Taylor Swift and OpenAI’s Sam Altman join the ranks of freshly minted billionaires

More than 260 new names have made it onto the list of the world’s billionaires, Forbes has revealed, with Taylor Swift and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman making an appearance for the first time.

The new rankings also confirmed Tesla CEO Elon Musk has once again lagged behind luxury goods titan Bernard Arnault in the race for the richest person on earth.

The 75-year-old French kingpin Arnault, who oversees fashion empire LVMH with a net worth of $233 billion, led the record-breaking pack of 2,781 billionaires—more than ever before.

Moreover, the report found that 14 people are now centibillionaires with 12-figure fortunes.

Who are the world’s richest people?

Behind Arnault and X owner Musk—who has a fortune of $195 billion—are Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ($194 billion), Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg ($177 billion) and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison ($141 billion).

Further down the top ten are Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett ($133 billion), Microsoft duo Bill Gates ($128 billion) and Steve Ballmer ($121 billion), Asia’s richest person Mukesh Ambani ($116 billion) and Google founder Larry Page ($114 billion.)

And while the forerunners are made up of well-known faces a host of new individuals also made it onto the list.

Swift’s Eras Tour propelled her to a net worth of $1.1 billion, while OpenAI’s CEO Altman also appeared courtesy of $1 billion in wealth.

Altman’s wealth isn’t made up of a stake in the company he runs—he has repeatedly said that he does not own equity in the company.

Rather, much of his traceable wealth is in a web of VC funds and startup investments, which is set to grow with the initial public offering of Reddit, where he’s among the largest shareholders. 

The list’s youngest name—and appearing for the first time—is 19-year-old heiress Livia Voigt, who has inherited a $1.1 billion fortune courtesy of stakes in Brazilian wind manufacturer WEG, which was founded by her grandfather.

And despite a reported slowdown in luxury goods sales, fashion designer Christian Louboutin made it into the rankings with a net wealth of $1.2 billion.

America prevailed as home to the world’s richest people, boasting a record 813 individuals with a combined wealth of $5.7 trillion.

Coming second is China and Hong Kong with 473 individuals worth $1.7 trillion.

India ranks third with $954 billion across 200 individuals on the list.

“It’s been an amazing year for the world’s richest people, with more billionaires around the world than ever before,” said Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes senior editor, wealth. “Even during times of financial uncertainty for many, the super-rich continue to thrive.”

It’s worth noting that Forbes’s annual list does differ in its rankings from the likes of Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, which also places Arnault in the number one spot followed by Bezos.

Musk comes in third, followed by Zuckerberg, Gates and Ballmer—though the net wealth of the majority differs between the two rankings.

How did Taylor Swift make her billion?

Swift, now a 14-time Grammy award winner, has had a stratospheric 12 months courtesy of her global tour which was the first ever to gross more than $1 billion.

Demand for tickets was so high that Ticketmaster experienced a raft of glitches and technical problems, with the fiasco ending in the cancellation of a public sale for the spots.

Fans traveled from far and wide to see the 34-year-old songstress in action, with research firm QuestionPro finding Swift will add a total of $4.6 billion to the U.S. economy courtesy of consumers spending on meals out, merch and overnight stays.

As well as live shows, Swift also has a massive catalog of music, estimated by Bloomberg to be worth $400 million since 2019 alone.

This includes the rereleases of albums such as ‘Fearless’ and ‘1989’, which Swift rerecorded after her masters were sold to music mogul and manager, Scooter Braun.

According to Bloomberg, Swift’s earnings from Spotify and YouTube total around $120 million while royalties from music sales rake in another $80 million.

The Pennsylvania songwriter and actress also owns property worth a reported $110 million per Bloomberg, with the New York Post listing her assets across a Tribeca townhouse with an attached apartment for security, an eight-bed mansion in Rhode Island and a penthouse in Nashville.

Also in her portfolio is a four-bed Nashville complex with an adjacent guest house, as well as a seven-bedroom home in LA.

Swift is one of a small but powerful group of women on Forbes’s rich list.

While women make up just 13% of the world’s billionaires their wealth is growing.

L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers’s wealth jumped $19 billion since last year’s list to $99.5 billion while MacKenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife, is up $11.2 billion from last year to $35.6 billion.

That’s despite giving away millions following an “open call” to charities and organizations in need of support.

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