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Diddy Tops Forbes' New 'Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists' List

While Jay-Z has topped multiple Forbes'lists over the past two years, including its "Hip-Hop Cash Kings" rankings (which is based on earnings for each year), there's one hip-hop mogul who outdoes Hov in net worth.

That man is Sean "Diddy" Combs.

On the mag's new "Hip-Hop's Wealthiest Artists" list, Diddy outranked hip-hop giants like Jay, Birdman, 50 Cent, and Dr. Dre in estimated net worth.

According to Forbes, Diddy tops the list with a fortune of $475 million, thanks to his interests in Sean John clothing, his Bad Boy Worldwide record label, and the biggest payday, his Diageo joint-venture vodka brand Ciroc.

Jay-Z, however, come in a close second with $450 million; while Dr. Dre ranks third with $125 million, fueled by past earnings generated from his own music catalog, as well as his earning from helping launch the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent.

50 Cent rounds out the top 5 alongside Birdman, both of whom boast a $100 million net worth.

Forbes ranks their lists the same way they put together their new list of the world's billionaires (released this week), taking the following into consideration -- valuing current holdings, looking at past earnings, leafing through financial documents and talking to a bevy of analysts, attorneys, managers and other industry players "to find the nitty-gritty details."

The mag said Russell Simmons could have made the list, but it was narrowed down to strictly artists/performers.


Diddy - $475 million
Fast Facts: Artist formerly known as Puff Daddy built fortune chiefly through clothing line Sean John, record label Bad Boy and Ciroc vodka. Acting gigs, television shows and guest appearances add to coffers. Told Forbes in 1999: "I'm gonna be bigger than David Geffen." Not there yet.

Jay-Z - $450 million
Fast Facts: Beyonce's husband sold Rocawear clothing label for $204 million in 2007; signed 10-year $150 million Live Nation deal in 2008. Holds stakes in New Jersey Nets, 40/40 Club chain, ad firm Translation, other businesses. Lyrical boasts appear accurate: "I'm like really half a billie . . . you got baby money."

Dr. Dre - $125 million
Fast Facts: Superproducer/rapper helped launch careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent. Expanded wealth with Aftermath record label, Beats headphones and HP laptop line. Likens himself to world's first billionaire: "Young black Rockefeller ... gettin' money like a bank teller."

Birdman - $100 million
Fast Facts: Cofounded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald and inked $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998; affiliated Young Money lineup now includes rappers Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. Lyrical boasts ("Richer than the richest!") are simply not true.

50 Cent - $100 million
Fast Facts: Received nine figures for Vitaminwater stake in 2007; spent freely on cars, renovations to mansion formerly owned by Mike Tyson. Cushion remains from catalog, acting gigs and 50 Cent-themed videogames, books, clothes and headphones. Future billionaire? Told Forbes in 2008: "It's probably going to take me 10 years."

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