Last year, chief Kardashian entrepreneur Kylie Jenner and rapper-slash-business mogul Jay-Z tied for fifth place on Forbes’s list of the wealthiest American celebrities. Their valuation: a cool $900 million.
Then, in March, the magazine offered an update: Just a few months later, Kylie Jenner’s valuation had already risen to more than $1 billion, making her, somewhat questionably, the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. At that point, this allowed her to edge out Jay-Z and demand such timeless philosophical inquiries as what, exactly, it means for one to be self-made when one is also a Kardashian.
But if there’s one thing we should have learned by now, it’s to never doubt the empire built by Jay-Z and Beyoncé. That’s to say: Jay-Z is now a(n estimated) billionaire, too. On Monday, Forbes released a new cover story on the artist born Shawn Carter, naming him the first hip-hop artist whose valuation has crossed the 10-digit mark and one of just a handful of entertainers in general to attain that kind of fortune. And their billion-dollar estimate, editor Zack O'Malley Greenburg writes, is a conservative one, at that.
According to the Forbes estimate, Jay-Z’s music catalogue itself is a vanishingly small part of his fortune—a mere $75 million, the magazine ventured. Instead, much of his wealth comes from various investments and business ventures, including Armand de Brignac Champagne (the largest source of his worth, at $310 million), D’Ussé Cognac ($100 million), and, somehow, the streaming service Tidal (another $100 million on a purchase price of $60 million). Turns out, sort-of botching the release of Rihanna’s Anti won’t hurt your bottom line all that much. Then there’s his stake in Uber, his art collection (he and Beyoncé, didn’t you know, are quite the art connoisseurs), and his bicoastal real estate portfolio.
This development wasn’t exactly unforeseen. Two years ago, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s collective net worth surpassed $1 billion: “I’ve never met anyone that works harder than me in my industry,” she toldForbes in 2009. Turns out, that kind of work ethic runs in the family. And, as the adage goes, the couple who makes vast fortunes together stays together.