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Mixed reactions trail report naming Kanye West richest black man in U.S. history

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American rapper, record producer, fashion designer and politician, Kanye Omari West has become the richest black man in U.S history, with his net worth reported to have reached $6.6billion.

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The new total reported by Bloomberg, gives the 2020 U.S presidential candidate a commanding lead over the likes of investor and businessman Robert F Smith and basketball legend Michael Jordan.

After claiming he was $53million in debt just three years ago, the rapper and fashion tycoon became a certified billionaire last year with the help of his successful apparel and sneaker brand, Yeezy, and a new multi-year contract with clothing retailer, Gap.

A Twitter user by name Boardroom @boardroom in a tweet said: “In his teens, he worked at a local Gap. In his 20s, he rapped about Gap. In his 30s, he wanted to be “the Steve Jobs of Gap” and its creative director. In his 40s, Kanye West’s Gap deal is valued at $970M and his $6.6B net worth makes him the richest Black man in U.S. history.”

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According to Bloomberg, West’s Yeezy brand – and deals with Gap and sportswear giant Adidas – is valued at $3.2billion to $4.7billion. The new Yeezy Gap line, set to release later this summer, is expected to be worth more than $970million.

Despite the COVID pandemic, sales for Yeezy’s Adidas trainers continued to grow, rising by 31 percent to nearly $1.7billion in annual revenue last year, making the brand $191million in royalties, according to a private document reviewed by Bloomberg.

An unaudited balance sheet of West’s finances has also revealed that the rapper has $122million in cash and stock, while his entire music catalogue is worth $110.5million.

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As the sole owner of the Yeezy Company, much of West’s personal net worth comes from there. Some also comes from the $1.7bn (£1.5billion) that he earns from additional assets – including his significant investment into his soon-to-be ex-wife’s Skims label.

The rapper’s estranged wife and reality star, Kim Kardashian, who became a billionaire last summer, had recently filed for a divorce from the Gold Digger rapper after nearly seven years of marriage.

According to TMZ, sources described the divorce as ‘amicable’, saying the estranged couple is asking for joint legal and physical custody of their four children, which West is ‘fine’ with.

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Meanwhile, in another report, Forbes, a global media company focusing on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, and lifestyle said the claim Bloomberg of West being the richest black in America is not true, based on its calculations. Forbes estimates West’s worth less than a third of what Bloomberg has reported, or $1.8 billion.

“That’s a big jump from last May when Forbes first pegged his net worth to be $1.3billion, but nowhere near as much as the purported $6.6 billion. Vista Equity’s Robert F. Smith remains the richest Black person in the U.S., worth an estimated $6 billion, while Aliko Dangote of Nigeria, worth $11.8 billion, is the richest Black person in the world.”

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