Forbes announced Monday that Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artist to rack up a billion-dollar fortune, thanks to lucrative investments in real estate, art, liquor and businesses like Uber. 

The accomplishment is a far cry from his humble beginnings. Jay-Z (real name: Shawn Carter) was a drug dealer in his hometown of Brooklyn before creating his own label in 1996, Roc-A-Fella Records, from which he released his debut album “Reasonable Doubt.”

Since then, the rapper-turned-mogul has earned 14 No. 1 albums, 22 Grammy awards and over $500 million in pre-tax earnings, according to Forbes.

Forbes announced Monday that Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artist to rack up a billion-dollar fortune.

Forbes announced Monday that Jay-Z has become the first hip-hop artist to rack up a billion-dollar fortune. (Photo: Craig Barritt, (Credit too long, see caption))

His money comes from far more than music. 

Since launching Armand de Brignac (which Jay-Z owns 100% of) in his 2006 video “Show Me What You Got,” the champagne company is estimated to now be worth $310 million. His cognac D’Ussé, a joint venture with Bacardi, is worth $100 million.

Jay-Z has $220 million in cash and investments, including a stake in Uber worth an estimated $70 million, which he originally purchased for $2 million. ADVERTISEMENT

His streaming service Tidal – which was launched in 2015 with the help of celebrity investors, including wife Beyoncé –  is estimated by Forbes to be worth $100 million. 

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”

-“Diamonds from Sierra Leone” 

The rapper has accumulated $75 million from his entertainment company, Roc Nation, which represents top artist and athletes like Rihanna and Kevin Durant. His own music catalog is estimated to be worth $75 million alone.

As for Jay-Z’s impressive art collection? $70 million. 

“I bought some artwork for 1 million / 2 years later, that (expletive) worth 2 million / Few years later, that (expletive) worth 8 million / I can’t wait to give this (expletive) to my children.

The New York native owns two homes in the Empire State: A Tribeca penthouse that he purchased in 2004 for $6.85 million and a $26 million East Hampton mansion bought in 2017 following the birth of twins Rumi and Sir. 

He also picked up a $88 million Bel Air estate in 2017. 

In 2018, Jay-Z tied for fifth place on Forbes’ list of wealthiest stars with Kylie Jenner. The 21-year-old makeup mogul crossed the billionaire barrier in March.

Culled from USA TODAY

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