Entertainment

Jay-Z: America’s First Hip-Hop Artist Turned Billionaire

(Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NARAS)

Hip-hop-artist-turned-businessman Jay-Z has accumulated a fortune totaling $1 billion, making him the first in his sector of the music industry.

Jay-Z’s business ventures have taken many paths including liquor, real estate, art, sports and music, according to a report published Monday by Forbes.

Jay-Z has come far from his past as a drug dealer in the most notorious projects of Brooklyn.

He started his own label to release his first ever album, “Reasonable Doubt,” in 1996. The “Dirt Of Your Shoulder” singer has produced 14 No. 1 albums and won 22 Grammy awards.

Jay-Z has become an idol for many looking to follow in his footsteps, including producer Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, who contributed to hits like “On To The Next One.”

“It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us,” Swizz Beatz told Forbes. (RELATED: Beyonce And Jay-Z Are Offering Lifetime Tickets To Fans Who Can Go Vegan For A Month)

“If he’s a billionaire now, imagine what he’s about to be,” he added. “Because he’s only just starting.”

After becoming successful in the music industry, Jay-Z branched out into other industries to grow his fortune. His cash and investments alone total $220 million, including his stake in Uber reportedly worth $70 million.

Jay-Z partnered with Bacardi to create his cognac, D’Ussé, which has reportedly grown over 80% annually. He also started his own line of champagne Armand de Brignac valued at $310 million. Each gold bottle of champagne sells for $300.

Jay-Z is also a partner in the music streaming service Tidal, worth $100 million and sports/entertainment agency Roc Nation worth $75 million.