s now one of the best-selling musicians in the world and one of the only billionaire music artists with a net worth of $1.3 billion.
How it All Started
West was a producer for hip hop record label Roc-A-Fella Records long before he was known as a musician. He actually achieved quite a bit of success helping shape the music of artists such as Beanie Sigel and Alicia Keys. By the time he released his first album (The College Dropout) in 2004, West was ready for the spotlight. Two of the singles from that album made it into Billboard’s top hit lists – and West was well on his way to stardom.
West’s first album soon became certified triple platinum in the US, earning him 10 Grammy nominations and a very healthy stack of money. In fact, the album was so successful that he invested $2 million of his own money on crafting his second album, Late Registration (2005).
While working on his own music, West continued to produce and manage releases for other musicians. He would eventually go on to founding record label G.O.O.D Music together with Sony BMG. The label is still in operation and releasing music by artists such as Kid Cudi, Big Sean, and Teyana Taylor.
Marriage and Real Estate
While West is definitely the financial powerhouse in the family, wife Kim Kardashian hasn’t done too bad for herself. She’s worth about $370 million on her own and earns an average of $72 million a year. In 2019, her cosmetics and fragrance company KKW Beauty generated over $100 million in sales.
The couple owns several properties around the country, though Forbes puts West’s real estate fortune at “just” $21 million. This means that many of the properties the couple own are either on Kardashian’s name alone or are considered joint property so the total value is split.
West bought two ranches in Wyoming in 2019, 100 miles away from each other. Surprisingly, he paid about the same amount for each: $14 million. The first ranch, known as Monster Lake Ranch, spans more than 1,400 acres. The second one is a massive 6000+ acres and comes complete with helicopter pads.
Just a year earlier, West also bought a $14 million Miami Beach condo as a Christmas present for his wife. The couple also owns a home in Hidden Hills and plenty of land in Southern California.
Part of West’s fortune comes from his extensive collection of cars, valued at over $3.8 million. His most expensive vehicle is a 2013 Dartz Prombron Red Diamond Edition fully bulletproof armored SUV, valued at over $2 million.
He also owns a 2014 Bugatti Veyron and a very rare 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR Stirling Moss (only 75 of these cars were ever produced).
West owns KW Foods LLC., which in 2008 bought the rights to the fast-food chain Fatburger for the city of Chicago. While two restaurants were opened, they eventually closed – but West retains the rights so he could eventually decide to tackle that industry again. He’s also the founder of the creative company DONDA and co-owner (along with Jay-Z, Madonna and other big names) of the music streaming service Tidal. He has an equity stake in the company and receives money from it on a regular basis. Tidal is worth an impressive $600 million.
Perhaps most surprisingly, West also owns just under $300,000 worth of livestock. According to People magazine, he filled one of his Wyoming ranches with elk, wild antelope, cows and over 700 sheep.
West sits at the #1 spot in our highest-paid rappers in the world list. He earned a whooping $170 million in 2020, much of which came from his fashion brand, not his music.
Today, West makes most of his money from Yeezy, a high-end sneaker company that’s the result of a partnership with Adidas.
West designs the shoes and Adidas produces and markets them. In exchange, West earns royalties on sales. After years of focusing on just sneakers, the collection now includes jackets, women’s shoes and track pants. The partnership is a multi-million dollar venture that has sold beyond all expectations.
In 2021, West will also partner with Gap to produce and sell Yeezy Gap, a kid’s line. He will again earn royalties and potentially equity, though the specifics of the deal seem to be top secret at the moment.
Finally a Billionaire
West has been claiming for years that he’s a billionaire and accusing Forbes of refusing him a spot on its billionaire list. In 2020, Forbes finally recognized West’s net worth at $1.3 billion – enough to make the list but well below the $3.3 billion West claims to be worth.