Billboard’s Money Makers ranking of the top earners in music includes Jay Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem. Jay Z is the highest on the list, coming in at #16. 

“Jay Z, 44, sparked both excitement and controversy when he aligned with Samsung to release Magna Carta … Holy Grail,” Billboard says of Jay. “That unprecedented promotion didn’t hurt sales of the album. It entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1, selling 528,000 copies out of the gate and giving the rapper his best sales week since 2006’s Kingdom Come. Racking up robust digital song (7.3 million) and digital album sales (861,000), Jay Z also hit the road twice: first with Justin Timberlake, then as a headliner on his own Magna Carter World Tour. The former, which ranked 15th on Billboard’s top 25 tours of 2013, grossed $69.8 million. Jay Z’s 2013 U.S. concert take stands at $10.8 million.” 

Kanye West is the second highest-ranking rapper on the list at #26, with 2013 earning of $11,574,833.92. Lil Wayne follows West at #37 with $8,788,416.66. Eminem is the final rapper on the list at #39. His reported 2013 earnings for 2013 are $8,524,782.99, according to Billboard. 

Billboard explains that it worked with other entities in order to compile this list. “The data used to compile Money Makers was supplied by Nielsen SoundScan, Nielsen BDS and Billboard Boxscore,” Billboard says. “Artists are ranked by U.S. earnings, calculated from touring, recorded music sales, publishing royalties and revenue from digital music and video streaming. Due to a lack of data, revenue from sponsorship, merchandising and synchronization isn’t included. For album and track sales, Billboard assumed a royalty rate of 20 percent of retail, minus producers’ fees. Billboard treated all streaming revenue as derived from licensing deals and split that to calculate the artist’s take. Billboard applied statutory mechanical rates for album and track sales and Copyright Royalty Board-determined rates or approved formulas for streaming. For labels’ direct deals with interactive services, Billboard used a blended rate of $0.00525 for audio and $0.005 for video streams. Billboard subtracted a manager’s fee of 10 percent. For box office, each artist was credited with 34 percent of the gross, typically what’s left after the promoter and manager’s cuts and other costs are subtracted.”

Jay Z was #2 in Forbes’ Cash Kings list for 2013, following Diddy. Also in 2013, Jay Z and Beyonce combined to make more money than any other couple in the entertainment industry with an estimated $95 million in earnings, according to

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