Andre “Dr. Dre” Young has claimed the title of top earner on Forbes‘ annual list of hip hop moguls, bringing in $110 million in pre-tax earnings.But the rapper’s big haul has little to do with his music sales—he can thank his eponymous headphone brand for the boost. You’ve probably seen people wearing the giant silver headphones with a red “b” logo on the streets or in the subway.
Explains Forbes‘ Zack O’Malley Greenburg:
In 2008 he teamed with [Interscope Records chief Jimmy Iovine] and a handful of other partners to launch Beats By Dr. Dre, which now sells more than half of the country’s premium headphones ($100 and up). That’s music to the ears of Dr. Dre, who collected $100 million pretax when handset maker HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in the company last year.
Dre’s earnings are particularly impressive considering his newest album, Detox, hasn’t even hit shelves yet.
Rounding out the top five on Forbes’ hip hop top earners’ list were Sean “Diddy” Combs ($45 million); Sean “Jay-Z” Carter ($38 million); Kanye West ($35 million); and Dwayne “Lil Wayne” Carter ($27 million).
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