Drake joins Forbes list of top five richest hip-hop stars
By Gina Cherelus
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rapper Aubrey “Drake” Graham became the newest member of The Forbes Five club of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists on Monday with a net worth of $60 million, according to Forbes.
The annual list has regularly included rap artists Bryan “Birdman” Williams, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Sean “Diddy” Combs.
But due to a mismanagement of funds which resulted in a bankruptcy last summer, 50 Cent was superseded by Drake, who has increased his net worth through touring, music releases and business deals with Nike, Sprite and Apple.
“Views,” the fourth studio album by Drake, a Toronto native who goes by his middle name, sold an estimated 630,000 copies on its April 29th release date, according to Vibe Magazine.
With each album selling at $13.99 exclusively on iTunes, the 29-year-old made about $800,000 that night.
Business mogul and rap artist Diddy continued to hold the number one title with a net worth of $750 million thanks to his agreement with Diageo’s Circo vodka, stakes in his music television network Revolt, his clothing line Sean John and more.
Dr. Dre follows with $710 million, then Jay Z in third place with $610 million and finally Birdman, who came fourth with $110 million.
While his net worth is small in comparison to his fellow club members, Drake is quickly climbing the ranks, earning some $150 million to date before taxes and spending, Forbes said.
The business magazine analyzes artists’ past earnings, values their current holdings and talks to industry specialists to determine which hip-hop star makes it on the list.
Combined together, Forbes said, all five artists are worth $2.2 billion dollars.
(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Andrew Hay)