×

Music Moguls of the Year: Beyoncé and Jay-Z Make Records and Break Them

“Damn, look at us now … we came, and we saw, and we conquered it all,” the music industry’s ultimate power couple proselytize on “LoveHappy,” the song that caps their 2018 Grammy-winning album, “Everything Is Love.” A more fitting title might have been “Everything Is Money,” because the collection was also an ode to the Carters’ combined wealth.

While Beyoncé and Jay-Z have problems just like every married couple, no other husband-and-wife team has mined its relationship woes for a musical trilogy (including separate solo albums “Lemonade” and “4:44,” respectively), adding to an already formidable nest egg in the process. Clearly, things have changed since 2003’s “Crazy in Love,” the pair’s first collaboration, which features a video shot on the grimy streets of downtown L.A. Last year, they shut down the Louvre to film the clip for “Apeshit,” an apt symbol for just how far the Carters have come. Beyoncé may rap, “My success can’t be quantified,” on the song “Nice,” but Forbes says she has a net worth of $400 million. Along with Jay-Z, a newly minted billionaire, they are among the richest couples in the nation. Queen Bey and Hov — along with daughter Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir — are arguably the equivalent of America’s royal family.

Among the innumerable things that extreme wealth affords is the freedom for Jay-Z to throw shade at the likes of the commander in chief (“Your president tweeting about Hov like he knows us,” he spits on “Salud!”) and the Recording Academy (“Tell the Grammys fuck that zero-for-eight shit,” he declares on “Apeshit”). Beyoncé, too, has been inspired to dis, taking a swipe at Spotify (“If I gave two fucks about streaming numbers / Would have put ‘Lemonade’ up on Spotify,” she sings on “Nice” — although three years after its release, she did.) The Carters even have their own streaming service, Tidal, of which Jay is the primary owner, but both have stakes. They also share a passion for giving back with individual charities — BeyGood and the Shawn Carter Foundation — and joint donation of scholarships for 11 high school students to attend college in the fall.

Beyoncé has nothing bad to say about Netflix, however, having earned $60 million for a three-project deal that kicked of with the Emmy-nominated “Homecoming” documentary of her 2018 Coachella performance. Or Disney, for that matter: The performer was reportedly paid $25 million for her multifaceted role in the live-action remake of “The Lion King,” which included recording and curating the movie’s sort-of soundtrack album, “The Gift.” It may prove to be the gift that keeps on giving this awards season: An Oscar nom for her original song “Spirit” could put her one step closer to membership in the exclusive EGOT club.

Jay-Z, meanwhile, has bolstered his fortune through liquor (he owns Armand de Brignac Champagne and partners with Bacardi for D’Ussé Cognac); real estate (New York City penthouse? Check. East Hampton mansion? Check. Bel Air palace? Check); an art collection valued at d $70 million (including pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst); the sports and entertainment management firm Roc Nation (its client roster features Rihanna and Shakira as well as superstar athletes); and stakes in companies such as Uber. And while he has taken shots for his recently announced controversial partnership with the NFL (which he had harshly criticized for its stance on Colin Kaepernick’s protests over police brutality and racial injustice), a social-change element is built into the deal, along with a check for an undisclosed but doubtless enormous amount.

On top of their individual solo tours, the Carters’ two international treks together — “On the Run” in 2014 and last year’s “OTR II” — made a combined total of more than $350 million, proving that the popularity of these married moguls continues to grow along with the size of their family. As Beyoncé puts it on the song “Boss”: “My great-great-grandchildren already rich / That’s a lot of brown children on your Forbes list.”

More Music

  • Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

    Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Take No. 1 Spot on Top 100 DJs Poll

    The duo of Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike top DJ Mag’s 2019 Top 100 DJs poll, returning to the list since taking the No. 1 spot in 2015 and dethroning Martin Garrix after three years of dominance. The results of the Top 100 DJs were arrived at from 1.3 million votes cast in 179 countries. [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content