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Jay-Z is the first billionaire rapper, says Forbes

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By Toby Prince

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter can officially add “billionaire” to his growing list of titles.

According to Forbes, the Brooklyn-born artist-turned-entrepreneur’s business empire is now worth $1 billion, making him “one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire — and the first hip-hop artist to do so.”

Together, he and his wife Beyoncé — who has an estimated net worth of $355 million — became a billion-dollar couple in 2017. The short list of other billionaires in the entertainment industry includes “Star Wars” creator George Lucas, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and basketball legend Michael Jordan.

In 1996, Jay-Z became a household name when he released his debut album, “Reasonable Doubt,” on his independent label, Roc-A-Fella Records. Since then, the 49-year-old — who has rapped about his unconventional rise from Brooklyn street corners to corporate boardrooms — has continued to expand his portfolio to include smart investments inside and outside of music.

In 1999, he launched clothing line Rocawear, which sold for a reported $204 million in 2007 to apparel company Iconix. A year later, Jay-Z launched entertainment company Roc Nation, which is now worth an estimated $75 million. In 2015, he submitted a bid to purchase the parent company of Scandinavian streaming service Tidal for a little less than $60 million. The service, which he relaunched later that year, is now worth $100 million, according to Forbes.

On his 13th studio album “4:44,” Carter detailed some of his investments, including artwork that he purchased years ago for $1 million. Today, Forbes estimates that his art collection is worth roughly $70 million.

Aside from investments in art and music, the hip-hop mogul has also expanded his empire to include investments in Uber, real estate and liquor. Forbes reports that his stake in Uber is worth an estimated $70 million, his real estate investments are worth an estimated $50 million and his cognac, D’Ussé, sells almost 200,000 cases annually and is worth $100 million. His investment in the champagne company Armand de Brignac is worth an estimated $310 million.

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Support our journalism with a contribution of any size

Nigeria's media space is swamped with falsehood, deceit and delusion. Just a handful abides by the truth. TheNigerian is one of the unique platforms helping to shape the global narrative about Nigeria and her citizens across the world. It's quite costly to maintain this brand of journalism, however.

Readers from around the world, like you, make TheNigerian's work possible. We need your support to deliver quality, investigative journalism – and to keep it open for everyone. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, your support is essential in protecting our editorial independence. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.

Our brand of professional citizens' journalism requires a contribution from members of the public, patronage and sponsorship to thrive. We rely on this financial support to be able to carry out our numerous obligations of training, running cost, production, printing and general services. We also embark on Corporate Social Responsibilities through educational programs on our TV, newspaper and blogs.

Make a token donation to support us:
Account Name: Patriot and Sage Digital Communication Ltd
Account No: 1015619537
Bank Name: Zenith Bank

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