Sean “Diddy” Combs ranks No. 1 on this year’s “Forbes Five” list of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists, with an estimated net worth of $580 million. The bulk of the Bad Boy Records founder’s wealth comes from his deal with Ciroc. According to Forbes, the agreement entitles him to eight-figure annual payouts and a nine-figure windfall if the brand is ever sold.
The No. 2 spot goes to Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, with a net worth of $475 million, who continues to hold stakes in Roc Nation, Carol’s Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets—and, more significantly, the Barclays Center itself—while adding new partnerships with the likes of Duracell, Budweiser and Bacardi’s D’ussé Cognac.
Andre “Dr. Dre” Young ranks third with $350 million, thanks mostly to his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. A year after selling 51% of the company to handset maker HTC for $300 million in August 2011, Dre and his partners bought back half of the half they sold in 2012—and their investment continues to soar in value due to Beats’ whopping 65% market share of the premium ($99 and up) headphone market.
Bryan “Birdman” Williams owns the No. 4 spot, with his Cash Money/Young Money empire growing into a fortune of $150 million. His roster includes Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Birdman also recently launched a YMCMB clothing line and a spirit called GT Vodka.
Rounding out the list is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson at $125 million. The bulk of his fortune came from heavy sales of his music, merchandise, video games and books in the wake of his smash debut Get Rich or Die Tryin’—and particularly from his payout for the sale of his stake in VitaminWater parent Glacéau to Coca-Cola in 2007.
- Source: Forbes