Forbes has released its annual list of “The World’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians” for 2013, and a number of African-American top artists made the list. Mixed in with a flurry of country, classic rock and pop musicians, Black artists made their mark on American audiences and the economy at large.
Larger than life R&B pop diva Beyoncé came out at the top of the list after grossing $53 million in 2013. Her “Mrs. Carter” tour earned over $2 million per show, and she was able to inflate her earnings with endorsement deals with H&M and Pepsi.
Diddy was close behind Bey, earning an incredible $50 million this year. Forbes reported that Diddy’s earnings came from a plethora of business ventures, including his longtime record label Bad Boy Records. Ciroc Vodka, his stylish clothing line, Sean John, and his polished marketing firm were other components of the rapper and entrepreneur’s successful year.
Caribbean megastar Rihanna continues to deliver strong numbers, bringing in $43 million after releasing a successful new album, “Unapologetic,” and creating as much buzz as possible.
Rap powerhouse Jay Z barely made his way onto the list, grossing $42 million. This is the second year Jay has earned less than his longtime life partner and wife, Beyoncé. Nonetheless, his high profile Roc Nation record label and his investment in Armand de Brignac champagne has scored him a lucrative spot on the list of the world’s highest paid musicians.
Rounding out the list is the legendary rapper Dr. Dre, who has been able to reinvent himself and his business endeavors over the better part of 25 years, earning a staggering $40 million in 2013. Dre’s highly successful headphone company Beats By Dre is the gift that keeps on giving to the Los Angeles– based mogul’s wallet and powerful business persona.
2013 has been a successful year for American hip-hop and R&B business geniuses. These top artists have found ways to financially dominate the entertainment market by making intelligent investments and business deals, while finding the time to tour nonstop.
If you follow Forbes’ yearly success aggregations, you may notice that Kanye West did not make this year’s list after receiving a spot in 2012. Things can certainly sway from one year to another, as the top 25 highest-paid musicians find new avenues to monetary gain and prestige. We look forward to checking out 2014’s list to see what new Black artists and lyricists will make the cut and advance into the music industry’s financial elite.