Hip-hop stars diversifyin' to stay rich: report
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...