OK, not really hater alert, more like fact checker alert. Although Janet Jackson probably doesn’t appreciate this little example of investigative reporting when it comes to her assets, we certainly do. After news spread yesterday that the most famous woman of the Jackson clan was not only married to a billionaire, but one herself, Forbes published a piece setting her financial record straight. Many had questioned why Janet hasn’t appeared on the source of all things financial’s billionaire lists and Forbes said the answer was simple: the news isn’t true.
In a piece aptly titled, “Here’s Why Janet Jackson Is Not On Our Billionaires List,” Dorothy Pomerantz writes of Variety’s article which started this billionaire buzz in the first place:
[T]he story does not specifically say that Jackson is a billionaire. It just lays out the money that her work has brought in over the span of her career including $81 million from music and book publishing, $260 million in album sales and $458 million from touring. Together with other areas of business, the revenues add up to $1.2 billion.
But that’s very different than a net worth. Net worth is based on the value of the cash and assets you have at the moment, not on how much your work has brought in over a lifetime. When we evaluate whether people will make our annual list of the World’s Billionaires, we look at things like stock holdings, real estate and art collections. Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire because of the value of her holdings in things like Discovery and Harpo Productions, not because of the ad revenue her show generated over the years…
Jackson owns a lot of valuable songs, 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 our billionaire list). 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.
Well, there you have it. Janet’s certainly not hurting for cash, but from Fores’ run down it’s not likely she’s sitting on a billion dollars worth of assets — except for the fact that her biggest asset, her husband, is actually worth billions.
Oh, and sorry for getting ahead of ourselves when we reported this news yesterday.