Forbes announced that Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artist to rack up a billion-dollar fortune, thanks to lucrative investments in real estate, art, liquor and businesses.
Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) was a drug dealer in his hometown of Brooklyn before creating his own label in 1996, Roc-A-Fella Records, from which he released his debut album “Reasonable Doubt.” Since then, the rapper-turned-mogul has earned 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pre-tax earnings, according to Forbes.
Outside of music, he launched Armand de Brignac (which Jay-Z owns 100% of) in his 2006 video “Show Me What You Got” — the champagne company is estimated to now be worth $310 million. His cognac D’Ussé, a joint venture with Bacardi, is worth $100 million. Jay-Z has $220 million in cash and investments, including a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million, which he originally purchased for $2 million.
His streaming service Tidal – which was launched in 2015 – is estimated by Forbes to be worth $100 million. Additionally he has accumulated $75 million from his entertainment company, Roc Nation, and his own music catalog is estimated to be worth $75 million alone.
In 2018, Jay-Z tied for fifth place on Forbes’ list of wealthiest stars with Kylie Jenner.