1. Diddy ($820 million)
After changing his name from Puff Daddy to P. Diddy to Diddy over the past couple of decades, Sean Combs may soon have a new moniker: billionaire. He’s closing in on ten-digit wealth on account of his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc, as well as huge stakes in TV network Revolt, alkaline water brand Aquahydrate and tequila DeLeon.
2. Jay Z ($810 million)
Sprint’s $200 million January investment in music streaming service Tidal reportedly values the platform at $600 million—more than ten times what Jay Z paid for it two years ago. His remaining stake’s surge in value helped him leapfrog Dr. Dre and nearly Diddy; continued growth from his Roc Nation entertainment company and Armand de Brignac champagne could put him over the top.
3. Dr. Dre ($740 million)
Apple bought Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and Dre’s cut gave him the largest single-year payday ever recorded by a living musician—now he sits back and watches his cash stash grow. Days after the Beats deal was announced, the superproducer scooped up a 14,000 square foot Los Angeles mansion for $40 million; according to government records, it’s already worth nearly 20% more than he paid.
4. Birdman ($110 million)
Along with his brother, Ronald “Slim” Williams, Birdman co-owns Cash Money Records, home to three of the music world’s biggest stars: Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. All three have been rumored to be leaving the label in recent years, but so far their record deals have kept them in place—and Cash Money’s coffers full.
5. Drake ($90 million)
Last year’s Views
became the first album to top 1 billion spins on Apple Music and helped fuel a grueling tour that took Drake from Atlanta to Amsterdam, grossing north of $1 million per night along the way. His deals with Apple, Nike and Sprite should keep the cash coming even when he’s not on the road. At just 30 years of age, he’s young enough to be the son of any of his fellow list members.
This list was combined by Forbes looking at past earnings, valuing current holdings, leafing through financial documents and talking to analysts, attorneys, managers, other industry players and even some of the moguls themselves to find the details.