Jay-Z Is Officially The First Hip-Hop Artist To Become A Billionaire, Forbes Says

Jay-Z Is Officially The First Hip-Hop Artist To Become A Billionaire, Forbes Says

Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, becoming the first hip-hop artist to do so, and one of just a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire, Forbes reported.

He did it by building his own brands rather than promoting someone else’s.

Jay-Z’s diversified assets include owning shares in Uber. He participated in Uber’s 2011 Series-B funding round, when the company was valued at $300 million. Its value has since ballooned 200 times to $66 billion. Jay-Z owns real estate in Los Angeles, the Hamptons and Tribeca. He bought the Armand de Brignac champagne brand in 2014 for an undisclosed amount ($200 million, according to Page Six. He owns the Tidal subscription-based music streaming service, which he bought from Swedish company Aspiro for $56 million in 2015. He invested in Basquiat.

Jay-Z billionaire

Some industry insiders we have spoken with say the Forbes estimates for Tidal appears too low.

“And most notably, Sprint paid $200 million for a third of Tidal, valuing the company at $600 million, a tenfold increase on the $56 million Jay Z paid to acquire it in 2015,” reported the verge.


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His entertainment company, Roc Nation, owns a record label, talent agency, touring and concert production company, music, film, and TV production company and music publishing house. It’s home to musical talent including Rihanna, Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled.


Those are just a few examples of how Jay-Z made his money. His journey started in Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, where he was a drug dealer before becoming a musician.

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He has invested in an app to help consumers locate Black-owned businesses, and in Promise, a de-carceration startup for bail reform.

Crucially, he realized that he should build his own brands rather than promote someone else’s.


“It’s the blueprint for our culture,” said Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, who produced some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits. “A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us.”

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To calculate Jay-Z’s net worth, Forbes looked at his stakes in companies like Armand de Brignac champagne, added up his income, subtracted some to account for his superstar lifestyle, the checked the numbers with outside experts to ensure the Forbes estimates were fair and conservative. 

Jay-Z billionaire status: how he got there

Here are some of Jay-Z’s main assets, according to Forbes:

Armand de Brignac champagne: $310 million

Cash and investments, including a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million: $220 million

D’Ussé cognac: $100 million

Tidal streaming service: $100 million

Roc Nation: $75 million

Music catalog: $75 million

Art collection: $70 million

Real estate: $50 million.


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