Celebrity net worth: Selena Gomez co-founds mental health venture

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, LeBron James adds a second sports team to his portfolio and Karan Johar invests in Nothing

2019 American Music Awards – Show– Los Angeles, California, U.S., November 24, 2019 –  Selena Gomez performs a medley. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Selena Gomez

Texan singer, actor, producer and entrepreneur Selena Gomez is trying on another hat for size after co-founding a media company focused on mental health.

Wondermind, set to launch in February 2022, is an online platform aimed at helping people to build positive habits and connect with others. It will offer tools and educational resources including podcasts and other media in a bid to end the stigma around mental illnesses, its website says.

Gomez co-founded Wondermind with her mother, Mandy Teefey, and Daniella Pierson, chief executive of women-focused media company The Newsette.

“I’m so excited about Wondermind because I want there to be a place of people coming together and understanding that they’re not alone,” Gomez says in a video on the company's website.

The Lose You To Love Me singer believes talking about mental health promotes well-being and has been open about her own health issues. In April, she announced that she has bipolar disorder on Miley Cyrus’s Instagram show Bright Minded.

“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McLean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realised that I was bipolar,” Gomez said at the time. “And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn't scare me once I know it.” She has previously also spoken about her battle with lupus.

In the Wondermind video, Ms Teefey says she had been misdiagnosed for more than 20 years with bipolar disorder. It later turned out to be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with trauma.

An increasing number of celebrities are backing mental health start-ups, including musician Nick Jonas, actor and businesswoman Gwyneth Paltrow and Britain's Prince Harry. Research and analysis company GIMBHI told the Entrepreneur magazine that venture capital investments in the mental health space in 2021 will more than double from $2.3 billion in 2020.

Gomez, 29, has a net worth estimated at $75 million in 2021, according to wealth-tracking website Celebrity Net Worth. Besides her work as a TV and film actor – beginning at the age of 10 on the show Barney and Friends – she has sold more than seven million albums and 22 million singles as a singer.

Her business ventures include make-up, fragrance, fashion and handbag lines.

As one of the most popular entertainers of the past decade, Gomez also has several endorsement deals to her credit, including a two-year agreement with activewear company Puma worth $30m and a $10m endorsement contract with luxury accessories brand Coach.

With 275 million followers on Instagram, she has reportedly been able to earn up to $800,000 for each sponsored post on the social media platform.

Gomez is an active philanthropist who works closely with Unicef and volunteers with a number of other organisations. In 2020, her cosmetics company, Rare Beauty, launched the Rare Impact Fund to raise $100m over a decade to fund mental health education.

LeBron James has invested in a hockey team in Pittsburgh. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James

Billionaire basketballer LeBron James is to become part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins in a reported $900m deal with sports, entertainment and property company Fenway Sports Group (FSG). Announced last week, the agreement is subject to approval by the US National Hockey League (NHL) Board of Governors, but is expected to close by the end of the year.

The value of the deal was not disclosed but FSG will acquire a controlling interest in the Penguins. As part of the transaction, former Canadian professional hockey player Mario Lemieux and businessman Ron Burkle will remain part of the ownership group.

James, 36, made history as the first black partner of FSG earlier this year and became a partial owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team. The NBA star and business partner Maverick Carter own an “undisclosed amount of shares” in FSG, which is valued at $7.35bn.

Also in November, James teamed up with tennis star Naomi Osaka and rapper Drake to invest in sports technology and gaming company StatusPRO. The trio are strategic investors in the company, whose custom solutions are currently being used by players and coaches at several National Football League teams.

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“One of the buildings I own is the tallest commercial building in America
Floyd Mayweather Jr

Co-founded by former footballers Andrew Hawkins and Troy Jones, StatusPRO combines player data with extended reality to create a suite of training and fan engagement products for enterprise and consumers in football and other sports.

The XR industry is expected to be worth more than $57bn by 2027, the company said, with traction building in the gaming, entertainment and healthcare sectors.

In addition to the Penguins, the 17-time All-Star has been a minority owner of the Liverpool Football Club since 2011. His 2 per cent stake in the football club, purchased for $6.2m, is now estimated to be about $49.2m, with KPMG evaluating Liverpool FC at $2.6bn.

With the FSG purchase earlier this year, the Lakers star was able to expand his stake, AFP reported at the time.

Bollywood film producer and director Karan Johar has invested in consumer electronics brand Nothing. AFP

Karan Johar

Filmmaker and TV personality Karan Johar has participated in a $50m funding round in consumer electronics brand Nothing.

Other strategic and private investors in the series A extension include cricketer and entrepreneur Yuvraj Singh and Indian fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, according to media reports. The round was completed in October, but the Indian celebrity investors were only announced last week.

India is the biggest market for London-based Nothing’s headphones, which sells 180,000 units annually, India Today magazine reported.

Johar has helped to launch the careers of several successful actors through his Dharma Productions company and has a net worth estimated at $200m, according to celebrity wealth website The Richest.

Floyd Mayweather Jr has invested a significant portion of his earnings in property in the US.

Floyd Mayweather Jr

Having boxed his way to more than $1.2bn in career earnings, Floyd Mayweather Jr has invested a significant portion of the money in property.

His portfolio now includes nine buildings in the US, he told the World Boxing Council in an interview last month. “Floyd Mayweather made a lot of smart investments,” he said, speaking of himself in the third person. “One of the buildings I own is the tallest commercial building in America. So, if you get a chance, go to New York and check it out. This is my ninth skyscraper.”

Mayweather, 44, was referring to One Vanderbilt, a 93-storey tower in Midtown Manhattan. The extent of Mayweather’s involvement in the building is unclear, but he has hinted at a development role in media interviews. He has a net worth conservatively estimated at $450m.

Mayweather retired for a final time with a perfect 50-0 record in 2017, surpassing legendary heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano. The record was later topped by WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin.

The American boxer has since returned for exhibition bouts against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018 and, in June, he took on YouTuber Logan Paul in a $100m, 24-minute fight.

Mayweather may yet return for another one-off fight. In September, Oscar de la Hoya offered him $100m for a rematch, possibly next May.

Musician Sting is in talks to sell his music catalogue for about $250 million. AFP

Sting

British rock star Sting is reportedly discussing the sale of his extensive song catalogue for $250m. Universal Music Publishing has been identified as a likely buyer, but the catalogue could potentially remain with Sony Music Publishing, Variety magazine reports.

The sale has been months in negotiations and is thought to include at least a portion of the 70-year-old’s recorded-music rights, in addition to his songwriting work.

Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, has written several of his famous hits, including Englishman in New York, Roxanne and Fields of Gold. The musician has sold more than 100 million records on his own and with The Police, which he fronted until the mid-1980s and again when they reunited in the noughties.

The move will add substantially to Sting’s estimated net worth of $400m. He earns $2,000 a day in songwriting royalties from The Police hit, Every Breath You Take, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The classic is responsible for more than a quarter of the singer's lifetime publishing income, in no small part because it was sampled in the Diddy track I'll Be Missing You, which uses the song's signature guitar hook.

The past couple of years have witnessed a tidal wave of song catalogue sales as ageing rockers and younger artists look to cash in on the value of their work.

Music catalogues are now trading at 10 to 18 times their annual value, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year. In the case of Bob Dylan’s $400m agreement with Universal, that indicates annual income from royalties and other sources of $22m or more.

Updated: December 5th 2021, 5:00 AM