Apparently the internet is full of rumours of Janet Jackson’s fabulous wealth. She is constantly referred to as the “billionaire” entertainer. But Forbes says, “No!” She is not on their “official” billionaires list. So despite the press touting the fact, a billionaire, according to Forbes, she is not.
It appears that this whole misunderstanding came about after a story in Variety about Ms Jackson, with the snappy title of “Behind the Velvet Rope.” In the article they write about Janet’s work with the charity AmFAR and the article is flanked on all sides by full page advertisements that all congratulate the performer on being a “billion dollar entertainer.”
Of course Variety does not indicate that she is a billionaire in the story. What is does is point out all the cash that her work has earned her over the length of her career. $81 million from music and book publishing, $260 million in album sales and $458 million from touring taking those figures and adding them with her revenue from other business, it all adds up to a staggering $1.2 billion.
But the reality of the situation is that what you make is not your worth. In a nut shell, what you are worth is based on the actual assets that you have at that particular moment. What you have accumulated over the span of your career doesn’t count.
Forbes explains that when they release their list, they look at what you actually have in terms of stock holdings, real estate and art collections. They go on to explain that Oprah Winfrey, for example, is a billionaire because of the value of her holdings in things like Discovery and Harpo Productions. They do not include the revenue that her show has generated over the years.
But let’s be fair, the general press has mistaken the money brought in by someone’s business revenue for the net worth of that individual before: which as we’ve seen, from the experts, is actual stocks, property and objects de art and not their earnings. For instance, in the past Jessica Simpson has been labelled a billionaire incorrectly. But she is not the only famous face to be given the honour when it doesn’t apply.
She’s in fine company with the Kardashians who are not and neither is Madonna. All three are very, very well off, but billionaires they are not.
The magazine stresses that it is a case of “misinformation” that starts because reporters don’t do their homework. They say the word “billionaire” generates plenty of hits and so reporters, who don’t obsess about people’s wealth 12 months out of the year, don’t bother to check the facts, they just regurgitate.
Forbes go on to point out that Janet Jackson owns a lot of valuable songs. She likes to take ownership stakes in the products she endorses and is married to “reported” billionaire Wissam Al Mana who has also never shown up on the Forbes’ billionaire list.
They also state that, she certainly may be sitting on $1 billion worth of assets. But her net worth is not at all clear from what’s being reported.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds almost insulting. Just what are they trying to say about Janet’s assets?
By Michael Smith