Jay-Z, 50 Cent Top List of Hip-Hop Artists/Producers

jayz2.jpg50cent.jpgMaster rapper Jay-Z was the top-earning hip hop artist last year, earning an estimated 34 million dollars through his albums and a string of other business interests, said Thursday. Jay-Z, born Shawn Carter, released his 11th studio album last year through his Def Jam Recordings. The album opened at the top of the pop and rap charts and went on to sell some two million copies.

He also owns a sports bar franchise, has a stake in the New Jersey Nets basketball team and has endorsement deals with Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard and General Motors, Forbes said in its list of “Hip-hop Cash Kings.”

“Unlike traditional music genres like pop, rock and country, whose artists generally make the bulk of their money selling albums and touring, hip-hop has spawned an impressive cadre of musicians-cum-entrepreneurs who have parlayed their fame into lucrative entertainment empires,” the website said.

Second-placed 50 Cent, known to fans as “Fiddy” and to authorities as Curtis Jackson, came second on the list, earning an estimated 32 million dollars through his music and businesses including apparel, ringtones and video games.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, came in third with an estimated 28 million dollars. The artist once known as “Puff Daddy” runs Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group, which has television interests, a clothing line, restaurants and a cologne.

“Not only do these musicians share a distinct entrepreneurialism, they also market themselves as global brands, and they have the fame, power and influence to make them a dominating cultural force,” Associate Editor Lea Goldman said.

The list went on to include Timbaland at fourth place followed by Dr. Dre at five, Eminem at six, Snoop Dogg at number seven and Kanye West in eighth position, taking home an estimated 17 million dollars a year.


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