Sean “Diddy” Combs is still very much on top. With a net worth above half a billion dollars, the Bad Boy founder has topped Forbes’ list of five “Wealthiest Hip Hop Artists.”
The New York native is worth $580 million and even though the list spotlights artists, the brunt of Combs’ fortune came from non-music ventures. Among the deals fattening his pockets is his work with Diageo’s Ciroc. In promoting the vodka brand, the father of six nets an eight-figure annual salary, plus a nine-figure windfall, if the liquor brand is ever sold. “It is one of the fastest-growing brands within vodka,” noted Jack Russ, equity analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “Consumers are feeling a little bit better about their situation, and with that they’re willing to spend more on premium products.”
While Diddy has done well for himself, another big name in Hip-Hop is not too far from taking over the top spot: Jay-Z . Hovito came in 2nd place, with a net worth of $475 million, due in part to the 2007 sale of Rocawear, which brought him $204 million, and a $150 million deal with Live Nation.
Jay also holds stakes in his Roc Nation imprint, Carol’s Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Barclays Center.
Next on the list is Dr. Dre, whose Beats by Dre headphones brought his net worth to $350 million. Rounding out the Top 5 are Bryan “Birdman” Williams worth $150 million thanks to the growing Cash Money/Young Money empire, while 50 Cent takes the last spot with $125 million. 50 hasn’t dropped an album in almost four years, but earned much of his money from previous releases, and income from merchandise, video games, books, and the check he received from Coca-Cola’s 2007 acquisition of Vitamin Water, in which he holds a stake.
Photo: Charles Sykes/AP