Dr. Dre highest earning hip-hop artist: Forbes
Dr. Dre tops Forbes' "Cash Kings" list of highest-earning hip hop artists, bringing home a cool $110 million.
About $100 million of that came from the $300 million paid by handset maker HTC last year for a 51 percent stake in the company Beats By Dr. Dre, which sells more than half of the nation's premium headphones, Forbes reports. The rapper, who tied for sixth place last year, and his business consortium bought back half of that stake earlier this summer, the magazine added.
Sean "Diddy" Combs repeated his second-place finish from 2011, though the estimated $45 million he earned from various deals, including his share of profits from Diageo's Ciroc vodka is $10 million more than he had made then.
Jay-Z, last year's top earner, came in third with $38 million from his music and from business deals with Duracell, Budweiser and the Brooklyn Nets, among others. Kanye West, who scored with his and Jay-Z's album "Watch the Throne" as well as shoe and fashion lines, placed fourth with $35 million. Lil Wayne rounded out the top five, with $27 million from his album "Tha Carter IV" plus his Trukfit clothing line and a partnership with Mountain Dew.
The only performer in the top 10 whose earnings came primarily from music alone was Eminem at No. 9, with $15 million from album sales and tour dates.
Forbes compiled its list of May 2011 to May 2012 pretax earnings of living hip hop artists by examining income from music, merchandise sales, endorsements and other revenue streams. Data came from Pollstar, the Recording Industry Association of America, Nielsen SoundScan and industry interviews.