Forbes released its second annual list of hip-hop’s richest stars. Jay-Z topped the list last year, but 50 Cent’s lucrative VitaminWater stake and other businesses has pushed him into the top spot.
Forbes: It’s been some year for Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. In the past 12 months, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born hip-hop demigod released a platinum album, signed a 10-year, $150 million deal with concert promoter Live Nation and tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Beyoncé Knowles. Quite a record. But only good enough for a silver medal.
While Jay-Z topped Forbes.com’s inaugural Hip-Hop Cash Kings list of the top-earning people in the business last year, in 2008 he cedes the throne to Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, who raked in $150 million over the past 12 months–almost twice what Jay-Z made.
The new king of hip-hop wealth banked $100 million after taxes on one deal alone when his stake in VitaminWater’s parent, Glacéau, was bought by Coca-Cola (nyse: KO – news – people ) as part of a $4.1 billion deal. 50’s portfolio also includes the popular G-Unit clothing line and record label, plus films, video games and a slew of platinum albums, including last year’s Curtis. Also in the works: a mining partnership with South African billionaire Partrice Motsepe (see “The 50 Cent Machine”).
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