Taylor Swift Enters Billionaire Ranks, Joins World’s Richest

Taylor Swift has joined Elon Musk as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, according to a new rich list.

The American pop diva joined the Forbes World’s Billionaires List for the first time, earning $1.1 billion (£877 million), alongside Sam Altman, developer of the AI chatbot ChatGPT, who earned $1 billion (£800 million).

LVMH French luxury goods mogul Bernard Arnault and his family topped the list, with an estimated $233 billion (£185 billion).

Forbes reported a record 2,781 billionaires in 2024.

The total is 141 more than last year and 26 more than the previous record, achieved in 2021. Forbes stated that the wealthiest were wealthier than ever, with a total of $14.2 trillion (£11.3 trillion).

After becoming a megastar, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift made it onto the rich list. She stole the show at this year’s Grammys, becoming the first artist to win album of the year four times.

Her record 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was also the best-selling vinyl album of the year.

Swift’s success extends beyond music. Her mere attendance at American football games to support her boyfriend Travis Kelce has been credited with increasing NFL viewership.

When it comes to the world’s top ten richest persons, eight are from the United States, with six making their fortunes in the technology industry.

Following Mr Arnault and his family, Mr Musk, the owner of Tesla and X, previously Twitter, is placed second, with an estimated net worth of $195 billion (£155 billion).

Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, ranks third.

Mr Musk’s fortunes are up 8% from last year, but lower than his net worth in November 2021, when he became the first person to be worth $300 billion (£239 billion).

Basketball legend Magic Johnson, worth $1.2 billion (£950 million), and TV producer Dick Wolf, who created the US Law and Order and Chicago PD programs, are also on Forbes’ list.

Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes’ senior wealth editor, described it as a “amazing” year for the world’s richest people.

“A record-breaking 14 centi-billionaires have 12-figure fortunes.” Even in times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich prosper,” he said.

According to Forbes, the class of billionaires for 2024 is 255% richer than a decade ago, with a total worth of $2 trillion (£1.59 trillion), implying that just 0.5% of the world’s 2,781 billionaires own 14% of billionaire wealth.

Geographically, the United States continues to have the most billionaires of any country, with a record 813 on the list. China stays second, followed by India.

The richest person in the United Kingdom is hedge fund manager Michael Platt, followed by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a part-owner of Manchester United, and inventor Sir James Dyson.

Forbes said that 189 persons have been removed from the list, including 129 from mainland China, where sluggish consumer spending and a collapse in the real estate market have wiped billions of dollars from portfolios.

Another 32 billionaires died, including Egyptian entrepreneur Mohamed Al-Fayed, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, former Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, and Margaritaville musician Jimmy Buffett.

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