Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, earned $63 million between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Forbes.com.
“Jay-Z is in a league of his own right now,” says Ryan Schinman, chief of Platinum Rye, the country’s largest buyer of music and talent for corporations. “There are very few artists of any genre, not just hip-hop, who’ve created such brands for themselves.”
Sean “Diddy” Combs ranked second with revenues of 30 million dollars, and Senegalese-born rapper Aliuane “Akon” Thiam took third place with revenues of $21 million.
“There aren’t many artists selling 250,000 albums in the opening week, and that used to happen all the time,” says entertainment attorney Donald David. “The rise of iTunes means people don’t have to buy whole album … and that has changed the business dramatically.”
Although he is in prison since March, convicted of illegal possession of firearms, American rapper Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter ranked fourth in Forbes, with revenues of 20 million dollars, followed, in fifth position, by the Californian rapper Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, with revenues of $17 million.
The richest rap/hip-hop artists in the world have received considerable amounts of sponsorship offered by various alcohol manufacturers, from launching their clothing lines, have earned revenues from nightclubs they hold, from their appearances in various film projects, in addition to revenues generated by record sales and touring earnings.
Jay-Z owns 40% from a network of nightclubs in the U.S. Sean Diddy Combs promote Ciroc vodka and starred in “Get Him To The Greek.” Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne have labels and Akon appeared in advertising campaigns for Pepsi at the World Cup in South Africa.