Diddy Leads Hip-Hop Top-Earners List

Nicki Minaj ranks fourth, making her the highest-paid woman

Sean 'Diddy' Combs
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
September 25, 2013 11:00 AM ET

Diddy was named hip-hop's richest artist last March, and he's still holding down the top spot. The Bad Boy Records founder leads Forbes' latest list of the highest paid hip-hop artists, raking in $50 million over the past 12 months with his label, vodka brand Ciroc, clothing line Sean Jean and forthcoming TV channel Revolt.

Diddy Tops List of Richest Hip-Hop Artists

Though Jay Z is selling his stake in the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, the rapper still pulled in $43 million over the last year – good enough for the list's second spot. Live shows, partnerships with Armand de Brignac champagne and D'Ussé cognac and label and sports management firm Roc Nation have helped give Jay Z a hefty income. And of course, he picked up $5 million from Samsung and made his album Magna Carta Holy Grail platinum before its release.

Dr. Dre's Beats by Dre continues to pay out well for the rapper-producer; he pulled in $40 million last year, and Beats by Dre looks to expand into a streaming music service soon. Nicki Minaj rolled into the fourth spot with $29 million, making her the highest-paid woman in hip-hop. Her take was boosted by touring and music sales, a nice paycheck for judging American Idol and endorsement deals with companies like Pepsi. Cash Money honcho Birdman came in at Number Five with $21 million.

Rounding out Forbes' Top 10 are Kanye West with $20 million, Lil Wayne with $16 million, Wiz Khalifa with $14 million, Ludacris with $12 million and Pitbull with $11 million.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »