Diddy Tops Forbes' 'Cash Kings' List for the Second Year in a Row


Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is the highest-paid man in hip-hop — for the second year in a row.

According to Forbes, Diddy pulled in an impressive $62 million this past year.

He can attribute his wealth in 2016 to his Ciroc deal and other endorsements — not so much his music.

via Forbes:

Jay Z ranks second with earnings of $53.5 million. He didn’t play many shows or release a new album during the past 12 months, but continued to cash in on his Roc Nation entertainment company, Armand de Brignac champagne, D’Ussé cognac and other ventures. Dre rounds out the top three with a $41 million haul. It’s been two years since he scored the highest single-year payday in history for any living celebrity–$620 million, mostly from Apple's AAPL -0.29% $3 billion Beats buyout–but he continues to pocket cash from the deal and from biopic Straight Outta Compton.

Overall, it’s been a banner year for the business of hip-hop. The world’s 20 highest-paid acts pulled in more than $450 million over the past 12 months, the highest total since 2014 and third-highest in the Cash Kings list’s ten-year history. The only two years with a higher aggregate: 2008 and 2014, fueled by nine-figure windfalls for 50 Cent and Dre, respectively.

A new generation is challenging those veteran Cash Kings for financial supremacy, led by the likes of Drake and Wiz Khalifa. The former claims the No. 4 spot with earnings of $38.5 million–fueled by the best music sales of any musician not named Adele–thanks to new album Views. He padded his total with live shows and checks from Apple, Sprite and Nike; more may be on the way with his new Virginia Black whiskey. Khalifa tallied $24 million to earn the No. 5 rank, boosted by 70 shows and a healthy six-figure nightly average gross during our scoring period.

There are even fresher faces on the list: A$AP Rocky (No. 13, $14.5 million) parlayed lucrative live gigs and a growing array of fashion ventures into his Cash Kings debut, while DJ Khaled (No. 12, $15 million) and Swizz Beatz (No. 19, $10.5 million) returned to the list after brief absences. Khaled made a mint on deals with Apple, T-Mobile and Zappos; Swizz inked a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal to become Barcardi’s global creative director.

“We’re challenging all of our brands to get creative and get disruptive,” he told FORBES in a wide-ranging interview touching on his new gig, his recent experiences at Harvard Business School and his vision for the art world. “Let’s not just pay people to hold drinks in their hands.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, andthe numbers generated over that period are staggering. The top 20 acts pulled in $4.5 billion over the past decade, an average of $22.5 million per act per year. Along the way, FORBES’ pioneering coverage of the business of hip-hop has earned it more than 200 lyrical mentions since 2007 according to Genius, up from 20 in the decades before.

Take a look at the Forbes Cash Kings top 10 below:

  1. Diddy ($62 million)
  2. Jay-Z ($53.5 million)
  3. Dr. Dre ($41 million)
  4. Drake ($38.5 million)
  5. Wiz Khalifa ($24 million)
  6. Nicki Minaj ($20.5 million)
  7. Pitbull ($20 million)
  8. Pharrell Williams ($19.5 million)
  9. Kendrick Lamar ($18.5 million)
  10. Birdman ($18 million)


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