For the third time in four years, [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] has been crowned the “Hip-Hop Cash King” by Forbes. The Brooklyn lyricist topped the business magazine’s annual ranking of high-rolling hip-hop stars by earning $63 million over the past 12 months, thanks to business ventures like a high-grossing tour, real estate investments and the successful Broadway production “Fela!”
Jay-Z’s income more than doubled the total brought home by 2010 runner-up [artist id="1244169"]Diddy[/artist], who clocked in at #2 on the list with $30 million earned thanks to endorsement deals and roles in films like “Get Him to the Greek.”
[artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist] came in third, earning $21 million from endorsement deals and his signing of Lady Gaga to his Interscope-backed label KonLive.
[artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] landed at the #4 spot with $20 million in earnings, most of which came through touring; the rapper’s tours last year, I Am Music
and America’s Most Wanted, were the biggest hip-hop outings of 2009 .
[artist id="1061"]Dr. Dre[/artist] came in at #5, earning $17 million through a combination of album royalties from his past projects, executive producing a pair of Eminem releases and income from his headphone line Beats by Dre.
[artist id="961097"]Ludacris[/artist], [artist id="1133"]Snoop Dogg[/artist], [artist id="503162"]Timbaland[/artist], [artist id="1242768"]Pharrell[/artist] and [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist] rounded out the top 10.
Jay-Z has topped the Forbes list every year since its 2007 inception with one exception; in 2008, 50 Cent came in at #1 when the magazine estimated his income at more than $150 million.
The [artist id="1237480"]G-Unit[/artist] boss came in at a distant #14 this year, and he was tied with his mentor Eminem; both multi-platinum superstars raked in $8 million.
[artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] was among those making their debut on the list, ranking #11.