Sean Combs attends the ‘Killing Them Softly’ Premiere during 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 22, 2012 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Diddy ranks no. 1 on Forbes’ list of hip-hop’s richest
by Lilly Workneh
Diddy tops this year’s Forbes’ list of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists — and is joined by some of the genre’s other big cash kings.
As the richest man in hip-hop, Diddy – also known as Sean Combs – has an estimated net worth of $580 million.
The Bad Boy Records founder, formerly known as Puff Daddy (among a myriad of other aliases), has been involved in the music industry since 1993.
Yet, Diddy’s rise to riches primarily stemmed from his deal with Diageo’s Ciroc.
After teaming up with the London-based Vodka brand in 2007, Diddy agreed to represent them in the United States as part of a “50-50 joint venture.”
As the value of the popular alcohol label has risen steadily over the last few years, so have Diddy’s profits – and the rapper-turned-entrepreneur is entitled to an eight-figure annual payout if the brand is ever sold, according to Forbes.
Rapper Jay-Z came in second place with his net worth of $475 million. The Brooklyn-raised rapper cashed in $204 million after selling the rights to his Rocawear brand in 2007.
More recently, he has become the public face of the Barclays Center, the new home of the Brooklyn Nets.
Although he owns just a small portion of the franchise, Jay-Z earned huge profits from a series of concerts he hosted at the venue during its opening week.
Dr. Dre ranked third with $350 million after pocketing millions from sales of his “Beats by Dre” headphones, while Bryan “Birdman” Williams ranked fourth, after his Cash Money/Young Money empire largely contributed to his net worth of $150 million.
Rounding out the top five was 50 cent whose $125 million comes largely from past album and merchandising sales.