Jay-Z becomes ‘world’s first hip-hop billionaire’

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Jay-Z

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Jay-Z has become the world’s first hip-hop billionaire, according to US business magazine Forbes.

It says even a “conservative estimate” of his earnings has him breaking the billion dollar barrier.

Alongside music, his fortune includes more than $410m (£300m) invested in alcohol companies and a roughly $70m stake in Uber.

Jay-Z, real name Shawn Carter, grew up in one of New York’s roughest neighbourhoods.

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Jay-Z headlined Glastonbury in 2008

Widely considered one of the best rappers of all time, he once declared: “I’m not a businessman – I’m a business, man”.

And it looks like he was right.

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His music rights alone, Forbes says, are now collectively worth around $75m – with another $75m for his entertainment company, Roc Nation. As well as putting out music by the likes of Rihanna and J. Cole, it also works with athletes and makes films and TV shows.

Then there’s $100m for the streaming service Tidal – a rival to Apple Music and Spotify that he launched back in 2015.

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That necklace alone has got to be worth a few quid…

Jay-Z and wife Beyonce have got several mansions in places like New York and Los Angeles – and, as a couple, Forbes gave them billionaire status two years ago.

Historically, though, not everyone has been on board with Forbes’ evaluations.

Back in 2014, Dr. Dre declared himself a billionaire, but the magazine disputes this.

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Jay-Z has stakes in alcohol companies Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Usse cognac

Last year, it estimated Dr. Dre was actually worth a meagre $770m (£607m) – that’s despite selling his headphone brand, Beats by Dre, to Apple for more than $3.2bn.

Diddy is the other big name rapper in the race, worth about $825m (£650m).

There’s no comment from Jay-Z.

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