Rihanna, Tyler Perry, Michael Jordan, Robert Smith, Kanye West. (AP and Courtesy Photos)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Editor

Despite being one of the most marginalized races in the world, the growing list of Black billionaires shows that with opportunity, hard work, entrepreneurial goals and outstanding business acumen, financial freedom, success and generational wealth are all possible. 

Black people don’t only need to be able to sing, dance, or pick up a ball to achieve ultimate success.  From entertainment, to media, to cement and mobile phone investing, Black billionaires, according to Forbes, do it all.  Moreover, those Black billionaires who might also double as music, media or athletic sensations, gained most of their fortune from entrepreneurial ventures that created booming empires. 

Singer turned makeup and lingerie mogul, Rihanna

Actor-filmmaker and author Tyler Perry

Basketball star turned multi-business entrepreneur, Michael Jordan.

Tech investor and philanthropist, Robert Smith.

Rapper and producer Kanye West,

Forbes recently announced singer turned makeup and lingerie mogul Rihanna is the newest edition to the now 14 Black billionaires across the world.  Rihanna is worth an estimated $1.7 billion, making her the wealthiest woman musician and second to Oprah Winfrey as the richest female entertainer. Rihanna’s fortune is in large part due to her entrepreneurial efforts with Fenty Beauty, of which she owns 50%, and is estimated to be worth about $1.4 billion.  Another large portion of the funds is from her lingerie line Savage x Fenty as well as her more than a decade as a chart-topping singer.

In addition to Rihanna, the Black billionaire list includes, rapper and music mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter; film tycoon Tyler Perry; basketball star turned multi-business entrepreneur Michael Jordan; tech investor and philanthropist Robert Smith; rapper and producer, turned Yeezy owner, turned politician Kanye West; Nigerian cement conglomerate BUA Group founder Abdulasamad Rabiu; Jamaican-Canadian investor, businessman and philanthropist Michael Lee-Chin; African Rainbow Minerals founder and South African President of the Confederation of African Football Patrice Motsepe; owner of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Strive Masiyiwa; Mike Adenuga, Nigeria’s second richest man due to oil production and has invested across multiple business; David Steward, founder and chairman of World Wide Technology, the largest Black-owned company in America; and finally Aliko Dangote, who is considered the richest Black man in the world, worth an estimated 11.4 billion, as Africa’s largest cement producer and one of Nigeria’s largest private-sector employers.  

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor