Hip-hop stars diversifyin' to stay rich: report

Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:21pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Zachary Goelman

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rap star Jay-Z came first in a list of the richest rappers in 2010, earning more than double that of runner-up Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter took in $63 million in personal income between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Forbes.com.

Diddy took in $30 million, followed by Senegalese-American rapper Aliuane "Akon" Thiam at $21 million.

Despite beginning a jail sentence in March for weapons charges, New Orleans-born rapper Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter came in fourth, earning $20 million, ahead of California rap icon Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, who took in $17 million.

Almost all stars at the top of the list all share a common strategy -- diversification.

The top-earning rappers pulled in cash from alcohol sponsorships, clothing lines, nightclub properties and film appearances, in addition to concert tours and record sales.

Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 nightclub chain. Diddy promotes Ciroc vodka and appeared in the feature film "Get Him to the Greek." Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne have record labels. Akon appeared in a Pepsi World Cup ad campaign.

The real money isn't in record sales, said Zack O'Malley Greenburg, a Forbes writer who compiled the list.   Continued...

<p>Jay-Z performs "Empire State of Mind" at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, September 13, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>