Jay-Z is first hip-hop billionaire: Forbes

Jay-Z performs onstage. Picture: Brian Ach/Getty
Jay-Z performs onstage. Picture: Brian Ach/Getty

RAPPER Jay-Z is the first hip-hop star to become a billionaire, according to Forbes.

The 49-year-old musician reached the milestone thanks to business interests in fashion, a sports management company and a stake in ride hailing app Uber, the magazine said.

Jay-Z, who is married to superstar Beyonce, is also a part-owner of the streaming service Tidal, another source of income on top of his chart-topping music.

It means his net worth “conservatively totals” one billion US dollars ($A1.44 billion), Forbes said.

The magazine said it calculated his total amount by adding up his income before subtracting “a healthy amount to account for a superstar lifestyle”.

It then checked the estimate with outside experts to make sure it was “fair and conservative”.

The nearest hip-hop figure to Jay-Z is Diddy, Forbes said, with an estimated net worth of $US825 million ($A1.2 billion).

It had been thought Dr Dre became the first billionaire rapper when he sold his Beats company to Apple in 2014 for $US3 billion, but Forbes said his net worth would have been about $US800 million due to taxes.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, was born in New York City and rose to fame after releasing his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996.

He married Beyonce, 37, in 2008, and they have three children.