Famous musicians are not resting on collecting just royalties from their records and selling concerts tickets anymore.
They have become multifaceted moguls building business empires that go across various sectors.
Take the massive business empire that 50 Cent has created around his brand.
50 Cent, you’ll recall, is the raised-from-the-dead, shot-9-times rapper, produced by Dr. Dre and Eminem.
But fame did not make him the big bucks, smart business moves did (Just ask Gary Coleman).
Once you’re it, says 50 Cent, there is no time to rest on laurels. It’s time to market the hell out of yourself – thus, getting more exposure.
Most importantly, you have monetise your popularity. From book deals to vitamin water to moisturizers, 50 Cent is dabbling in almost everything.
50's best known and most lucrative recent revenue stream is his endorsement deal with Vitamin Water. After signing on to shill for the brand's Formula 50 beverage, 50 got a stake in parent company, Energy Brands. When Coca-Cola bought Energy in May 2007, 50's stake netted him $100 million.
50 also released a ghostwritten memoir called From Pieces to Weight in 2005. According to Nielsen BookScan, it's sold 73,000 copies in hardcover and 14,000 copies in paperback. At $23 for the hardcover edition and $13 for the paperback, that's $1.7 million in hardcover sales and $182,000 in paperback sales or $1.9 million total.
50 Cent launched his acting career with his 2005 biopic Get Rich or Die Tryin,' but he's yet to achieve the former on the big screen. Get Rich only grossed $46 million, failing to recoup its $40 million budget. 50 followed that up with the Samuel L. Jackson flick Home of the Brave, which made a whopping $499,620. His most recent outing last year in the $60 million Righteous Kill, with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, only banked $77 million.
50, if you haven't heard, was shot nine times: perfect fodder for a video game in which 50 hunts down the guys who tried to murder him. Despite awful reviews, 2005's Bulletproof sold more than 2.5 million copies. At roughly $50 a pop (the game's original MSRP), that's $125 million in total sales. A follow-up, Blood on the Sand, was released this February.
50 isn't just hawking Vitamin Water, clothes and CDs. Since 2003, he's inked endorsement deals with Reebok and Pontiac. Reebok paid him $20 million in 2003 to licence a G-Unit sneaker line. Reebok's reportedly sold more than 4 million pairs at $80 a pop, which means Fiddy's shoes have made more than $320 million in revenue.
He also had an endorsement deal with Pontiac, which sponsored his 2007 tour of New York City's five boroughs to promote his album, Curtis. 50 helped design a bright red G8 sedan and was also sponsoring an El Camino-like G8 pickup, which he unveiled at last year's New York City auto show, but sadly the recession forced GM to cancel plans to build the truck, slated to go on sale this year.
The bullet-scarred mogul recently launched film-production company Cheetah Vision with producer Randall Emmett. The pair is set to develop eight movies, including The Dance with Nicholas Cage and 13 with Mickey Rourke. 50 isn't worried about the recession derailing his movie plans. He told News in Film that he was happy to pay for his own flicks, which would be reassuring if his financial portfolio wasn't being battered by the economic meltdown.
Fiddy's often talked about his plans to crack the Forbes 400. So like any wannabe billionaire, he has a financial portfolio comprising stocks, bonds, investment pools, and real estate. Sadly, like the world's actual billionaires, 50 lost millions in the stock market this fall. Meanwhile, he's struggled to sell the mansion he purchased from bankrupt boxer Mike Tyson, currently priced at $18.5 million, and the rapper's wondering if Tyson's karma has had anything to do with that.
50 is reportedly working on investing in heavy metal, literally. He recently visited a platinum, palladium, and iridium mine shaft in South Africa and hung out with local billionaire Patrice Motsepe. The platinum-selling rapper is apparently considering taking an equity stake in the mine and launching 50 Cent-branded platinum.
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