Music and fashion icon, Kanye West has returned to the Forbes’ ‘Celebrity 100′ list after a four-year hiatus, securing the number three spot.
West, who is on the cover of the magazine’s August edition, is surpassed only by his sister-in-law Kylie Jenner and Taylor Swift, who top this year’s list.
The annual Celebrity 100 ranks the world’s highest-paid celebrities in music, sports and entertainment, from Hollywood to Bollywood.
Speaking to Forbes, West opened up about his billion-dollar Yeezy sneaker empire, which promises to be the best bet in a generation to topple Air Jordan.
In his first big interview about the business of Yeezy, Kanye talked about his design obsession, which dates back as far as his passion for music.
He also stated that the fame from his music career gave him the chance to return to his first love: sneakers.
Impressively, West still owns 100% of Yeezy, which explains how he became a ‘centimillionaire’ much earlier in his life than Jordan.
Forbes pegs his pretax income at 150 million dollars over the past 12 months and his team insists the number is even higher, partly due to his Yeezy apparel and sneakers.
Three years ago in 2016, West claimed to be 53 million dollars in debt, just before canceling the back of a lucrative arena tour.
Soon after, he checked into a Los Angeles hospital for over a week with symptoms of sleep deprivation and temporary psychosis.
West credits his turnaround to religious beliefs (“being in service to Christ, the radical obedience”)—and, on occasion, to being bipolar.
Forbes wrote, “Call him creative, call him chaotic—just don’t call him. Like some entrepreneurs with conditions like ADHD and Asperger’s, he sees his diagnosis not as a hindrance but as a “superpower” that unlocks his imagination.”
Reacting to the magazine cover, Kim Kardashian-West took to her Twitter handle to congratulate her husband on his re-entry into the list.
She tweeted @kimkardashian, “Kanye on @Forbes!!! I love this cover and article. Kanye has worked so hard to build Yeezy and always stays true to his vision.
“He is my inspiration. I watch how hard he works as he puts his soul into every idea and product that he creates.
“It’s of no surprise to anyone who works with Kanye that he has been able to turn millions of dollars in debt into a billion dollar empire in only 4 years – 100% on his own terms while owning it 100%,” she wrote.
In 2019, nearly a third of the celebrities on the list are from outside the US. The list includes six actors from the Marvel Universe, thanks to the success of ‘Avengers: Endgame’.