Music charting authority Billboard has released its “Top Money-Makers List” for 2015. The list is a ranking of the highest paid artists in the music industry. Topping the list is pop sensation Taylor Swift, who made a whopping $73.5 million in total revenue last year.
Though sparsely, hip-hop is represented on the list. In fact, there are only three rappers made the cut. The top earner in hip-hop was none other than Roc Nation realist J. Cole, at #27 with $8.8 million in 2015 revenue. He made $1.5 million in sales, $788,000 through streaming, $1.1 million in publishing and $5.5 million off of touring. Cole was one of eight artists on the list to garner a billion streams in the year. He was also one of eight to generate more than a million dollars in publishing revenue.
The other rapper on the list was Canadian standout Drake, at #32. He made $7.4 million in 2015 revenue, broken down as follows: $4.4 million in sales, $2.3 million off streaming, $188,000 off publishing and $464,500 in touring revenue. Drake probably isn’t tripping though. He made headlines after ousting 50 Cent on Forbes‘ list of wealthiest rappers. On that list, endorsements and ventures outside of music are factored in. With a net worth of $60 million, Drizzy trails Forbes list mainstays Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay Z and Birdman.
The final rapper on the list was this generation’s premier femcee, Nicki Minaj, at #39. She made a total of $6.3 million: $1.7 million in sales, $826.5 in streaming, $311,700 off publishing and $3.5 million off touring. She moved moved 425,000 albums in the year and got 1.3 billion spins on streaming sites.
According to Billboard, “touring is once again the determining factor” in this year’s rankings.
In all, including Cole, Drake and Nicki, there were only five Black music artists on the Billboard list (of which Cole is also the highest ranked). The others were The Weeknd, right behind Cole at #28 with $8.6 million earned and Uncle Charlie Wilson at #34 with $6.9 million. Surely, with the surrounding Lemonade, Beyonce (who is absent fro this year’s list) will be ranked for this year.