jamaican billionaires

Being a millionaire is the dream of millions so can you imagine being a billionaire.  Living the lifestyle of a billionaire is just a fantasy for the ordinary Jamaican but can I tell you that there are Jamaicans who are actually living the lifestyle.  Take a look at 17 Jamaican Billionaires and how much they are worth.

Jamaica is the pearl of the Caribbean and has produced some of the most resilent and hard working people.  It is also categoried as a developing country but there’s plenty of wealth on this little rock even if it is not distrubuted evenly. There is no shortage of people who are raking in big cash. You can also be one of them, check out how you can make money online and become rich also.

Just to let you know upfront, that this list is not exhaustive, as I only gathered the data from the internet.  The figures are estimated as I had no way to verify them.

Feel free to correct me or add any that you think should be included in the comments below.

So here are 17 Jamaican billionaires who have broken the threshold.

17.  Max Alfred Elliot – “Maxi Priest”

Jamaican billionaires

Maxi Priest was born in Lewisham, London, England in June 1961. He is of Jamaican Parentage who moved to England from Jamaica.

He is one of the most successful reggae fusion singers of all time. Priest released his debut studio album in 1985. He went on to release the albums in 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2007, and 2014.

Maxi Priest’s single “Wild World” reached #5 in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and New Zealand and #3 in Norway. His single “Close to You” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 on the US R&B chart as well as #2 in Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand.

Maxi Prient has an estimated net worth of US$10 million dollars (JM$1.3b)

16.  Dorothy Pine McClarty

Dorothy McClarty is one of the most powerful women in Jamaica and also one of the three women who made the list of Jamaican billionaires.

You can’t call it unless Dorothy McClarty says you can because she is the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

She has been a top lawyer for over 45 years and a long serving partner of the reputable law firm Myers Fletcher & Gordon. She retired from partnership of Myers, Fletcher & Gordon, but remains a Consultant.

She served as the head of that firm’s Property Department from 1992 to 1995 and was Managing Partner of the firm’s London office from its inception in 1995 until June 1998.  She was also admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 1995.She also sits on the board of Jamaica National, the country’s top building society that was recently granted a banking licence.

She was awarded the Order of Jamaica (OJ) in 2007.  Always gracious with implacable manners, her integrity and acumen are sought by private and public-sector bodies alike. When she calls, you’d better pick up the phone and pay attention!

Dorothy McClarty estimated net worth is US$10 million (JM$1.3b)

15     David Nesta Marley – “Ziggy Marley”

jamaican billionaires

Ziggy Marley was born David Nesta Marley in Kingston, Jamaica in October 1968. He is the son of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley.

Ziggy and his siblings recorded with their father on the 1979 album Children Playing in the Streets. They later became known as the Melody Makers and played at their father’s funeral in 1981.  The Melody Makers recorded 10 studio albums and their single “Tomorrow People” charted in seven countries.

The group also won three Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album. Ziggy has been active in politics and created the record label Ghetto Youths Crew.

He released his solo album Dragonfly in 2003. His 2006 album Love Is My Religion won him another Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. His 2009 album Family Time features Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, and Jack Johnson. It won the Grammy Award for best Musical Album for Children.

His other popular songs include “True to Myself”, “Drive”, and “People Get Ready”.  His latest solo album Rebellion Rises was released in 2018.

Ziggy Marley has an estimated net worth of US$10 million dollars (JM$1.3b).

14.  Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques – “Sean Paul”

Sean Paul first rose to fame with the Dutty Cup Crew before embarking on a solo career. He has released six solo studio albums, and has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning one in 2004.

He was born Sean Paul Ryan Francis Henriques on January 9, 1973, in Kingston, Jamaica. Prior to entering the mainstream, he scored several hit singles in Jamaica in 1996 and steadily attracted international attention eventually becoming a dancehall superstar.

He released his debut single, “Baby Girl,” in 1996, which proved a significant success. The single was just a forerunner of further Jamaican hits like “Nah Get No Bly (One More Try),” “Deport Them,” “Excite Me,” “Infiltrate,” and “Hackle Mi.” It was in 1999 that Sean Paul finally started to make waves with American audiences.

His latest is a single “When it comes to You” released in 2019.

Sean Paul’s estimated net worth is US$12 million dollars. (JM$1.6b)

13.   Joseph John Issa

Joseph Issa started the Cool Oasis petrol stations in 1994, and later acquired several other petrol stations under the Cool brand. His portfolio has since grown to become a multibillion-dollar entity consisting of more than 50 companies including automotive and household products.

As an integral part of the SuperClubs all-inclusive resort chain founded by his father, John Issa, Joseph has introduced several philanthropic programmes to help the less fortunate.

He also founded the “Educate the Children Fund” in 1987 which was officially launched by Jamaica’s then Acting High Commissioner in London.

As reported Joseph John Issa estimated net worth is US $ 15 million (JM$2b)

12.   James Chambers – “Jimmy Cliff”

jamaican billionaires
Jimmy Cliff is a singer/musician as well as actor. Jimmy Cliff has earned his net worth through his many hit singles such as “Wonderful World, Beautiful People,” “Wild World,” “Reggae Night” and more.

He has also recorded several albums such as “Black Magic,” “Sacred Fire,” “Journey of Lifetime” and others. He has also starred in films such as “The Harder They Come”

In 2003 he was awarded The Order of Merit by the Jamaican government for his contributions to Jamaican music and films. In 2010 Jimmy Cliff became another artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Along with supplying the vocals for his recordings, Cliff also plays the conga drums, piano, guitar and keyboards. Jimmy Cliff was born in Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica in 1948.

Jimmy Cliff is recognized as one of the most outstanding Reggae performers of today and the only living performer to be awarded the Order of Merit, the Jamaican government’s highest honor.

Jimmy Cliff has an estimated net worth of US$18 million dollars (JM$2.4b).

11.  Stephen Robert Nesta Marley –  “Stephen Marley”

Born Stephen Robert Nesta Marley on April 20, 1972, in Wilmington, Delaware, is one of the many Marley brothers Jamaican billionaire.  He followed in the footsteps of his father, reggae legend Bob Marley, by becoming a notable musician himself.

Having inherited the talents and being raised in a musical family, Stephen and his siblings Ziggy, Cedella and Sharon are all members of the family band Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers. He has compiled a rich resume that primarily includes various collaborations and solo projects.

Furthermore, he has done some production work for his brothers, Damian Marley and Julian Marley, as well as he performed on the 1999 Bob Marley mash-up “Chant Down Babylon.” In 2003, he and Damian worked together on an album called “Educated Fools” under the name Marley Boyz.

As a solo artist, Stephen has released to date four studio albums, starting with “Mind Control,” in March 2007. It won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album the same year, after which Marley brought home four more Grammys.

Today, he lives and works in Miami, Florida, where he has his own private recording studio.

Stephen Marley has an estimated net worth of $20 million (JM$2.7b).

10.   Damion Marley – “Junior Gong Marley”

Damian Marley was born in July of 1978 to legendary Reggae artist, Bob Marley and Cindy Breakspeare, who won the title of Miss World in 1976. Though he had a number of half siblings, 10 from his father and two from his mother, Marley was the couple’s only child together.

He was only 2 years old when his father passed away.  Marley began singing and performing at a young age. When he was 13, he helped form the Shepherds, a musical group who opened the 1992 Reggae Sunsplash festival.

The group disbanded shortly after, and Marley began to pursue his solo career. He has since released multiple albums and had various songs reach music charts, including US R&B and rap charts.

He has a son, Elijah, who was born in 2009.

Damian Marley has an estimated net worth of $20 million dollars. (JM$2.7b)

9.  Orville Richard Burrell – “Shaggy”

Shaggy is a reggae artist who has released many popular albums. Three of his albums have been certified Platinum, and one was certified Gold. His hits include “Bombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me’.

Shaggy was born Orville Richard Burrell in Kingston, Jamaica in October 1968. When he was 18 he moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York. He took singing courses and was discovered singing with friends in the streets.

He joined the United States Marine Corps and served in the Gulf War. He would sing while serving to break up monotony. His first hit was the song “Oh Carolina” in 1993 off his debut album Pure Pressure. The Song appeared in the movie Silver.

He released his second album Original Doberman in 1994. In 1995 he had a big hit with the song “Boombastic”, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album of the same name won Shaggy a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 1996.

His 2000 album Hot Shot was certified six times Platinum in the United States. It featured the hit singles “It Wasn’t Me” and “Angel”. That album made it to #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. He went on to release a total of 12 studio albums.

He has been credited with persuading The Voice winner Tessanne Chin to compete on the show. He also appeared in the 2004 film Blast. Shaggy has also been nominated for four other Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album and one for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocal.

His estimated net worth is US$22 Million (JM$2.9b)

8.   Christopher Henry Gayle

Chris Gayle earned his money as an international cricket player for the West Indies. He is also the only Jamaican cricketer to make the list of Jamaican billionaires.

He was born on September 21, 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica; he is currently contracted with the Royal Challenger Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well as the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.

He plays domestic cricket for Jamaica and he is one of only four players who have scored two triple centuries at Test level: 317 against South Africa in 2005, and 333 against Sri Lanka in 2010.

Gayle has been a cricketer since 1998 and has also represented Worcestershire, the Western Warriors and the Kolkata Knight Riders. Before making his first-class debut for Jamaica at 19, Gayle played for the West Indies at youth international level.

Chris has an estimated net worth of $25 million (JM$3.3b).

7.  Paula Kerr-Jarrett Wegman

Paula Kerr-Jarrett Wegman is an attorney and a philanthropist. She hails from a wealthy family and was linked to the prominent Kerr-Jarett family through her former husband.

She is said to be the richest woman living in Jamaica and as such has made the list of Jamaican billionaires.

Paula Kerr-Jarrett is involved in the promotion of Montego Bay and has recently launched a project to establish a University.  They have also build about 1200 homes and a technology park with an area of 48 acre which is estimated to help in employment by opening about 30000 jobs.

They estimate the investment value of this project to be $500 million. Her great-grandmother, Marion Louise Reece Bovell, was the first woman in Jamaica to run in the general elections of 1944 as an independent candidate.

Her estimated net worth is valued at approximately US$45 million (JM$6.1b)

6.   Levi Roots

Levi Roots was born in Clarendon, Jamaica in June 1958. Roots has previously performed with James Brown and Maxi Priest. He was nominated for a MOBO Award for Best Reggae Act in 1998.

Levi was a friend of Bob Marley and performed “Happy Birthday Mr. President” for Nelson Mandela in 1992. Roots became known for earning $50,000 pounds in funding for his Reggae Reggae Sauce on the UK television series Dragons’ Den.

Roots’ sauce is a jerk barbecue sauce and in 2010 a news story in The Grocer magazine reported that Roots had states his brand was worth $30 million pounds. His Levi Roots’ Reggae Cookbook was published in 2008.

He also had a television cooking show and book titled Caribbean Food Made Easy. He has also appeared on the TV series Celebrity Mastermind and Big Brother.

Levi Root is said to have an estimated net worth of US$45 million (JM$6.1b)

5.   Rita Marley

Rita Marley was born July 25, 1946 in Santiago de Cuba.  She is the widow of reggae legend/musician Bob Marley, and a member of the trio the I Threes.   Rita Marley is included on this list as the richest Jamaican woman.

Rita earned her net worth as a singer. She grew up in the upper level of Beachwood Avenue, located in Kingston, Jamaica.  She was raised by her Aunt Viola, while her father went to London to look for work, but he never returned.

She started out by singing along to the radio, and she eventually began practicing with her cousin Constantine “Dream” Walker and her friend Marlene “Precious” Gifford.

The trio later sang for the Wailing Wailers, a local group made of Bob Marley, Peter McIntosh, and Bunny Livingston. The band liked what they heard and got the trio an audition with Clement “Coxsone” Dodd. The trio became known as the Soulettes, and Dodd asked Bob Marley to serve as a mentor for the young group.

In 1966, Rita and Bob Marley fell in love, and they married. The couple struggled financially and professionally. She is known as Rita Marley, and sometimes called “Nana Rita”. She is Bob Marley’s widow and best known for carrying on her late husband’s musical legacy and developing her own career as a solo artist.

After Bob’s death in 1981 she established a charitable organization, the Bob Marley Foundation, to fight poverty and hunger in developing countries. She is called the Queen of Reggae. She recorded a few albums under her name with some success in the United Kingdom.

In 1986, she made the decision to convert Bob Marley’s home into the Bob Marley Museum. She appears in the song “Mary Jane Shoes” on Fergie’s multi-platinum 2006 album The Dutchess. In 2004, her autobiography No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley was released.

Rita Marley is estimated to have a net worth of US$50 million (JM$6.7b)

4.  Usain St. Leo Bolt

Usain Bolt was born in Jamaica on August 21, 1986 to parents Wellesley and Jennifer. A high school school cricket coach recognized Usain’s speed and encouraged him to focus instead on track and field.

He quickly became one of the most talented young sprinters in the world who would eventually set world records in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 4x100m relay. Usain Bolt won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He won five gold medals and two silver medals at World Championship competitions. Amazingly, Usain Bolt’s net worth continued to explode even more in thanks to his performance at the 2012 London Olympics.

Bolt has held several world records including becoming the first person to hold records for both the 100 meters and 200 meters at the same time. He is also a world record holder for the 4 x 100 meter relay. He won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4 x 100 m relay at both the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Bolt retired from competition in 2017.

Usain Bolt is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. He typically earns around $20 million per year, most of which comes from endorsements. Usain has endorsement deals with brands like Gatorade, Nissan, Visa, Hublot, Virgin Media and Puma.

Out of $20 million in earnings, $9 million comes from Puma alone for him to wear their brand of shoes.  Between June 2017 and June 2018, Usain Bolt earned $31 million. Only $1 million of his income was from on-track earnings. The rest came from endorsements.

Usain Bolt is widely considered the fastest human on the planet and has an estimated  net worth of US$90 million (JM$12.2b).

3.  Gordon Butch Stewart

jamaican billionaires

Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart is the chairman of Sandals Resorts International, the Jamaica Observer and over 20 other firms that come under the Appliance Traders umbrella.

Appliance Traders is one of the biggest private sector conglomerates in the Caribbean.  He began his career at age 12 when he borrowed his father’s fishing boat and sold his catch-of-the-day, as well as transporting individuals from their yachts to the harbor front.

His net worth has been placed at approximately US$1 billion (JM135b).

2.    Michael Lee Chin

    Michael Lee-Chin made a fortune investing in financial companies like National Commercial Bank Jamaica and AIC Limited.

    He acquired AIC in 1987, when it had less than $1 million in assets under management.  Under Lee-Chin, the Canada-based wealth management and mutual fund business managed more than $10 billion in assets by 2002.

    However, the firm was hit hard by the 2008 recession, and Lee-Chin sold AIC to Canadian financial services group Manulife in 2009 for an undisclosed price.

    He managed to hold onto a valuable 65% stake in National Commercial Bank Jamaica, which now makes up the majority of his wealth.

    Lee-Chin is estimated to have a net worth of approximately US$2.6 billion dollars (JM$360b).

    1.   Joseph M Matalon

    jamaican billionaires

    Joseph  Matalon is the chairman of the ICD Group, a Jamaican investment holding firm, and for over 20 years, he has applied his knowledge and expertise to transactional finance, investments and banking in several institutions, including the British Caribbean Insurance Company, the Development Bank of Jamaica and the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ).

    He is a director of the Gleaner Co. and Commodity Service Co. and a former director of the Bank of Nova Scotia (Jamaica Limited).

    He was named as the richest and most influential Jamaican personality of 2018.

    Matalon is among the foremost leaders in Jamaica business, part of a family with a legacy of successful business practices for decades.  In addition, he has been involved with a number of special committees to advise the government on financial and economic matters.

    Joseph M Matalon estimated net worth is US 3.6 billion (JM$488b) and he is ranked at No. 1 in the list of top 10 richest man in Jamaica currently.

    Conclusion

    The status of a billionaire comes through inheritance or consistency, persistence and commitment.  You too can aspire to attain that status and maybe sooner than you think you could be included on the next list of Jamaican billionaires.

    Dream big, think outside the box and go after your dreams no matter what the obstacles.

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    Hope you had fun reading and feel free to share with friends and family.

    Categories: Jamaica

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