Sean “Diddy” Combs got his first job at age 12 delivering newspapers, nestling each delivery inside the screen door of every home instead of tossing it in the front yard. These days, he brings that same attention to detail with products like Ciroc vodka, DeLeon tequila and Aquahydrate water, involving himself in every aspect of the product down to the font of each logo.
“I’ve always understood that if I give the customers my best and service them differently, whether music, clothing or vodka, I’ll get a return on my hard work,” he recently explained to Forbes. Earnings from those brands – plus proceeds from his Bad Boy Reunion Tour and selling a chunk of his Sean John clothing line for an estimated $70 million – puts Diddy atop the hip-hop heap once again with total pretax earnings of $130 million in the 12 months to June.
Drake, the world’s most-streamed artist over the past two years takes the No. 2 spot with $94 million. Despite his gaudy recorded music numbers, the Canadian emcee made the bulk of his bucks on the road during his wildly successful Boy Meets World Tour. He also earns millions for shilling Apple, Sprite and Nike. Jay-Z ranks third with earnings of $42 million, and there’s more on the way: this summer he signed a new pact with touring giant Live Nation that will pay him $200 million through the coming decade.
Hip-hop’s top 20 acts earned a grand total of $619.5 million last year, up 38% from last year’s $448.5 million total. Even without Diddy’s $70 million windfall, overall earnings are up 22.5%, thanks in large part to hip-hop’s dominance in the burgeoning world of streaming: over the first half of 2017, it’s the most popular genre in terms of consumption, accounting for a quarter of all digital spins.
Our list reflects this new reality, particularly though the presence of newcomers like Chance the Rapper (No. 5, $33 million) and Lil Yachty (No. 20, $11 million). Though 24-year-old Chance has never sold a physical album, instead distributing his music freely via streaming services, he smartly uses musical ubiquity to cash in on festival gigs and arena dates, as well as deals with brands like Apple and Kit Kat. The 20-year-old Yachty, meanwhile, rode gaudy streaming numbers and 100 live dates to his debut as a Cash King.
Other big names include Kendrick Lamar (No. 6, $30 million), whose new album Damn. came out in April and soared to the top of the charts; the critics’ darling now grosses more than $1 million per tour stop. On the more pop-oriented end of the spectrum is DJ Khaled (No. 9, $24 million), boosted by six-figure DJ gigs and millions in earnings from deals with Champ Sports, Apple, Mentos and others.
“People probably thought I was crazy to just spend my last penny to invest in myself,” Khaled tells Forbes. “Now it’s paying off … one thing I learned is some investments might take years to kick in, and they are kicking in.”
Other notable names on the list include Cash Money Records founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams (No. 12, $20 million), who gets a boost from having three acts in the Top 20: the aforementioned Drake; Nicki Minaj (No. 16, $16 million), the only female rapper on the list; and Lil Wayne (No. 17, $15.5 million).
To create our list, we add up pretax income from touring, record sales, streaming, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other business ventures. Fees for managers, agents and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings are calculated from June 2016 to June 2017 and based on data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, Songkick, Bandsintown and the RIAA, as well as interviews with inside sources and a handful of the artists themselves.
Meanwhile, the next generation of hip-hop stars – younger even than Lil Yachty – is already on the move. Khaled’s son, Asahd, turns one this fall but already has 1.5 million Instagram followers, closing in on his dad’s 7.7 million. Says Khaled: “My son got a Rolls-Royce already… a Rolls-Royce car seat.” – Written by ,
HUGO BOSS Partners With Porsche To Bring Action-Packed Racing Experience Through Formula E
Brought to you by Hugo Boss
HUGO BOSS and Porsche have partnered to bring an action-packed racing experience to the streets of the world’s major cities through Formula E.
Formula E is known for its fascinating races globally. The partnership will have a strong focus on the future of motorsport. In doing so the races will host a unique series for the development of electric vehicle technology, refining the design, functionality and sustainability of electric cars while creating an exciting global entertainment brand.
HUGO BOSS which boasts a long tradition of motorsports sponsorship – has been successfully engaged in the electric-powered racing series since the end of 2017.
In this collaboration, HUGO BOSS brings its 35 years of experience and expertise in the motorsport arena to Formula E, as well as the dynamic style the fashion brand is renowned for.
Mark Langer HUGO BOSS, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) says that though they have been working successfully with motorsports over the years, he is exceptionally pleased that as a fashion brand they are taking the cooperation to new heights.
“As a fashion brand, we are always looking at innovative approaches to design and sustainability. When we first encountered Formula E, we immediately saw its potential and we are pleased to be the first apparel partner to support this exciting new motorsport series,” he says.
The fashion group is also the official outfitter to the entire Porsche motorsports team worldwide.
The fascination with perfect design and innovation, along with the Porshe and Hugo Boss shared passion for racing, inspired Hugo Boss to produce the Porsche x Boss capsule collection.
Its standout features include premium leather and wool materials presented in the Porsche and HUGO BOSS colors of silver, black and red.
Since March, a range of menswear styles from the debut capsule collection is available online and at selected BOSS stores. In South Africa the first pieces of the capsule will come as a part of the FW 19 collection.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E says he is confident that the racers will put their best foot forward on the racecourse.
“This new partnership will see the team on the ground at each race dressed with a winning mindset and ready to deliver a spectacular event in cities across the world. As the first Official Apparel Partner of the series, we look forward to seeing the dynamic style and innovation on show that BOSS is renowned for,” says Agag.
Oliver Blume CEO of Porsche AG says Formula E is an exceptionally attractive racing series for motorsport vehicles to develop.
“It offers us the perfect environment to strategically evolve our vehicles in terms of efficiency and sustainability. We’re looking forward to being on board in the 2019/2020 season. In this context, the renowned fashion group HUGO BOSS represents the perfect partner to outfit our team.”
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