Jay-Z just joined an elite club of entertainers who have hit billionaire status — and he’s the first hip-hop artist to do so. Forbes says the rapper’s art, real estate, liquor and other investments, along with his entertainment industry earnings, have accumulated into “a fortune that conservatively totals $1 billion.” The 49-year-old’s journey from young drug dealer to mega-mogul spans decades and includes numerous record and business deals.
Jay-Z, whose real name is Shaw Carter, grew up in the Marcy housing projects in Brooklyn, New York. After gaining success as a rapper, he created his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records, signing about 50 artists to its roster. A clothing line, Rocawear, and a sports management company shortly followed.
While Jay-Z, a father of three with his superstar wife Beyoncé, is one of the wealthiest entertainers in the U.S., a good chunk of his money comes from other business endeavors. Forbes determined his net worth by calculating the combined value of his businesses and investments. His Ace of Spades champagne, D’Usse cognac, investment in Uber, Tidal streaming service, art collection and three homes all contribute pieces of the billion-dollar pie.