When it comes to the world of celebrity, there’s rich, and then there’s rich.
Of course, lavish lifestyles are commonplace among the A-list, but there’s a certain crop of stars who take things to the next level, thanks to smart investment, business ventures and seemingly endless royalties.
While the world’s richest people are generally the founders of huge corporations – the Elon Musks and Jeff Bezos of this world – there are a handful of celebrities – more famous for their music, fashion or filmmaking skills – who have also made their way into the billionaires’ club. Here are some of them…
Rihanna has been busy building several empires over the past few years, so it was only a matter of time before she joined the billionaires' club. In August 2021, Forbes reported the star was worth a cool $1.7 billion, largely thanks to her wildly successful Fenty Beauty line, not to mention her eight-album musical back catalogue, and her Savage x Fenty lingerie line. Forbes lists her as the wealthiest female musician in the world and second only to Oprah Winfrey as the second richest female entertainer.
He may be retired from rap, but Jay-Z is still an extremely busy man. The star was the first hip-hop artist to achieve billionaire status back in 2019. His Tidal music streaming service is worth an estimated $100 million, while his Roc Nation media company, which represents athletes and entertainers, is worth $75m. On top of that, the star has an art collection worth more than $70m, and a property portfolio worth $50m. His net worth was estimated to be $1.4bn in March 2021.
The media mogul is the highest net worth female in the entertainment industry, with Forbes estimating her fortune to stand at $2.7bn. Much of that comes from her long-running talk show, as well as her network television channel, Own, her sponsorship deal with Weight Watchers, and her 2018 deal with Apple to create streaming content.
The reality star-turned-entrepreneur also achieved billionaire status in 2021, with her net worth now estimated to sit at $1bn, thanks to her lucrative Skims shapewear collection, as well as her KKW Beauty line, which she is currently rebranding. The star’s earnings are also given a huge boost thanks to numerous endorsement deals and investments. Her estranged husband Kanye West gifted her $200,000 worth of stocks in Netflix, The Walt Disney Company, Apple, Amazon and adidas during their marriage.
Speaking of West, the rapper and designer is also a billionaire, largely thanks to his Yeezy label. In April 2020, Forbes estimated West was worth $1.3bn, however, in March 2021, it updated its estimates to now sit at $6.6bn. West has more than $122m in cash and shares, as well as $1.7m in other assets.
The basketball legend is the richest former pro-athlete in the world, with an estimated net worth of $1.6bn. In 2010, Jordan bought a 95 per cent majority stake in the Chicago Hornets for $175m. Since then, the team’s net worth has sky rocketed, and was reported to be about $1.5bn in 2019. Jordan is also said to be making $100m a year from Nike royalties, thanks to his ever-popular Jordans trainer collection. He also has lucrative sponsorship deals with brands including Gatorade.
Film director, producer and screen writer George Lucas, who is behind the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, is worth a staggering $7.4bn. Much of his wealth comes from a 2012 deal as part of which he sold his Lucasfilm company to Disney. Lucas also has a vast property portfolio. However, he donates much of his fortune to charity, too.
The actor, director, and producer is worth an estimated $1bn, according to Forbes. Perry owns his own studios, Tyler Perry Studios, where he films his television shows and movies. He also has more than $300m in cash and investments, $40m in property and assets, and a stake in streaming service BET+. He also has a reputation for being one of Hollywood’s most charitable celebrities.
The director has made some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including ET, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. So it’s no wonder that his net worth is estimated at $3.7bn. He also co-founded DreamWorks Studios in 1994, and works as a consultant for Universal Studios.
The fashion designer is the ultimate rags to riches tale. The son of Jewish immigrants, he grew up in New York neighbourhood, the Bronx. In his high school year book, he wrote “millionaire” as one of his goals in life, and he more than succeeded. His net worth is now estimated to stand at $7.1bn, thanks to his global fashion label.