Usually hip-hop artists have their own genre of ranking on the Forbes list. Don’t tell that to Dr. Dre. This year the Compton-bred beatmaker and occasional rapper earned a total of US$110 million. His earnings were largely due to his Beats headphone line, which he owns in partnership with Korean phonemaker HTC. HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in the headphones company. The deal saw the Chronic executive producer earn $100 million.
According to Forbes, “Dr. Dre leads a slew of pop stars, rock icons, rap moguls and country crooners, many of whom bank the bulk of their bucks outside the recording studio. Though some artists—Jay-Z and Diddy, for example—owe their success partly to business ventures like Dre’s, most of this year’s top 25 are on the list because of touring.”
Other notable mentions on the list are Justin Bieber, ranking at no. 10. He earned $55 million. Justin Bieber is a savvy investor, who apart from his earnings in music, also earns money from venture capital deals he has concluded, which include stakes in Spotify, Tinychat and others.
Pink Floyd rocker Roger Waters ranks second with $88 million, nearly all of it coming from his The Wall Live tour.
Fellow Brit Elton John claims the third spot with $80 million.
Michael Jackson made $35 million more than Dr. Dre. The late pop megastar earned $145 million, in a telling testament to his legacy.