Forbes has officially declared Tyler Perry to be a billionaire.
In a cover feature published Tuesday, the business magazine estimated that the actor/writer/director/producer — who was once homeless and who grew up in poverty in New Orleans, Louisiana — has a net worth of $1 billion.
In their breakdown of his fortune, Forbes says the 50-year-old has $320 million for his entire library of movies, television shows, plays, and other works, all of which he owns; $300 million in cash and investments, $280 million for his Tyler Perry Studios, which opened its newest Atlanta location on a 330-acre studio lot last year; $60 million for his equity stake in the BET+ streaming service that debuted last September, and $40 million in homes and “toys.”
“I love when people say you come from ‘humble beginnings,’” he told the publication. “[It] means you were poor as hell.”
What makes Perry’s riches even more impressive is that he, for the most part, earned it all on his own.
“You got to understand, I had no mentors,” Perry said. “My father doesn’t know anything about business, and my uncles and mother, they know nothing about this. I didn’t go to business school. Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned in progress.”
Now that Perry is reportedly worth 10 figures, he joins other famous billionaires, including close friend Oprah Winfrey, rapper and music mogul Jay-Z ($1 billion), and Kanye West ($1.3 billion).
Despite his wealth, the “Madea Goes to Jail” star has generously given back to those in need.
In July, Perry gave out 1,000 Kroger gift cards to Atlanta citizens with help from officers at the Atlanta Police Department.
“This is about the community that I love, that I live in and work in,” he said in a statement at the time. “This is about good people who are in need of a hand up, not a handout.”
In June, People reported that Perry donated a brand-new cargo van to Project U First, a nonprofit that distributes hygiene products.
Two months prior, he left a $21,000 tip to the waitstaff at the West Paces location of Houston’s Restaurant, and paid for the groceries of elderly shoppers at 44 Kroger stores in Atlanta, as well as 29 Winn-Dixie stores in the Big Easy.
Perry and his partner Gelila Bekele share son Aman, born November 2014.