Dr. Dre performs at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California April 15, 2012. The Coachella festival, which commenced in 1999 on the desert lawns of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, has grown from 25,000 attendees overall to 75,000 people a day, and has become an important platform for alternative rock, rave and electronic music acts. (Photo : REUTERS/David McNew)
A year ago, rapper Jay-Z was ranked as hip-hop's highest earner with an annual income of $37 million. But on Wednesday, it was announced that Jay-Z is no longer the top dog in the world of hip-hop.
That distinction now belongs to Dr. Dre whose estimated annual gross was estimated to be $110 million pretax. And that's not because of his latest album Detox, which contains shelved and awaits release. Dr. Dre can thank a business deal he made in 2008 when he teamed up with Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine and launched Beats by Dr. Dre to sell top quality headphones. Last year handset maker HTC purchased 51% stake in the company for $300 million. However, Dre and his company boutght back the 51% share earlier this year to retain control.
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Jay-Z's annual income was $38 million, a far cry from Dre's. Jay-Z made most of his money outside the recording studio as the rapper has stakes in cosmetics company Carol's Daughter, the Brooklyn Nets, and battery maker Duracell. But his income was not even good enough for number 2.
Diddy took that slot with $45 million that was made largely from his shares in Diageo's Ciroc Vodka.
After those three came Kanye West at number four with $35 million. Then Lil Wayne rounded out the top 5 with $27 million. The other five in the top ten are Drake ($20.5 million), Brian "Birdman" Williams ($20 million), Nicki Minaj ($15.5 million), Eminem ($15 million) and Ludacris ($12 million).
All in all, hip hop's top earns compiled an astounding $415 million last year, the most since 2008, when they compiled $515 million.