West isn’t the only familiar name to have a career year, even in his own family. Travis Scott, seemingly set to become an uncle to West’s children, rode his Astroworld – Wish You Were Here Tour to a $58 million payday and the No. 5 spot on the list. That’s two places ahead of DJ Khaled, who notched a personal best $40 million annual haul after overcoming his fear of flying in the wake of his son’s birth—and expanded his touring business while adding partnerships with Air Jordan and Luc Belaire.
“Khaled is the guy you want on your team,” says the DJ and third-person enthusiast. “Khaled is a guy that is going to hit that home run ‘cause his work ethic is incredible. His heart is in the right place. His mindset is focused. He’s ahead of his time.”
Live music, however, isn’t the only path to profit. Diddy (No. 4, $70 million) raked in the bulk of his bucks from his lucrative deal with Diageo’s Ciroc vodka; Birdman (No. 16, $20 million) owes his payday to his appropriately-titled label Cash Money Records; and Nas (No. 18, $19 million) returns to the list for the second-straight year thanks largely to multimillion-dollar exits in startup investments like PillPack and Lyft.
There are two newcomers on this year’s list. The highest-paid among them is Donald Glover (No. 10, $35 million), who padded his coffers with his work on Atlanta and his This Is America Tour (as Childish Gambino). Cardi B (No. 13, $28 million) follows close behind—at age 26, she’s the youngest artist in this year’s rankings—and joins Nicki Minaj (No. 12, $29 million) as one of only two women on the list, the latest example of a pay gap that has long plagued hip-hop.
Though Minaj recently announced plans to retire, there are plenty of young female emcees who should soon be pushing for spots on the list. Among those to keep an eye on: Meghan Thee Stallion, Tierra Whack and Rico Nasty, all of whom are in the midst of building lasting fan bases. Or, as the latter put it to Forbes earlier this year: “This is my opportunity to make these people lifelong friends.”Please Scroll Below for NEXT Page to continue