Music is literally everywhere. You hear it on the radio going to work, in the shops, as a soundtrack to your favourite movies and TV-shows, you listen to it one way or another. And the fact is that the African-American community has a huge impact on the music industry and its development, and that’s what the month of June celebrates - unique and extraordinary creators of African descent. EDM to pop-music, experimental to alternative, every music genre uses samples of songs of great virtuosos: Run-DMC, Michael Jackson, The Notorious B.I.G., Public Enemy, Lyn Collins. Almost everyone knows the words and the melodies of song performers like Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, or Chubby Checker.
While the likes of those mentioned above paved the way for modern artists, it is undoubtedly in recent years that rappers and pop singers, in particular, are interested in what we’re all about: investing!
Let’s see how the following celebrities reached their full business potential, and what makes their music a whole brand.
Shawn Corey Carter, born December 4, 1969, is one of the music producers everyone in the world has at least heard of. At the beginning of his career, he didn’t have any major label give him a record deal, so he created his own, Roc-A-Fella Records, in tandem with his friends.
His story of gradual, yet rapid success is no secret for anyone who is into music, but his business sense is what makes him stand out.
Starting in 2003, Jay-Z actively developed his own brand. Having invested in real estate, he expanded his influence and made a collaboration with Reebok. From there, it was decided - his business was off to a great start.
Throughout the years, Jay-Z had several directions he went with his entrepreneur skills:
One of his most recognised investments were the shares he bought: in March 2015 he completed the $56 million acquisition of Aspiro, a company operating Tidal. This popular streaming service has Spotify and Apple Music as major competitors.
Kanye Omari West is another excellent example of a musician turned entrepreneur.
His early life was supposed to lead him to graduate college and an American dream-like future. Still, Kanye has chosen an unconventional type of reaching his goal by following his gut.
His music skills and talent as a producer made him world-famous, and he used this fame to create his own brand.
Outside the music industry, most people know his name as one that is heavily associated with fashion and collabs with big brands.
His own brand, Yeezy, is worth an estimated $3 billion and is the primary income of his revenue.
His notorious investments and owned businesses include:
Record labels and production companies
Creative content company DONDA
Kanye West is also a shareholder of Aspiro.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty, most known by her stage name, is one of the most famous female singers of our time. Author of 8 studio albums and countless singles and collaborations, Rihanna is a music industry legend. And, even without releasing new music for a relatively long time, she keeps her personal brand flourishing and her fame lasting.
Like many other musicians, she started with business collaborations. Her product of choice was perfume. Her first collaboration grossed $80 million in retail within just a year.
Later on in her career, she established her own record label and bought shares of Aspiro.
Yes, what really made Rihanna rich is her entrepreneur mindset. In the business world, she is famous for creating her own company. Fenty Beauty, a brand focused on make-up and skincare, has evolved into Fenty fashion brand. Now it’s a part of the LVMH fashion group and its estimated value is more than $3 billion.
These people can not only teach us about the importance of channelling your creative side and thinking outside the box but can also be role models for those who aspire to build their own personal brand from scratch. Investments are the best way to earn more and still be able to pursue your passion. This month we learn from great people, while also getting to enjoy their music.