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Rihanna Become First Barbadian Billionaire, Ye and Jay-Z top Hip-Hop Moguls on Forbes' Annual List of World's Richest

Danilo Lauria, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Forbes released its annual report on billionaires around the world Tuesday, and while it may come as no surprise who came out on top in the ranking of the world’s 2,688 wealthiest people, there were some interesting entries for hip-hop and R&B fans.

Joining transportation magnate and professional internet troll on the Forbes’ 36th Annual World’s Billionaires List — Elon Musk, who topped the list for the first time with an estimated net worth of $219 billion — were several musicians-turned-magnates.

The fashion mogul, recent divorcee and rapper Kanye West, 44, who recently tied frequent collaborator and former mentor Jay-Z for the most hip-hip Grammy wins (24), was the top-earning entertainer on the list at No. 1,513 with a $2 billion fortune.

The total was just enough for the artist, who first made the list in 2020 and recently changed his name officially to Ye, to edge his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, making her second appearance on the list after being first named a billionaire in 2021. The 41-year-old actress, influencer and law student was No. 1,645 on the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion.

Jay-Z, 52, once lauded as hip-hop’s first billionaire landed at No. 2,076 with a $1.3 billion net worth thanks to a portfolio that includes his Roc Nation empire and profits from the 2021 sales of TIDAL to Square and Armand de Brignac champagne to LVMH.

Up until now, Black musicians turned billionaires was strictly a boys club, but Rihanna changed that this year. The 34-year-old singer became the first billionaire from her home country of Barbados thanks to her beauty empire. Her Fenty Beauty cosmetics line and Savage X Fenty lingerie business helped her to a net worth of $1.7 billion, good enough for the No. 1,729 on this year's list.

Other returning notables to the list for fans of the culture were talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who landed at No. 1,196 with a $2.6 billion net worth; and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who was No. 2,578 with a $1 billion net worth.

For more information on the methodology or to see the entire list of the world’s richest people according to Forbes click here.

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