From Ice Spice to Lamar Jackson: The Rising Stars of 2023, Here’s Why They Made the Cut for Forbes’ 30 Under 30

This year, Ice Spice, Latto, Steve Lucy, Angel Reese, Sha’Carri Richardson, Anthony Edwards, Kyle Kuzma, Lamar Jackson, Druski, Taylor Cassidy, and Drea Okeke all made the cut. Here’s why.

Ice Spice (photo via Instagram @icespice)

Ice Spice Heats Up

Ice Spice, 23, born Isis Naija Gaston, has a reported net worth of $8 million. Before signing with Universal Music Group’s Capitol and Polydor, she was an independent act on Soundcloud and made her big debut on TikTok. In late 2022 as a TikTok sensation, her song “Munch (Feelin’ U)” took off, and following this success, she released “Bikini Bottom” and “In Ha Mood,” leading to her debut EP, “Like..?” in 2023.

Angel Reese, Ballin’

As Finurah previously reported, LSU’s Angel Reese is more than an NCAA Women’s Basketball champion; she is a compelling personality building a brand. She has Name Image and Likeness (NIL) deals with such brands as Reebok’s basketball shoes, and has an NIL estimation that is valued at $1.3 million.

Sha’Carri Comeback

Track star Sha’Carri Richardson, whose net worth is set at $5 million, is one of the fastest female sprinters representing the U.S. This year was marked as a comeback for her after she’d been disqualified to participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to testing positive for recreational marijuana.

Despite missing the opportunity to debut at the Olympics, 2023 has been a winning year for the 100m world champion.

In her debut appearance at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, LSU track star Richardson made her mark, clinching two gold medals and a bronze in August. Her outstanding achievements were further celebrated at the 2023 USATF Night of Legends held in Orlando during the USATF Annual Meeting. The event paid tribute to numerous athletes for their exceptional performances throughout the year.

On the business side, she has partnered with major brands such as Nike, Beats by Dre, and Red Bull.

Latto: From Reality TV to Real-Life Success

Latto, real name Alyssa Michelle Stephens, was a winning contestant on the newly created Lifetime reality series “The Rap Game,” produced by Queen Latifah and Jermaine Dupri. When she was offered the prized recording contract with So So Def Records, she and her managing family declined, citing that they were dissatisfied with the dollar amount offered. With the deal turned down, she became an independent artist between 2016 and 2018.

She released a self-titled mixtape and had a breakthrough with “Bitch from da Souf” that certified Gold on RIAA. Latto signed with RCA Records in March 2020, releasing “No Hook” and “He Say She Say.” In July, “Muwop” featuring Gucci Mane became a hit. Her debut album, “Queen of Da Souf,” reached 44 on the Billboard 200 in August, followed by an extended version in December with “Sex Lies” featuring Lil Baby.

Side-hustle deals have been flowing in for Latto, who is estimated to have a net worth of $5 million, including a signature meal at Wingstop promoting a lemony herb chicken flavor, promptly called the “Latto’s Lemon Herb Remix” meal.

Kyle Kuzma’s Off-Court Winnings

Kyle Kuzma is currently the top player for the Washington Wizards; this October he signed on for a four-year extension deal for $102 million. His current net worth is reported to be $3 million.

When he was playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019, the small forward was signed to a five-year endorsement deal with Puma, meaning that the deal could be valid up until 2024.

The NBA star has inked a multiyear extension for his footwear and apparel endorsement deal with the GOAT app, a digital sneaker marketplace, ESPN reported.

Anthony Edwards’ Multimillion Moves

Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves has a net worth of $40 million. In the summer, he signed a max extension of five years, $207 million, with a chance of the deal reaching $260 million.

Edwards is the top player on his team, too, and he chose to release a shoe line with Adidas over the much beloved Nike brand.The AE1 from Adidas are scheduled to be released in December 2023. The specific details of the Adidas deal with Edwards for the AE1 remain undisclosed, but the shoes will be available in stores and online at Adidas for $120.

Steve Lacy Goes Beyond TikTok

Breakout star Steve Lacy took over TikTok, the radio, and pretty much every video app platform with his song “Bad Habits,” but who would have thought his reported net worth was $35 million, according to InTouch.

In 2014, while still in high school, the Compton, California, native was nominated for a Grammy with fellow bandmates from the R&B alternative band, The Internet. The band’s 2015 album, “Ego Death,” received a Best Contemporary Urban Album nomination. After releasing a self-produced EP in 2018, his debut album, “Apollo XXI,” earned a nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 2019 Grammys.

In addition to achieving chart-topping success as a musician on the Billboard charts, Lacy, 24, also has flourished as a model, representing esteemed brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, and others.

Lamar Jackson Goes For the Win

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is destined to win big, having already secured the NFL MVP award in 2019, a year after being drafted as a first-round pick in 2018. At 26, he is one of, if not the youngest, QBs to lead a team to the playoffs, earning a well-deserved 5-year, $260 million contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens.

With a net worth of about $40 million, he holds the Pro Era VR deal and, as of 2020, has a partnership with Oakley, showcasing the success befitting a player of his skills and standing, with many more opportunities to come.

Druski, A Creative with Cash

Druski, full name Drew Desbordes, is an online comedian whose face is recognizable from the sheer sharing of his memes. Forbes estimated that Druski, 29, earns $10 million as a creative. Money Inc. reported that the influencer has an estimated net worth of $1 million.

Capturing the attention of stars like Drake, he made a cameo in Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later” music video in 2020. His growing success led to his “Coulda Woulda Shoulda” tour, which grossed $2.5 million. Notably, he holds equity in the hard seltzer company Happy Dad and has collaborated with Nike. He also has starred in commercials for Beats By Dre, Bud Light Seltzer, Call of Duty, AT&T, KFC, and Google Pixel.

Fact, Taylor Cassidy is on the Comeup

Taylor Cassidy, renowned for her rapid Black facts on TikTok, is the creator of “Fast Black History” and “Black Girl Magic Minute,” delivering educational content to 2.2 million fans. Her videos get more than 18 million views, according to Variety. 

Cassidy, signed with WME, is exploring new projects, and aims to expand longer-form content on her YouTube channel. She has created brand-sponsored videos in collaboration with partners such as Puma, Fruit Gushers, and Metro by T-Mobile. Her net worth has not been made public.

What Drea Okeke Knows: Social Media Success

Drea Okeke, an engineer turned social influencer with over 6.2 million TikTok followers, challenges the notion that career paths must align with one’s passion. She is known for hosting “Okeke Drea Knows Best,” her social media series on TikTok and Instagram.

A self-described Nigerian tall girl, she shares her culture globally. Her content, featuring non-natives attempting word pronunciation and understanding customs, serves as both amusement and cultural exploration.

Her net worth, according to Forbes, is $1 million.

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