NEW YORK: Rapper Aubrey “Drake” Graham became the newest member of The Forbes Five club of hip-hop’s wealthiest artists on Monday with a net worth of $60 million.
The annual list has regularly included rap artists Bryan Birdman Williams, Andre Dr. Dre Young, Shawn Jay Z Carter, Curtis 50 Cent Jackson and Sean Diddy Combs.
However, due to a mismanagement of funds which resulted in a bankruptcy last summer, 50 Cent was superseded by Drake, who has increased his net worth through touring, music releases and business deals with popular beverage and athletic clothing brands.
Drake, a Toronto native who prefers going by his middle name, recently released his fourth album titled Views, which sold an estimated 630,000 copies on its April 29 release date, according to Vibe Magazine.
With each album selling at $13.99 exclusively on iTunes, the 29-year-old made about $800,000 that very night. The rapper stepped into the limelight with the launch on his first solo album Thank Me Later in 2010. The album debuted at the top of the US Billboard 200 list during its first week.
Business mogul and rap artist Diddy continued to hold the number one title with a net worth of $750 million thanks to his agreement with a vodka brand, stakes in his music television network Revolt, his clothing line Sean John and more.
Dr. Dre follows with $710 million, then Jay Z in third place with $610 million and finally Birdman, who falls in fourth place with $110 million.
While his net worth is small in comparison to his fellow club members, Drake is quickly climbing the ranks, earning some $150 million to date before taxes and spending, according to Forbes.
The business magazine analyses artists’ past earnings, values their current holdings and talks to industry specialists to determine which hip-hop star makes it on the list.
Combined together, Forbes said, all five artists are worth $2.2 billion dollars.