Net worth obliterated – Kanye West no longer a billionaire
Just a few days ago, a leaked clip of rapper Kanye West said: “I can say antisemitic s—- and Adidas cannot drop me,” whilst on the Drink Champs podcast, emerged.
It was the final straw after weeks of the rapper, now known as Ye, unleashing a string of antisemitic and anti-black remarks on social media and on TV.
Ye had worked with Adidas since 2013 on his Yeezy line and believed he was untouchable.
Adidas will now lose a lot of money – somewhere in the region of £200+ million but for Ye it’s much worse.
He’s lost himself an estimated $1.5 billion – meaning he’s no longer a billionaire.
Understanding how much money has been lost?
The deal meant Ye owns 100% of Yeezy and Adidas would get an estimated 4% to 8% of its sales from Yeezy products, according to investment bank Cowen.
The $1.5 billion value of the Adidas deal was calculated off a multiple of annual earnings, according to Forbes.
Here’s how Forbes estimates Kanye’s net worth
Based on interviews with industry experts, Forbes had viewed the royalties Ye received from Adidas to be similar to royalties from music catalogues or film residuals. The Adidas income stream could be sold off, those experts said, just like dozens of musicians (including the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen) have sold off their life’s work over the past two years.
Without Adidas, Ye is worth $400 million. The remainder of Ye’s fortune, Forbes estimates, comes from real estate, cash, his music catalogue and a 5% stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims. (A source close to Skims told Forbes Ye hasn’t been involved with the brand since its 2019 launch.)
It’s a stunning downfall for a man who lived for his billionaire status.
Back in 2020, he made the Forbes billionaire list for the first time – with an estimated $1 billion – but he complained that Forbes undervalued his net worth. He texted the company: “It’s not a billion,” adding, “It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.”
West would continue to complain about the low numbers. For this year’s valuation, he sent documents claiming his Adidas deal was worth $4.3 billion. When Ye learned he would clock in at $2 billion overall, his unhappiness with Forbes leaked to the tabloids.
Gap terminated its Yeezy partnership in September, with other big contracts and associations cutting ties with the rapper.
But losing Adidas was the final nail in Ye’s net worth.
What has Kanye West lost?
After weeks of making a string of anti-Semitic and controversial remarks, companies including Adidas, CAA and Balenciaga have cut ties with West.
Key contracts lost:
- Adidas announced on Tuesday it was cutting ties with Kanye and his Yeezy company: “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
- Talent agency CAA dropped Kanye within the last month.
- Studio MRC said Monday it would not air a completed documentary about West: “We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform.”
- Luxury fashion house Balenciaga cut ties with West saying it “has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist.”
- Forbes reported on Thursday that “West is also no longer with record label Def Jam—a Universal Music Group subsidiary—as he has fulfilled his contract” and “own label, G.O.O.D. Music, is no longer linked to Def Jam”, the New York Times reported Monday.
- Bank JPMorgan Chase severed ties with the rapper.
- Jeremy Zimmer, CEO and co-founder of talent agency UTA, told staff in a memo on Sunday to “please support the boycott of Kanye West,” and Endeavor talent agency’s CEO Ari Emanuel said companies that make money from West like Spotify and Apple should drop the rapper.
- In September GAP ended the Yeezy Gap apparel line deal – after just two years – it was supposed to be a contract lasting 10 years that was supposed to generate $ 1 billion in annual sales.