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Jay-Z Just Declared World’s First Ever Billionaire Rapper–Here’s the Surprising Non-Music Business That Bolstered His Fortune

It’s no secret that entertainers earn a lot of money. But not many of them can accumulate a billion-dollar fortune. Rapper-turned-businessman Jay-Z is one of these select few.

And now that his wealth and investments have reached a combined $1 billion, the 49-year-old artist is dubbed by Forbes magazine as the world’s first ever billionaire rapper.

Musician Turned Billionaire

The artist founded the now-defunct Roc-A-Fella Records a year before releasing his first album as a rapper

Jay-Z, born Shawn Corey Carter, started out as a rapper and music producer in the 90s. He’s always been business savvy though. In fact, he founded his own record label even before he made his debut as a musician with the release of his first album, ‘Reasonable Doubt‘ in 1996.

As he enjoyed both critical and commercial success as an artist, Jay-Z didn’t stop pursuing various business ventures throughout the years. These endeavors would later on bring him more profits than his actual musical career. Valued at an impressive $75 million, Jay-Z’s music catalog is actually no match compared to the current value of his other investments and non-music related businesses.

So, how did Jay-Z earn the rest of his $1 billion net worth?

‘Most Lucrative Investment’

Jay-Z has previously featured one of the brand’s gold bottles in his music video for ‘Show Me What You Got’ in 2006

According to Forbes magazine, the billionaire rapper’s ‘most lucrative investment’ so far is his purchase of the luxury Champagne brand Armand de Brignac in 2014. Also known as ‘Ace of Spades’, the brand has reportedly earned Jay-Z around $310 million over the past years. He also owns some stakes in the Cognac brand D’USSÉ which brings the total value of his liquor investments up to $410 million!

While Jay-Z was proclaimed the world’s first billionaire rapper, the title was actually first claimed by Dr. Dre a few years back. The 54-year-old musician, best known for being the mind behind the Beats headphone brand, said that his net worth reached the billion-dollar mark in 2014.

The claim came right after he successfully sold the brand to Apple. However, CNN speculates that state and local taxes actually shaved off enough dollars from his net worth to put it just below his billion-dollar claim.

Jay-Z’s Successful Empire

Jay-Z during a Tidal event. Tidal is a subscription-based service for streaming both audio and video content

Aside from his music catalog and beverage investments, the rest of Jay-Z’s fortune comes from a collection of real estate properties, high-value art pieces, stock investments, and other businesses.

According to Forbes magazine, the rapper currently has $220 million worth of investments in different companies including Uber. He first invested in the transport company in 2013 spending $2 million to buy shares. Years later, his stock in the company is currently valued at $70 million.

Over the past decade, Jay-Z has also been collecting numerous art pieces most notably those from the catalog of the late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. He purchased a piece by the artist called ‘Mecca’ for $4.5 million in 2013 and has even referenced the artist in one of his songs.

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