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Kanye West Earns Elite Title Less Than a Year After His First Gospel Album

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Forbes recently released its annual list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities in the world, ranging from supermodels to world famous athletes and everything in between.

And Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West grabbed the No. 2 spot less than a year after releasing his first gospel album, “Jesus Is King.”

West brought in $170 million in 2019, making him the year’s highest-paid musician. The only celebrity to to rake in more money was his sister-in-law, Kylie Jenner, who made $590 million, mostly from the sale of her cosmetics brand, Kylie Cosmetics.

Though the rapper didn’t come close to earning what Jenner did, he more than doubled the $81 million that Elton John, the second-highest-paid musician, brought in.

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While West reached the status of highest-paid musician worldwide just months after the release of his first ever gospel album, the vast majority of his earnings came from his highly successful Adidas Yeezy sneaker line.

Forbes reported that in 2019, Adidas brought in roughly $1.3 billion in sales just from Kanye’s Yeezy line alone.

For instance, the line’s latest sneaker, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2, which launched in November, has a recommended retail price of $220.

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Even though the hip-hop artist’s massive earnings are largely credited to his sneaker brand, it’s undeniable that his gospel album has been wildly successful.

After the album was released on Oct. 25, it immediately began topping the charts.

According to Forbes, “Jesus Is King,” debuted as No. 1 on 22 different Billboard charts, including the Billboard 200, Top Rap Albums and Top Christian Albums.

Not only did it reach No. 1 on 22 different charts, but the album’s top-performing song, “Follow God,” has maintained its spot at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Songs for 32 consecutive weeks and counting.

Once “Jesus Is King” was released and became one of  the most successful albums of the year, West found himself being booked to perform at various Christian events, such as Awaken 2020 in Tempe, Arizona.

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The January event brought in nearly 30,000 attendees to hear the gospel and worship Jesus. The rapper saw this as the perfect opportunity to share his powerful testimony.

West opened up about Jesus saving him from his struggles with addiction and bipolar disorder, reminding everybody that there is nothing that can keep them from God’s love.

“See, I’ve been to the mental hospital and back, working for the devil,” West said. “They didn’t think I was going to get out. They had already grabbed shovels. They said, ‘There’s something wrong with his head, so his career is dead.'”

“But Jesus saves, no matter how long you think you’ve been away,” he said. “No matter how long you been in the dark, the light is right there ready to save, to give you the confidence when they don’t want to be brave.”

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Morgan Brantley is a former staff writer for The Western Journal. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. She and her dog, Indy, moved to the Phoenix area from Nashville.
Morgan Brantley is a former staff writer for The Western Journal. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in journalism. She and her dog, Indy, moved to the Phoenix area from Nashville.




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