Forbes has released their much anticipated highest-earning hip-hop artist list, and the No. 1 spot comes as no surprise. Sean “Diddy” Combs nabs the title of highest earner yet again. All earnings on this list are calculated from June 2016 to June 2017.
Twenty artists rounded out this year’s list with some surprising newcomers, but the top of the ranks was held by those who have been in the hip-hop game for decades. Diddy’s astounding $130 million payday for the last year wasn’t even in reach of any other artist on the list. The mogul’s payday comes from his “Bad Boy Reunion Tour,” his partnership with Ciroc, and the $70 million sale of one-third of his Sean Jean clothing company.
This wasn’t the only list Diddy topped this year. The long-time rapper was No. 1 on the overall World’s Highest Paid Celebrity list that Forbes also monitors. That means Diddy earns more than Beyonce, J.K. Rowling, and Cristiano Ronaldo!
Canadian rapper Drake stole the No. 2 spot on the hip-hop list with a respectable $94 million for the year. No artist in any genre has more streams than Drake in the last year, and his mega-partnership with Apple solidified his second place spot. Most of his $94 million came from his showstopping “Boy Meets World Tour” and paydays from Nike and Sprite endorsements.
Self-proclaimed “best rapper alive” Jay-Z took the No. 3 spot with $42 million for the year. Although Jay’s net worth is higher than everyone on the list, he earned well under half the paydays of Diddy and Drake. Jay need not worry, as he’s signed an astounding $200 million 10-year deal with Live Nation for upcoming tours and shows.
Dr. Dre stole the No. 4 spot with $34.5 million. The epic producer and center of HBO’s The Defiant Ones still earns megabucks from his Beats buyout with Apple. In 2014, Dr. Dre made history after earning $620 million in the largest single-year payday by a living musician when Apple bought his Beats headphone brand.
Chance the Rapper had a phenomenal year, earning $33 million despite never actually selling an album. All his music is free on streaming services, so his earnings for the last year are remarkable. Chance owes this big figure to his many live performances and endorsements with Apple and Kit Kat.
The rest of the list rounds out as follows: Kendrick Lamar ($30 million), Wiz Khalifa ($28 million), Pitbull ($27 million), DJ Khaled ($24 million), Future ($23 million), Kanye West ($22 million), Birdman ($20 million), Swizz Beatz ($17 million), Snoop Dogg ($16.5 million), Nicki Minaj ($16 million), Lil Wayne ($15.5 million), J. Cole ($14 million), Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ($11.5 million), Rick Ross ($11.5 million), and Lil Yachty ($11 million).
Nicki Minaj is noticeably the only female on this year’s list, landing at No. 16. Although Nicki had not released an album of her own in the last year, she was featured on many popular tracks, which added to her large payday. She also thanks MAC, T-Mobile, and Myx Moscato for her hefty endorsement deals.
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