Celebrity Net Worth: Michael Jordan is first athlete to rank among 400 richest Americans

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, will.i.am has piloted an investment into flying cars, and Matt Damon’s asset manager announces close of $150 million investment fund

Basketball star Michael Jordan earned approximately $90 million over his playing career. However, his wealth comes from investments and licensing deals. AP
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Michael Jordan

With a net worth of $3 billion, Michael Jordan has become the first pro athlete to be ranked among the 400 wealthiest people in the US, according to a new compilation by Forbes magazine.

In August, the basketball great sold his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. The deal was valued at a total of around $3 billion, 17 times its worth when Jordan became lead owner in 2010.

He bought the team for $275 million in 2010 and retains a minority stake. Before the sale, Jordan’s net worth was $2 billion.

Jordan earned approximately $90 million over his playing career. However, his wealth comes from investments and licensing deals.

The Brooklyn native teamed with footwear manufacturer Nike to launch the Air Jordan trainers in 1984.

The Jordan Brand followed, with shoes and apparel, including with other popular celebrities. The partnership earned Jordan an estimated $260 million in pre-tax income over the past year, according to Forbes.

Over the course of his career, Jordan also endorsed other brands such as Hanes and Gatorade.

He continues to run several restaurants including a chain of steakhouses across the US.

Jordan, 60, has made many private equity investments. Earlier this year, he joined a $305 million funding round in Dapper Labs, the company behind virtual trading-card platform NBA Top Shot.

Other investments include eSports company aXiomatic, headphones company Muzik and estate planning financial technology firm Vanilla.

Jordan is also an investor in English Premier League football team AFC Bournemouth.


Flying cars could be landing near you soon if William James Adams Jr, known to the world as will.i.am, has anything to do with it.

The US rapper and record producer recently joined a $15 million seed funding round to help launch Jetson One, a drone-like electric aerial vehicle in 2024.

The single-seater vehicle is being manufactured by Jetson, a US-based aviation and aerospace company.

“I’m proud to be a part of the Jetson family and support the company’s mission to democratise flight, opening the skies to all. Personal aircraft ideal for short point-to-point flights will soon be a reality,” will.i.am said.

The company says it has already sold more than 300 units, each priced at $98,000. It is currently taking new orders, each with a down payment of $8,000.

Personal aircraft ideal for short point-to-point flights will soon be a reality
will.i.am, rapper and record producer

Jetson is now working towards a series A funding round and a US launch. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2024.

Will.i.am, 48, has a net worth of $70 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He is a member of the musical group Black Eyed Peas, who have sold more than 80 million records. Additionally, he has recorded many solo albums and produced tracks for artists, including Michael Jackson, U2 and Britney Spears.

As an investor, he holds stakes in at least a dozen companies, including the Californian meat substitutes brand Impossible Foods, Brazilian fan engagement platform BrandLovrs, pop culture app VersusGame and Canadian artificial intelligence company Stradigi AI.

His technology company i.am+ designs and manufactures earphones. In 2019, the company partnered with retail group Majid Al Futtaim to launch its interactive Omega platform in English and Arabic across the UAE.

As a tech entrepreneur and consultant to automotive companies, will.i.am has designed and manufactured custom cars with futuristic features in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, DeLorean and others.

Matt Damon

Actor Matt Damon’s asset manager last month announced the final close of its $150 million impact investment fund focused on solutions to address the global water crisis.

The fund aims to drive social impact by channelling private capital to financial institutions and grassroots enterprises in the water and sanitation sector.

It expects to improve access to safe water and sanitation for five million people across Asia, Latin America, and Africa over its seven-year lifespan.

“Water underpins every major global challenge. Addressing the global water and sanitation crisis is one of the best ways to build resilience to climate change, achieve global gender equality, and improve health and education,” Damon said.

The actor, 53, has a net worth of $170 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

He has acted in more than 75 films, including Mystic Pizza, Good Will Hunting, The Bourne Identity franchise and Oppenheimer.

With fellow actor Ben Affleck, he founded the production companies LivePlanet, Pearl Street Films and Artists Equity.

Damon founded H20 Africa Foundation in 2006 to raise awareness about safe water on the continent, later merging it with engineer Gary White’s WaterPartners to form Water.org and WaterEquity.

He has endorsed many brands, including Nespresso and Crypto.com, and reportedly holds a portfolio of non-fungible tokens.

Elton John

Singer Elton John and his partner David Furnish have joined a $5 million investment round in British music start-up Audoo. They join Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus and MPL Ventures, Sir Paul McCartney's investment company, in backing the music technology company.

Audoo has now raised a total of $22 million. It aims to help artists recover royalties using a monitoring device to recognise songs played in public venues, such as cafés, gyms and sports stadia.

It claims to have a 99 per cent success rate. The devices are being rolled out across Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia through what its founder Ryan Edwards calls industry-first partnerships.

Artists lose an estimated $3 billion in unaccounted royalties each year, the start-up says.

“Working as a musician can be seen as all glitz and glamour but for the vast majority of artists, especially new and emerging acts, this isn’t the case. It’s often brutally unfair and this sadly extends into being paid correctly,” John said.

“Right now, artists are not being paid accurately for their plays because the data simply doesn’t exist. People have given up on their dreams and we've lost talent and future stars because of this disparity.

"That’s why we’ve invested in Audoo and their world-class technology and data, to help create a more transparent system for everyone, and ultimately to keep the music alive.”

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, John, 76, has a net worth estimated at £450 million ($575 million) by the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper.

His career earnings now total $1.98 billion, according to music industry magazine Billboard.

Joe Biden awards Sir Elton John National Humanities Medal

Joe Biden awards Sir Elton John National Humanities Medal

The singer is fresh off the end of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour. It took a total of $939.1 million over five years – although it was interrupted by the pandemic.

He has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, with 71 of his songs making the Billboard Top 100.

John has previously invested in technology platforms linked to art and culture. In 2017, he invested in Qloo, an AI data platform that analyses consumers’ cultural tastes.

Outside music, he invests in real estate and art. He has homes in the UK, Italy, France and the US, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

The website estimates his art collection, with pieces by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Damien Hirst, could be worth $200 million.

Updated: October 16, 2023, 5:00 AM