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The World’s Highest-Paid Women In Music 2017



highest paid woman in music

Shortly after Adele took home the Grammy award for Album of the Year in February, she broke it in half–with the intention of physically sharing it with Beyoncé, the internet concluded—in recognition of the latter’s Lemonade. But Queen Bey won an even more valuable distinction outright: she’s this year’s highest-paid woman in music, pulling in a whopping $105 million pretax.

Beyonce richest woman in music

Beyonce leads the annual list of the world’s highest-paid women in music

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Lemonade was a hit with both critics and fans, giving Beyoncé her sixth solo No. 1. The ensuing Formation World Tour, much of it falling into our list’s scoring period, grossed a quarter of a billion dollars. Then she took time off as she and husband Jay-Z welcomed twins Rumi and Sir this summer. Adele finished second, earning $69 million, boosted by seven-figure nightly grosses on her first proper tour since 2011.

Related: The fabulous life of Dr. Dre after Apple acquired his company

“Adele’s music appeals to listeners of all ages all over the world with her undeniably powerful, emotional vocal interpretations paired with timeless songwriting and production,” says multiplatinum singer-songwriter Skylar Grey. “No matter what genre someone generally subscribes to, it’s hard to find a music lover who doesn’t appreciate what she does.”

In order to form our list, we looked at pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. We gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the RIAA and interviews with industry insiders. The two mononymous stars both earned tens of millions more than the rest of the pack, but there are plenty of notable names further down the list.

Taylor Swift raked in $44 million to claim the No. 3 spot, representing a significant dip from the peak of her 1989 Tour. With the release of new alum Reputation—already the best-selling album of 2017—which came after the end of this list’s scoring period, look for her earnings total to rise significantly in next year’s accounting.

Celine Dion ranks fourth with $42 million, resuming a lucrative Las Vegas residency last February after going on hiatus in the wake of her husband’s January 2016 death. Jennifer Lopez rounds out the top five with $38 million, also boosted by a standing Sin City gig, as well as new show World of Dance, where she serves as both judge and producer.

The rest of the list proves that age is just a number: 71-year-old Dolly Parton (No. 6, $37 million) still tours with the rigor of stars half her age, grossing mid-six figures per city across 63 dates during our scoring period; Barbra Streisand (No. 10, $30 million) remains a huge draw even at 75, selling $46 million worth of tickets on her 14-show stint last year. Next up: Netflix special Barbra: The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!

Earning double-digit millions does not guarantee a spot on this vaunted list—as near misses Madonna, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande can attest. The first two names should be back in the running the next time they go on tour; the latter two could be, too, as their careers continue to progress.

Despite the success of the female stars on the list, there are regrettably still more than twice as many men than women among music’s top-earning stars. Acts like the ninth-highest-paid woman, Katy Perry–who earned millions from endorsement deals with the likes of CoverGirl, Claire’s and H&M–are doing their best to change that.

“I am proud of my position as a boss, as a person that runs my own company,” she told Forbes. “I’m an entrepreneur. … I don’t want to shy away from it. I actually want to kind of grab it by its balls.”

As for Adele’s Grammy? Sorry, folks–it seems she broke it in half by accident.

richest musician

Adele’s $69 million haul is the second-best annual total of her career.

Source: Forbes

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The World’s Highest-Paid TV Actresses 2017: Sofia Vergara Leads With $41.5 Million



highest-paid TV actresses

HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale may be winning awards, but when it comes to money, it’s all about good old-fashioned broadcast television. Just ask Sofia Vergara, the world’s highest-paid TV actress for the sixth year in a row.

This article originally appeared on Forbes Africa by

Vergara banked $41.5 million before taxes and fees in the 12 months to June 1, some $15 million more than second-ranked Cuoco of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, who earned $26 million during the same period.

Read also: The world’s highest paid hip hop artists

Her Emmy-nominated role as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett accounts for roughly a quarter of Vergara’s income, while more than half comes from licensing and endorsement deals with brands such as Head & Shoulders, Pepsi and CoverGirl. (The rest comes from a variety of sources, including movie roles, her talent management agency and speaking engagements.) She now focuses on licensing deals, rather than straightforward endorsements. In licensing deals, she can control the product and enjoy a stake in its sales, with three perfumes she produces in a partnership with Avon, a line of furniture at Rooms To Go and a coffee machine she helped design with SharkNinja.

“Our endorsement department is a well-oiled machine,” Luis Balaguer, Vergara’s manager and business partner for over 20 years, told Forbes. “Even now, our attention is on the people watching Modern Family and how to appeal to them outside of the show, too.”

Also on Forbes: How Mark Wahlberg Became Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actor

Vergara’s business-first mentality has put her way ahead of her fellow stars when it comes to earnings. With per-episode earnings of $1 million, Kelly Cuoco’s Big Bang Theory income, for example, is more than two times Vergara’s Modern Family paycheckBut Cuoco (No 2; $26 million) doesn’t have nearly as many endorsements or licensing deals.

Combined, the world’s 10 highest-paid TV actresses made $156.5 million between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017. Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.

All but two of the 10 highest-earning leading ladies in television hail from the original broadcast networks thanks to long-running series with 20-plus episodes per season. With longer seasons, networks demand more time from their stars but with their more limited slates, they can pour more money into their hit shows. As a result, salaries on these series can soar up to an estimated $1 million an episode, compared to an estimated $350,000 an episode for a limited series such as Big Little Lies.

Ellen Pompeo of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Mindy Kaling of Hulu’s The Mindy Project tie for third place on the list, with earnings of $13 million each. Pompeo’s earnings, like Cuoco’s, are almost entirely from her TV work. Her high per-episode fee allowed her to out-earn Kerry Washington (No 7; $11 million), the only other Shonda Rhimes star on the list, mainly thanks to endorsement work. Kaling has begun a lucrative transition to film – she has Oceans 8 and A Wrinkle in Time opening soon – and padded her earnings with a seven-figure campaign for McDonald’s.

Robin Wright (No. 9; $9 million) joins Kaling from the streaming world. The Netflix star of House of Cards banked big for her role as Claire Underwood on one of the first shows to bring cinematic names to streaming services. Wright has since been joined by the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Stone in terms of film actresses trying out the small screen.

“It used to be that films are the prestigious ones and that television was more the junk food, but that’s not true at all anymore.They are definitely on equal footing,” Paul Verna, eMarketer’s chief video analyst, told Forbes.

Despite her Emmy-nominated performance and attempts to negotiate equal pay, Wright couldn’t squeeze out quite the half-a-million dollars per episode salary of her costar Kevin Spacey. Still, it is generally easier to find pay-equality in television than in film, because small-screen casts often negotiate as a group. In TV, all the stars of a show, whether male or female, tend to make the same amount. Take Julie Bowen (No. 6; $12 million) who earns the same amount from Modern Family as Vergara and her male costars Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill.

The problem remains that there are fewer star roles for women on TV to make that money. According to a recent report by San Diego State University, only 42% of speaking characters on television are women or girls, and only 11% of all programs feature casts with more female than male characters. Luckily, this seems to be shifting as legacy series with strong female characters like Mariska Hargitay (No. 5; $12.5 million) on Law and Order: SVU remain popular, and newer shows including the Priyanka Chopra (No 8; $10 million)-fronted Quantico gain buzz.

As Witherspoon said at the Emmys, “It’s been an incredible year for women in television.” And that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. – Written by 

Source: Forbes Africa

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Top 10 most bankable artists in Africa



bankable artists in Africa

The list of the top 10 most bankable artists in Africa as compiled by  and appearing on Forbes Africa is presented in this article.

  1. Oliver Mtukudzi, Zimbabwe

Oliver (Tuku) Mtukudzi has 65 albums under his belt — more than Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston.

It’s a remarkable career stretching back 41 years with songs that have enlivened parties all over the world.

“I never decided to be in the music industry. It was in me. My mother said ‘you are a good singer but you will never surpass your birth cry. Your birth cry was so beautiful’,” says Mtukudzi.

Born on September 22, 1952, in Highfield, a suburb in Harare, Zimbabwe; music runs in his blood. Both his parents were musicians. They met at a choir competition and sang a duet for life. It wasn’t long before he found his voice.

“I made a three-string guitar for myself from a tin around 1969 or early 1970s with the help of a [relative]. I was always playing it. My father didn’t like it and he broke the guitar.”

It wasn’t going to stop him. He made up songs as a child and sang everywhere he could.

“One day, I decided to perform for my parents standing on the table and they enjoyed it so much I didn’t get smacked for standing on the table. My mother noticed I had been standing on the table, two or three days later. That’s how good it was,” he chuckles.

Mtukudzi followed his passion.

His Tuku Music album, featuring the smash hit Todii went gold in its first month of release in Zimbabwe.

His skill is appreciated from Angola to Zimbabwe where he sells out concerts. He has millions of views on YouTube, has starred in movies and has over 30 awards.

“I don’t understand Shona but I sing along to his music and buy his albums…. His music makes me feel alive,” says South African fan Ntuthuko Buthelezi.

There is no stopping him making the world feel alive.

Read also: The world’s highest paid hip hop artists

  1. Sarkodie, Ghana

Born Michael Owusu Addo, Sarkodie has racked up millions of views on YouTube for his music with his debut album and first single, Baby, among the favorites.

He started out as an underground rapper which helped him cross paths with his former manager, Duncan Williams, who helped launch his career.

Staying true to his identity, he is a big advocate of Azonto, a Ghanaian genre that is said to have been born out of Kpanlogo, a traditional dance.

Mewu, the first single off his fourth album, Mary, sold almost 4,000 copies on the first day of its release in Ghana’s capital Accra.

His hard work does not go unnoticed. Sarkodie was the first Ghanaian to win a BET award and has the most nominations. In 2015, he was ranked the 19th “Most Influential Ghanaian” by e-TV Ghana and in 2013 and 2015, he was ranked 8th on FORBES and Channel O’s list, “Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artists.”

His ambitions don’t end here. In 2013, he launched his clothing line Sark by Yas, launched Obidi Chief Headphones which endorses, among others, Samsung and telecommunications company, Tigo.  In 2014, he also launched the music label SarkCess to empower other African artists.

2017 promises to be an even more exciting year for Sarkodie.

  1. Davido, Nigeria

Davido has claimed a high status in just five years. The single Back When planted him firmly in the music business in 2011.

“It was people like [Nigerian music veterans] P-Square and D’Banj who made me believe that all this was possible,” he recalls.

Dami Duro, an unexpected hit, leaked online almost a year prior to its official release, became the crown jewel for his widely acclaimed 2012 debut album, Omo Baba Olowo.

He became the talk of the continent, securing not just the buy-in of African fans by the multitude, but also unanimous media acknowledgement, with accolades including two MTV Africa Music Awards and the BET Award for ‘Best African Act’. He has also worked with MTN, Guinness, Unilever and has millions of views on YouTube.

“God has been very good and he continues to be. I am very fortunate,” he says.

Last year, he caught the eye of Sony and dissolved his lucrative co-owned HKN record label.

“I had four offers and I went with the one that was going to get my music out there. Right now everybody is trying to grab a piece of Africa. I went with the team that believed and was actually interested in my music.”

Just weeks shy of his 24th birthday, Davido gifted himself with the something money can’t buy. He released Son of Mercy, his very first internationally recorded, produced and released EP; collaborating with R&B It-Girl Tinashe on How Long.

“I could have done an outright R&B record but I decided to take what Tinashe does and fuse that with the culture back at home,” he says.

Davido has collaborated with Young Thug, Future, Trey Songz and Rae Sremmurd, and has toured the world.

No doubt, there is more to come.

Read also: 30 Most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa

  1. WizKid, Nigeria

WizKid is arguably currently the uncrowned king of African music.

Grammy Award-winning artist, Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz, danced to his songs Ojuelegba and Caro, with Keys posting a video on her Instagram account with the caption, “This song makes me happy” and Kylie Jenner posted a video of herself dancing to Wizkid’s music on snapchat.

The Nigerian singer and songwriter is spreading the Afrobeat sound to the world. He co-wrote and co-produced One Dance, Drake’s Hot 100-topping hit, has signed a multi-album worldwide deal with Sony Music International and is a Pepsi ambassador.

WizKid, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, made his mark with Holla At Your Boy in 2010 and has since won many awards, among them the BET Award for Best International Act Africa in 2012 and MTV Europe Music Award for Best Worldwide Act.

His rise to fame started with singing in church at the age of 11 before collaborating with M.I in the award-winning Fast Money Fast Cars in 2009.

He now hangs out with Akon and Chris Brown and has worked with Rihanna, French Montana, Trey Songz, Tinie Tempah and Wale.

  1. Jidenna, Nigerian-America

By the age of 10, Jidenna Theodore Mobisson knew he wanted to do music but was afraid to tell his father who wanted him to be an engineer. It was just as well that his name means embracing the father.

“Luckily after a few years he came around and said ‘just make sure you are an inventor, innovator in your field and you treat your work like a science’,” he says.

It took years to make the dream a reality. He connected with singer and Wonderland record label founder, Janelle Monáe. With her help, two years ago, he produced the smash hit Classic Man with over 56 million views on YouTube; followed by a remix with Kendrick Lamar.

He never forgot his roots.

“As my father would tell the story, I was conceived in Nigeria and then they went to the US for me to be born there so I could have a blue passport,” he says with a chuckle.

At a few weeks old, his parents took him back to Enugu,  Nigeria, where he spent the next six years of his life before moving back to the US.

Life in the US was tough.

“My accent was a lot thicker than it is now and I was teased a lot… Even though Jidenna is my first name, like many African children in the US, I tried to abbreviate it, make it shorter and make it more of a English sounding name,” he says.

By the time he went to university, he made sure everyone knew him as Jidenna.

Last year, he released his debut album, The Chief, which he promoted, first, in Lagos and Johannesburg.

“I am a Naija boy… I want more publishing and royalties to be available to artists in Africa in the music industry so there can be more money and more job opportunities.”

Jidenna has also been working with former US First Lady, Michelle Obama, on her education initiative, does speaking gigs, private shows and was in the HBO series Insecure.

He leaves us with food for thought.

“I hope we don’t chase the American dream but create our own African dream.”

He is dreaming hard.


  1.  Tinashe, Zimbabwe-American

Twenty-four-year-old Tinashe Kachingwe sang before she could talk. Her Zimbabwean father Michael, and mother Aimie, from Denmark, have always helped.

Tinashe was a child model by the age of three, made her first appearance in 2000 in the film Cora Unashamed and her voice starred in the cartoon feature film The Polar Express alongside Oscar winning actor, Tom Hanks.

Her debut album, Aquarius, drew a tidal wave of acclaim especially with the #1 multi-platinum single 2 On featuring Schoolboy Q.

Her graceful twists and turns and magical voice have earned her respect among the who’s who of the industry. She has collaborated with the likes of Nick Jonas, Future, Chance The Rapper, A$AP Rocky, Calvin Harris, Usher, Chris Brown and Britney Spears. Her voice has also earned opening spots on tours with Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and Maroon 5. She also wrote That’s My Girl for Fifth Harmony, was announced as Pepsi’s newest Sound Drop artist and her Britney Spears collaboration, Slumber Party, reached the #1 position on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.

This is a solid foundation for her dream to be an R&B star. Tinashe has taken her career to the next level featuring on the hit comedy Two and a Half Men and will play herself in a multi-episode storyline, on the Fox drama series, Empire, alongside Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard.

Where there is talent, there is opportunity and money.

Tinashe attends the Z100’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2015 at Madison Square Garden on December 11, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)


Tinashe is a brand ambassador for various multinational brands and has relationships with the likes of Alexander Wang, Ralph Lauren and MAC Cosmetics.

That’s not all

She is the face and owner of her own lifestyle brand, Svu Svu, was honoured as one of 2015’s ELLE Women in Music and was hand-picked by Janet Jackson to perform a tribute to her at the 2015 BET Awards.

Money pours in for Tinashe and she is only 24.

  1. Don Jazzy, Nigeria

Like many artists, Don Jazzy, real name Michael Collins Ajereh, started playing music as a child in church before moving to the UK to pursue his career.

“I worked as a security guard in the UK, and after a while I realized I could make some money playing the bass guitar. A friend of mine helped me and took me with their band to play at restaurants and different venues,” he says.

At the time, he would make £150 or £200 for playing for about five hours in London.

“The band got popular that I could make £500 per gig. I grew to the point that I played at a wedding for the President’s daughter at the time.”

This steered him to music production.

Two years later, with then partner D’banj, he decided to move back to Nigeria to make Afrobeats.

“We worked on the album in the UK, so that when we got home we would have something to present. As soon as we got home people accepted us and loved the music.”

It was upward movement from then on. Don Jazzy is a multi-award winning artist, was MTN brand ambassador and is running a successful record label which is home to stars like Dr.SID and Tiwa Savage, is in real estate and launched Flobyt, a company that provides free Wi-Fi in Nigeria.

“With Flobyt we make money from advertising because the people watch like a 10-second video before logging on.”

There is no turning back for Don Jazzy.

  1. Hugh Masekela, South Africa

Born in Witbank, east of Johannesburg, Hugh Masekela is committed to restoring African heritage. This world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer and singer has released more than 43 albums and performed with Marvin Gaye, Dizzy Gillespie, The Byrds, Fela Kuti, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Miriam Makeba.

“The music I make, I don’t call it my music. It is based on my township and indigenous rural roots in South Africa. That’s what brought me fame all over the world,” he says.

At the age of 14, he got his first trumpet and developed his signature sound in the late 1950s, melding jazz with African music.

His first album, Trumpet Africaine, was released in 1962.

In the ensuing decades, he became an international star and an outspoken political voice with songs such as Stimela, with over a million YouTube views, Soweto Blues and Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela), which became an anti-apartheid anthem.

His music did not whither with the apartheid government.

In 2010, he opened the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert; South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma honored him with the highest order in the country given for achievements in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sports, and the US Virgin Islands proclaimed ‘Hugh Masekela Day’, not long after he joined U2 on stage during the Johannesburg leg of their world tour.

Masekela, who also owns a studio and record label, has numerous awards, honorary doctorates and was nominated for a Grammy for his 2010 album Jabulani in the best world music category, alongside Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean and Mumford & Sons. He is insurance company Assupol’s brand ambassador since 2012

Masekela maintains a busy international tour schedule as his fan base around the world continues to grow. He shows no signs of slowing down. Between April and November, he will perform in London, South Africa and three shows in the US for up to $125 to admit one. His music is also sold online for about $10, and reports claim it would cost about $20,000 for a live performance from the star.

Accolades, sold out concerts and smash hits are Masekela’s way of life.

  1. black coffee, South Africa

Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Maphumulo, has not only raised the bar for South African house music, but has put it on the world map.

The multi-award-winning artist was born in South Africa’s house music province, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), raised in the Eastern Cape province, where struggle stalwart Nelson Mandela hailed from, before moving back to KZN to study music. It was worth it.

In 2003, he was chosen as one of two South African participants in the Red Bull Music Academy steering him into the South African DJ scene. He never looked back.

The DJ founded Soulistic Music, a leading management and record company, and introduced himself to the world through a self-titled album.

The year 2008 marked a very fruitful year in Black Coffee’s career. Soulistic Music signed releases from Culoe De Song, Tumelo and Zakes Bantwini, all achieving gold and platinum sales.

Black Coffee took his career a step further to collaborating with international artists. He worked with Alicia Keys on a remix of In Common, released a Superman remix with Drake and even R&B superstars Usher and John Legend want to do songs with him.

One of his Pieces of Me album favorites, We Dance Again became part of a worldwide dance challenge with people taking videos of themselves dancing outside a car.

“This new Black Coffee album is crazy,” said rapper Swizz Beatz on his Instagram jamming to the album.

His work has been recognized all over the world. Last year, he was the first South African to win a BET Award. He also won three South African Music Awards and a DJ Award for Best Deep House, and does sold-out tours.

When in the US, Black Coffee hangs with P Diddy. He has earned the seat at the high table.

  1. Akon, Senegalese-American

With over 35 million albums sold worldwide, numerous awards, five Grammy Award nominations, 45 Billboard Hot 100 songs under his belt and over 51 million likes on his Facebook page, Akon is not only bankable but also unstoppable.

He has had chart-dominating singles like Smack That and Lonely, he’s made more than 300 guest appearances for the likes of Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly and Eminem. That’s not all.

The singer and producer was not only listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world, but also became the first solo artist in history to lock down both the number one and number two spots on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Senegalese-American isn’t showing signs of slowing down. With a new album on deck for 2017, he has set his sights on breaking into Hollywood and is already well on his way to making his mark landing his first major movie in indie action thriller American Heist, a remake of the 1959 Steve McQueen movie The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery.

He is also a friend of corporates, cashing in on the Pepsi soccer ad campaign and was in FORBES’ Celebrity 100 list in 2010.

His unquestionable musical talent aside, Akon is a formidable entrepreneur and humanitarian.

He owns two thriving record labels which helped jumpstart the careers of both Lady Gaga and T-Pain and is founder of Konvict clothing.

With a heart even bigger than his resume, Akon also created The Konfidence Foundation, a youth charity organization, and in February 2014, he launched a partnership to bring solar energy to half a billion African households with the Akon Lighting Africa and, most recently, Akon Lighting Asia projects.

Source: Forbes Africa

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The World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Artists 2017



highest-paid hip-hop artist

Sean “Diddy” Combs got his first job at age 12 delivering newspapers, nestling each delivery inside the screen door of every home instead of tossing it in the front yard. These days, he brings that same attention to detail with products like Ciroc vodka, DeLeon tequila and Aquahydrate water, involving himself in every aspect of the product down to the font of each logo.

This article originally appeared on Forbes Africa by 

“I’ve always understood that if I give the customers my best and service them differently, whether music, clothing or vodka, I’ll get a return on my hard work,” he recently explained to Forbes. Earnings from those brands – plus proceeds from his Bad Boy Reunion Tour and selling a chunk of his Sean John clothing line for an estimated $70 million – puts Diddy atop the hip-hop heap once again with total pretax earnings of $130 million in the 12 months to June.

Drake, the world’s most-streamed artist over the past two years takes the No. 2 spot with $94 million. Despite his gaudy recorded music numbers, the Canadian emcee made the bulk of his bucks on the road during his wildly successful Boy Meets World Tour. He also earns millions for shilling Apple, Sprite and Nike. Jay-Z ranks third with earnings of $42 million, and there’s more on the way: this summer he signed a new pact with touring giant Live Nation that will pay him $200 million through the coming decade.

Top 10 most bankable artists in Africa

Hip-hop’s top 20 acts earned a grand total of $619.5 million last year, up 38% from last year’s $448.5 million total. Even without Diddy’s $70 million windfall, overall earnings are up 22.5%, thanks in large part to hip-hop’s dominance in the burgeoning world of streaming: over the first half of 2017, it’s the most popular genre in terms of consumption, accounting for a quarter of all digital spins.

Our list reflects this new reality, particularly though the presence of newcomers like Chance the Rapper (No. 5, $33 million) and Lil Yachty (No. 20, $11 million). Though 24-year-old Chance has never sold a physical album, instead distributing his music freely via streaming services, he smartly uses musical ubiquity to cash in on festival gigs and arena dates, as well as deals with brands like Apple and Kit Kat. The 20-year-old Yachty, meanwhile, rode gaudy streaming numbers and 100 live dates to his debut as a Cash King.

Other big names include Kendrick Lamar (No. 6, $30 million), whose new album Damn. came out in April and soared to the top of the charts; the critics’ darling now grosses more than $1 million per tour stop. On the more pop-oriented end of the spectrum is DJ Khaled (No. 9, $24 million), boosted by six-figure DJ gigs and millions in earnings from deals with Champ Sports, Apple, Mentos and others.

“People probably thought I was crazy to just spend my last penny to invest in myself,” Khaled tells Forbes. “Now it’s paying off … one thing I learned is some investments might take years to kick in, and they are kicking in.”

Full Coverage: The World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts 2017

Other notable names on the list include Cash Money Records founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams (No. 12, $20 million), who gets a boost from having three acts in the Top 20: the aforementioned Drake; Nicki Minaj (No. 16, $16 million), the only female rapper on the list; and Lil Wayne (No. 17, $15.5 million).

To create our list, we add up pretax income from touring, record sales, streaming, publishing, merchandise sales, endorsements and other business ventures. Fees for managers, agents and lawyers are not deducted. Earnings are calculated from June 2016 to June 2017 and based on data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, Songkick, Bandsintown and the RIAA, as well as interviews with inside sources and a handful of the artists themselves.

Meanwhile, the next generation of hip-hop stars – younger even than Lil Yachty – is already on the move. Khaled’s son, Asahd, turns one this fall but already has 1.5 million Instagram followers, closing in on his dad’s 7.7 million. Says Khaled: “My son got a Rolls-Royce already… a Rolls-Royce car seat.” – Written by 

Source: Forbes Africa

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