Diddy Tops Forbes’ Wealthiest Hip Hop Artists List

The music mogul gets closer to a billi after increasing his worth by $30 million.

Posted: 03/27/2013 05:12 PM EDT
Diddy

Forbes has released its annual measurement of hip hop’s most finely tailored pockets, and Sean Combs is still at the top.

Factoring in past earnings, current holdings and interviews with financial industry insiders, the Forbes Five: Hip Hop’s Wealthiest Artists 2013 estimates Diddy’s net worth to be $580 million.

That is $30 million more than he was sitting on for last year’s list.

The magazine attributes most of his earnings to his partnership with Ciroc, which could result in a nine-figure check for the Bad Boy founder if the brand is ever bought out, and which may be signaling an improved economy for us all.

"It is one of the fastest-growing brands within vodka," Jack Russo, an equity analyst at Edward Jones & Co. told the magazine. "Consumers are feeling a little bit better about their situation, and with that, they’re willing to spend more on premium products."

Jay-Z, Dr. Dre, Birdman, and 50 Cent also maintain their spots at No. 2 through 5, respectively. 

Jay’s estimated $475 million is a $15 million gain from his earnings last year. He’s still making money from 2007’s Rocawear sale and his $150 million deal with Live Nation, plus he’s added Bacardi’s D’ussé Cognac to his portfolio.

Dr. Dre has made the greatest advancement when competing with who he was in 2012. His $270 million in 2012, which was doubled from 2011, is now at $350 million. He and his HTC partners have cornered 65% of the market share for premium headphones with the Beats line.

Birdman, the Cash Money co-founder/Young Money godfather is up $25 million, to the tune of $150 million, and has even helped nudge Lil Wayne across the $100 million threshold. He’s added a YMCMB clothing line and a GT Vodka deal.

50 Cent, co-author of The 50th Law, added another $15 million in a year. Forbes estimates his current net worth at $125 million, the bulk of which came from the VitaminWater sale in 2007.

The list, a more exclusive version of the magazine’s Hip Hop Cash Kings list (that last year also included a queen, Nicki Minaj), is the music industry’s official tracker for the first hip hop billionaire. 

The full story appears in the April 15 issue of Forbes.

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