Earlier this year Appleshelled out $3 billion to purchase Beats, the company founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. Though the latter quickly claimed to be hip-hop’s first billionaire, a nine-figure tax bill means that won’t happen immediately—but he’s well on his way.
In the meantime, Dre has been racking up plenty of other financial accomplishments. His latest: capturing this year’s hip-hop cash crown with pretax earnings of $620 million. Not only is that the highest annual total of any entertainer ever evaluated by FORBES, it’s more than the combined earnings of all 24 of his companions on the 2014 Hip-Hop Cash Kings list.
“It’s safe to say headphones is a good business,” says DJ Khaled, who makes his debut at No. 20 with estimated earnings of $7 million.
It’s a long way down to the No. 2 spot, where Diddy and Jay Z sit tied at $60 million. Hov’s total is his highest since 2010, bolstered by a diverse list of ventures including his growing Roc Nation empire; 68 concerts in our scoring period, D’Ussé cognac and his latest album, which was certified platinum before it was released due to an agreement with Samsung to buy 1 million copies.
Like Jay Z, Diddy is still working as hard as ever to earn his $60 million payday. His agreement with Diageo Ciroc vodka accounts for the bulk of those bucks, but he gets a boost from other ventures like DeLeon tequila, Blue Flame marketing, Sean Jean clothing, and Revolt TV.