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The Forbes Five: Hip-Hop’s Wealthiest Artist

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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.


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5

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson at $110 million.

 
 

The Queens-born rapper earned $100 million for his Vitaminwater stake in 2007 and tens of millions more from touring, record sales and clothing.

 
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4

Birdman at $125 million.

 
 

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.

 
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3

Dr. Dre at $270 million.

 
 

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.

 
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2

Jay-Z at $460 million.

 
 

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.

 
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1

Diddy at $550 million.

 
 

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.

 

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