The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artist
The Forbes Five released a short list of hip-hop's wealthiest moguls. It's amazing how much these guys make. Can you guess who number 1 is? If not, just look below.
The Queens-born rapper earned $100 million for his Vitaminwater stake in 2007 and tens of millions more from touring, record sales and clothing.
He cofounded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald "Slim" Williams two decades ago, inking very favorable $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998. The label's value is increasing with the success of rappers Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.
Doubling from a year ago thanks to a major sale. In August, handset maker HTC paid $300m to buy a 51% stake in Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008. Sources say each owned a third of the company before the deal, placing Dre's cut at $85 million after taxes. The agreement also values Dre's remaining stake at $100 million, which could increase rapidly as the company continues to expand.
Unlike his fellow Forbes Five members, Jay-Z still churns out music and goes on tour. He sold his Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007 and signed 10-year $150 million deal with Live Nation in 2008, and also holds stakes in the New Jersey Nets, his 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, cosmetics company Carol's Daughter and other businesses.
The Bad Boy Records founder has remained a mainstream mainstay for 15 years. Lately, he's been banking off of Ciroc vodka. He receives double-digit millions annually as a share of profits. Diddy also has stakes in clothing lines Sean John and Enyce.