Vybz Kartel poses for a photo backstage during MTV's Tempo network launch
Source: Getty Images

Vybz Kartel's Fortunes: Breaking Down the Dancehall Icon's Hefty Net Worth

Vybz Kartel has managed to build a decent net worth despite facing a decades-long legal battle. Here's how the dancehall icon built his empire.


Mar. 22 2024, Published 6:33 p.m. ET

Dancehall icon Vybz Kartel is arguably one of the most influential acts in the genre’s history. Born Adidja Azim Palmer in Kingston, Jamaica, Kartel's passion for music was birthed at a young age. His professional career started in the late 1990s as a member of the dancehall group Vybz Cartel. He later adopted the stage name “Vybz Kartel,” and his solo journey took off.

Vybz’s distinct voice and delivery quickly set him apart in the dancehall scene. But his time in the spotlight has been riddled with legal trouble. He has been able to build an impressive net worth despite being accused a heinous crime.

vybz kartel perform at source magazines annual swimsuit issue summer kick off party
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Vybz Kartel perform at Source Magazine's Annual Swimsuit Issue Summer Kick-Off Party.

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What is Vybz Kartel’s net worth?

Thanks to his long and profitable career, Vybz Kartel’s net worth stands at $1 million – according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Music is at the center of Vybe’s fame, as songs like “Dancehall Hero” and “Ramping Shop” helped make him a popular figure in the dancehall community. Furthermore, Vybz has been a mainstay on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Digitial Song Sales chart. His songs “Pon de Floor” and “You’re No Good” reached the Top 50, and spent numerous weeks on the chart.

Vybz has undoubtedly made an impact on dancehall music, and he is unapologetically proud of his contributions.

“My legacy in Dancehall is one of the most powerful,” he told VIBE. “In the Top 5. I brought new ideas and concepts to Dancehall musically and as a businessman. I altered/changed the culture to suit me… I am the most influential Caribbean artiste in 20 years.”

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Vybz Kartel


Net worth: $1 million

Birth name: Adidja Azim Palmer

Birthday: January 7, 1976

Birth Place: Portmore, Jamaica

Spouse: Sidem Ozturk

Kids: 7

Father: Vivian Palmer

Mother: Teresa Palmer

vybez cartel during hot s on the reggae tip
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Vybez Cartel during HOT 97's "On The Reggae Tip."

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Why is Vybz Kartel in jail?

In 2014, Vybz Kartel was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Clive “Lizard” Williams. During the trial, which was 64 days long, prosecutors argued that Vybz was responsible for Lizard’s 2011 disappearance and murder – although authorities were unable to locate a body.

The entertainer, along with three others, were convicted for the crimes, with Vybz facing the harshest penalty. He was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole after 35 years.

While prosecutors suggested that Vybz orchestrated the murder after Lizard stole two guns from him, the singer’s attorneys vowed to appeal the verdict.

“We will be appealing both conviction and sentence on instructions from our clients,” said attorney Christian Tavares-Finson (per The Jamaica Gleaner). “Kartel has maintained his innocence, and that he’s interested in appealing his conviction.”

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vybz kartel performs onstage during mtvs tempo network launch
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Vybz Kartel performs onstage during MTV's Tempo network launch.

Where is Vybz Kartel now?

Vybz Kartel may be free from prison a lot sooner than expected. On March 14, an appeals court overturned the singer’s conviction, ruling that the judge made crucial “mistakes” during the trial as it pertains to an alleged bribery scheme. In February, Vybz and his co-defendants presented their case to London’s Privy Council and received a favorable decision.

Vybz’s attorney argued that the judge egregiously handled allegations that jurors were offered a bribe to return a not-guilty verdict. According to Billboard, the juror accused of trying to sway others was not removed from the trial.

Now, the case is being sent back to the Court of Appeal in Jamaica, as they will determine if Vybz and his co-defendants will be retried for the murder.

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