Forbes Names Jay-Z the First Hip-Hop Billionaire

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Jay Zee and Beyonce have a reported combined wealth of $1.4 billion dollars. Photo by www.Digitalspy.com

Jay-Z is making money moves.

Forbes announced Monday 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 like Uber.

The accomplishment is a far cry from his humble beginnings. 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.

Forbes announced Monday that Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artist to rack up a billion-dollar fortune.

His money comes from far more than music.

Since launching 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 with the help of celebrity investors, including wife, Beyoncé –  is estimated by Forbes to be worth $100 million.

The rapper has accumulated $75 million from his entertainment company, Roc Nation, which represents top artists and athletes like Rihanna and Kevin Durant. His own music catalog is estimated to be worth $75 million alone.

As for Jay-Z’s impressive art collection? $70 million.

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