Rap moguls Diddy, Jay-Z and 50 Cent have all been named in Forbes‘ new Top 5 Wealthiest Hip-Hop Artists list.
Leading the pack is Diddy with nearly half a billion dollars to his name.
When it comes to net worth, Jay-Z is number two. The top spot goes to Sean “Diddy” Combs, who tops our accounting of rap’s richest with a fortune of $475 million, fueled by his interests in Sean John clothing, Bad Boy Worldwide record label and, most significantly, his Diageo joint-venture vodka brand Ciroc. Jay-Z ranks a close second, with $450 million. Superproducer/rapper Dr. Dre ranks third with $125 million, fueled by past earnings generated from his own career and by helping to launch those of Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, a onetime Dr. Dre protege who reaped a nine-figure payday from the sale of Vitamin Water to Coca-Cola, rounds out the top five in a tie with Cash Money Records cofounder Bryan “Birdman” Williams at $100 million. (Forbes)
The renowned financial publication also provided the reasoning behind each artist’s selection.
In order to form the list, we followed the same procedures we use to calculate the list of the world’s billionaires (released today) — valuing current holdings, looking at past earnings, leafing through financial documents and talking to a bevy of analysts, attorneys, managers and other industry players to find the nitty-gritty details. We considered only performers, which is why hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons isn’t on this list. Though other hip-hop artists including Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams, Rick Ross and others — not to mention pop sensation Bruno Mars, who penned Travie McCoy‘s hit song “Billionaire” — frequently speak of ten-figure desires, we kept our list to five because of the lack of information available on the fortunes under $100 million. (Forbes)
Last year, Jay-Z and his wife/singer Beyonce were ranked the highest-earning couple in Hollywood.
Music duo Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles earned $122 million between June 2008 and June 2009, landing them atop the publication’s annual Top-Earning Couples list in Hollywood for the second year in a row. The couple married quietly in 2008 and are responsible for everything from music (“Single Ladies” and “Empire State of Mind”) to clothing lines, worldwide tours, and product endorsements (like American Express and Budweiser). (Entertainment Weekly)
While Diddy has ventured into fragrances and clothing, 50 Cent recently launched his own sun glasses company.
3-D sunglasses! Much as he did with Vitaminwater, 50 is investing in and consulting for a company called Gunnar Optiks, which makes “lenses optimized for a sharper digital viewing experience,” including a pair for 3-D TV viewing. Ever since 50 made a reported $100 million off his dealings with Vitaminwater, Vulture has been extremely confident in the ostensible rapper’s business acumen (in a manner inversely proportional to our enjoyment of his music), so let’s go ahead and assume this reasonable-sounding Gunnar thing will work out. (New York Mag)
Check out a recent Diddy interview below: