​JAY-Z Is Officially a Billionaire

And he's the first rapper to become one
​JAY-Z Is Officially a Billionaire
Photo: Stephen McGill
JAY-Z is officially a billionaire.
According to a new cover story for Forbes, the publication claims the rapper's fortune "conservatively totals $1 billion," putting him in the company of very few other entertainers and making him the first hip-hop artist to achieve that level of wealth.
The Forbes article points to Hova's entrepreneurial approach to business as the key to his success; rather than promoting other people's products and brands, he created his own. Jay started his Roc-A-Fella record label to release his debut album in 1996, launched his Rocawear clothing line in 1999 (and sold it for $204 million USD in 2007), co-owns the D'Ussé cognac with Bacardi and created the artist-driven streaming service Tidal.
A breakdown of his assets lists Armand de Brignac champagne, valued at $310 million USD; cash and investments (including a stake in Uber) at $220 million USD; D'Ussé at $100 million USD; Tidal at $100 million USD; a music catalogue worth $75 million USD; an art collection worth $70 million USD; and $50 million USD worth of real estate, including homes in Los Angeles, East Hampton and Tribeca.
Of course, it's a particularly impressive rise for a guy who has never shied away from rapping about his humble beginnings as a drug dealer in Brooklyn's Marcy projects.
Just last year, Jay dethroned Diddy to be named the richest rapper.
Read the full rundown on his financial success here.