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Jay-Z becomes hip-hop’s first billionaire

American rapper and music producer Jay-Z is officially hip hop’s first billionaire, Forbes declared Monday, founding his kingdom on entertainment but also reaping earnings from liquor, art and real estate.

Jay-Z becomes hip-hop’s first billionaire
Hollywood power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z
The hip-hop artist born Shawn Carter, who grew up in one of Brooklyn’s most notorious housing projects, “has accumulated a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire -- and the first hip-hop artist to do so,” the magazine said in a new cover story.

The house that Jay built includes stakes in Armand de Brignac champagne and D’Usse cognac -- worth $310 million and $100 million, respectively -- as well as $220 million in cash and investments that include a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million.

The 49-year-old also boasts a $75 million music catalog, $75 million from the entertainment company Roc Nation and $100 million from streaming service Tidal.

In addition to his penthouse in New York’s posh Tribeca neighborhood, Jay-Z and his superstar wife Beyonce own mansions in East Hampton, New York and Los Angeles’ swank Bel Air neighborhood -- real estate holdings adding some $50 million to the rapper’s name, Forbes said.

In 2017 Forbes said music’s first couple had officially amassed a joint billion-dollar worth. It had been widely assumed that hip hop mogul Dr. Dre had already achieved billionaire status -- especially after he anointed himself as such in 2014 -- but according to Forbes’ 2018 ranking his personal wealth is closer to $770 million, despite selling his company Beats by Dre to Apple for $3 billion. 

Topics: Jay-Z , Shawn Carter , Beyonce , Forbes , Armand de Brignac champagne , D’Usse cognac , Uber
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