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Sean Combs, Jay Z top Forbes list of hip-hop's wealthiest artists

Sean Combs attends the Weinstein Company's 2014 Golden

Sean Combs attends the Weinstein Company's 2014 Golden Globe Awards after-party in Beverly Hills, California, Jan. 12, 2014. Credit: Getty Images / Tommaso Boddi

Sean "Diddy" Combs, whose fortune Forbes magazine estimates at $735 million, is No. 1 for a third year in a row in its annual list of hip-hop's five wealthiest artists.

Forbes said Diddy's portfolio includes a controlling or near-controlling stake in the clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, the alkaline water brand Aquahydrate, the tequila DeLeon and the multimedia network Revolt. The magazine also noted that Diddy's contract with Diageo's Ciroc vodka could land him at least $100 million if the brand is ever sold.

Andre "Dr. Dre" Young repeats last year's second-place standing, with $700 million, thanks in large part to a $3 billion sale to Apple of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones. After taxes, his 25 percent share of the company netted him $500 million, Forbes said.

Brooklyn's Shawn "Jay Z" Carter repeated in third place, after finishing second in 2013. Beyoncé's music-mogul husband upped his estimated wealth $30 million over the last year to total $550 million, through such assets as his entertainment company Roc Nation and the Armand de Brignac brand of Champagne, Forbes said, adding, "Streaming service Tidal's impact remains to be seen."

Queens native Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson went from No. 5 to No. 4 with $155 million from music and such assets as SMS headphones, Effen vodka and Frigo underwear. And Bryan "Birdman" Williams slipped from fourth to fifth, from $160 million to $150 million, Forbes said, thanks to the uncertain fortunes of his music label Cash Money. The subsidiary of Universal Music Group is home to artists including Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne.

Forbes compiled the list by analyzing the artists' past earnings, current holdings and financial documents. The magazine, which reported it spoke to some of the moguls themselves for details on their success, also consulted with analysts, attorneys, managers and "other industry players."

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