Dr Dre overtakes P Diddy to top Forbes' list of highest paid hip hop artists

With earnings of $620m, the rapper has also become the highest paid musician ever according to Forbes

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The Independent Culture

Dre Dre has overtaken P Diddy to become the highest paid hip hop artist in the world, despite not having released an album for over five years.

The rapper topped Forbes’ ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ list with estimated earnings of $620 million (£378m), making him the highest paid musician the magazine has ever evaluated.

Much of Dre Dre’s estimated earnings came from the $3 billion sale of his Beats headphones to Apple earlier this year, as well as other financial ventures including deals with cognac and vodka brands.

Sean Combs, aka P Diddy, and Jay Z tied in second place with estimated earnings of $60 million ($37m).

Combs, who topped the list last year, has not released an album since 2010’s Last Train to Paris but did appear in the Muppets Most Wanted film this year.

The majority of his income came from drinks, clothing and television deals, according to Forbes.


Jay Z’s income did come from musical performances thanks to his “On the Run” tour with wife Beyoncé. His latest album Magna Carta Holy Grail and entertainment empire Roc Nation were also said to have contributed to his earnings.

Drake was named fourth with earnings of $33 million (£20m) thanks to revenue from his latest album Nothing Was the Same, an endorsement deal with Nike and a concert tour.

Grammy-winning duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis completed the top five with $32 million (£19m).

Forbes compiled the list by looking at income from record sales, publishing, merchandise sales, tours and endorsement deals and talking to managers, agents, lawyers and some of the artists.

The earnings were calculated from June 2013 to June 2014 and based on data from Pollstar, the RIAA and Nielsen SoundScan.

Read more: Apple buys Beats by Dre for $3bn