Hip-hop star Jay-Z's talent for extending beyond rap to the executive worlds of music, fashion and other businesses has earned him the top spot on Forbes magazine's "Hip-Hop Cash Kings" list.
Forbes on Thursday said Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, raked in $US34 million in 2006, the year he released a comeback album Kingdom Come.
But the boyfriend of pop singer Beyonce earned much of that income as chief executive of New York-based Def Jam Recordings, owner of a sports bar franchise and holder of endorsements deals with Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard and General Motors, Forbes said.
In March, Jay-Z, 36, sold his Rocawear fashion label for $US204 million - a sum that will again place him high up in the music world's earnings for 2007.
Diddy - real name Sean Combs - came in third. He owns the Sean John clothing label and a cologne that he licensed to Estee Lauder. He also is an MTV television producer. Timbaland, whose real name is Timothy Mosley, was No. 4 with earnings of $US21 million from collaborations and running Mosley Music Group.
Dr Dre, aka Andre Young, grabbed fifth place with $US20 million from ventures that include running Aftermath Entertainment, followed by Eminem at No. 6, who brought in $US18 million, and Snoop Dogg at No. 7, who earned $US17 million.
Forbes associate editor Lea Goldman said the hip-hop stars are "masters at branding and cross-promotion" so that "they're still making a killing as the rest of the music industry suffers."
"They get that it's not just about selling albums, but about selling a lifestyle," she said. "So they've plowed their earnings into media empires that include their own record labels, clothing lines, restaurants and bars."
Grammy award winner Kanye West was No. 8 with $US17 million followed by Pharrell Williams, who has his own sneaker and clothing lines, and Scott Storch, a former keyboardist with the Roots turned hip-hop and pop writer and producer. Both also earned $US17 million.