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15 Music Artists Who Built Business Empires

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There are many music artists in the industry who are not just music artists but have become the biggest business moguls with their successful ventures and investments in various sectors. The biggest businessman in the hip-hop industry, Jay Z once said, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man” through his rap verse and it is ardently followed by other music artists as well. These pop and hip-hop stars of the industry know how to create a successful business venture along with a prolific music career. They have set a new bar for success. Let’s find out the top 15 music artists in the industry who created business empires.

1. Jay Z

music artist jay z business man
Image Source: forbes.com

Jay Z is one of the most successful business personas in the music industry who not only made a lot of money but also helped other artists enjoy the taste of success. Other than being the most famous Hollywood Producer, he has also opened his business ventures in various industries. He runs a huge chain of 40/40 Club sports bars while having a big chunk of the Brooklyn Nets. The MC producer has successfully partnered with Samsung and Budweiser while investing a larger amount in the billion-dollar clothing line Rocawear. Roc Nation is the biggest money-pumping production label by Jay Z. This entertainment company is now exploring the areas of sports management and also working with athletes for promotion. With a net worth of US$2.5 billion, he is the richest hip-hop artist in the industry.

2. Gwen Stefani

Music Artists Gwen Stefani Business EmpiresMusic Artists Gwen Stefani Business Empires
Image Source: variety.com

Gwen Stefani is best known for her magical vocals as well as a judge of ‘The Voice’. However, this music artist also has a parallel career which is helping her earn a lot of attention. While the music industry is quite involved with fashion with designer clothes promoted by the artists, Stefani decided to create her own clothing line of designer clothes which is known as L.A.M.B., the abbreviation of her first music album, ‘Love. Angel. Music. Baby.’ The lineup has stacked more double-digit millions with global demand in the fashion industry. L.A.M.B. is currently generating more than $90 million a year. Most of her creations are related to Harajuku, a notable trait of Japanese fashion.

3. Sammy Hagar

 Music Artists Sammy Hagar Business Empires Music Artists Sammy Hagar Business Empires
Image Source: variety.com

Sammy Hagar, the music artist who belonged to the epitome of the American dream and rock culture; has also become one of the most successful businessmen with his ventures of tequila. The lead singer of Van Halen decided to move to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico and empowered a boutique tequila brand. He turned the brand into a $100 million paycheck by selling a huge stake of 80 % in Cabo Wabo for $80 million back in 2007. It is one of the biggest deals on tequila that ever took place in America. Cabo Wabo is the second-best-selling premium tequila in the USA. Later on, he sold the rest of the stake for 15 million in 2010. However, he maintained his ownership of the Cabo Wabo Cantina restaurant chain along with the ownership of Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill. It is spread over six locations from Maui to NYC.

4. Jimmy Buffett

 Music Artists Jimmy Buffett Business Empires Music Artists Jimmy Buffett Business Empires
Image Source: washingtonpost.com

Buffett sounds good when it comes to food and this music artist has used their name in the right field. This music artist owns a set of restaurants with a Hard Rock Café-esque theme. However, Margaritaville and Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chains are gaining a lot of popularity. The restaurant chain has opened in more than 12 cities now including the regions of Biloxi, Cincinnati, Australia, and Waikiki as well. Jimmy has successfully owned the restaurant world and the Margaritaville brand has expanded to casinos and other options in places like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Bossier City. Buffett is also partnering up with Anheuser-Busch for the Land Shark Lager signature line.

5. 50 Cent

Music Artists 50 Cent Business EmpiresMusic Artists 50 Cent Business Empires
Image Source: hiphopdx.com

50 Cents is one of the most famous rappers in the music industry who gained a lot of fame throughout his career. Other than being a successful MC, he has also made a huge profit by endorsing the product Vitamin Water. The branded beverage Formula 50 became a hit in the market and after a decade, Coca-Cola asked for an acquisition. The share by 50 in Vitamin Water is worth more than $500 million. However, 50 Cent was not successful through his investment plan as his idea of teaming up with SMS Audio was not as fruitful as Dr. Dre’s tie-up with Beats. However, the rapper also owns a production company named Cheetah Vision which helps to support low-budget action cinemas for foreign filmmakers.

6. Kiss

Kiss bandKiss band
Image Source: stereogum.com

If any band created history with their merchandise options that would be none other than the Kiss. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley made sure to create an empire with a huge range of merchandise options such as ‘The Children Starchild Kiss Costume’, ‘Kiss Mr. Potato Head Set’, ‘Kiss Catman Merry Kissmas Ornament’, etc many others. While Kiss promoted themselves with nothing but a bit of face paint; the musical group created a brand name that prevailed all around the world. While their band logo could be seen everywhere, the band members found the best place to put it and it makes them a part of sports now. In 2014, the Kiss logo was printed on the helmets of the team, the Los Angeles Kiss. This American football club is also co-owned by Stanley and Simmons.

7. Billy Joel

 music artist Billy Joel Business Empires music artist Billy Joel Business Empires
Image Source: rollingstone.com

Pianist and songwriter Billy Joel is well revered for his musical contributions and one thing that many people do not know is that Joel owns a bike shop as well. His immense love for bikes and riding made him say, “Even rode my motorcycle in the rain.” With his love for music, Billy collected more than 75 bikes and vehicles and finally decided to showcase his collection. In 2010, Joel opened a bike museum in Long Island where he stored and showcased his collection. Every bike from the collection is custom-built and Billy does not really want to sell any of them. However, this collection of custom bikes is definitely worth millions of dollars.

8. Neil Young

 Neil Young Business Empires Neil Young Business Empires
Image Source: billboard.com

Grunge music is practically incomplete without the precious contributions of Neil Young. This popular music artist is also renowned as an entrepreneur as well as an inventor. His innovative mind allowed his fans and the music industry a new vision to focus on. He has been working on the LincVolt bioelectric car for more than a decade now. He has always opted for the cleaner. efficient and greener modes of transportation and has a special knack for the Lionel train sets. Young and his team have been working on a 1959 Lincoln Continental to turn it into a hybrid which was a different approach than just trying to make money with EV. He has also invented the PONO music player which offers better sound clarity than regular MP3 files.

9. Dexter Holland

Dexter Holland Business EmpiresDexter Holland Business Empires
Image Source: content.bbgi.com

Ever thought that hot sauce can turn into a profitable business option? Well, Dexter Holland with his amazing business mind can foresee things. Hot sauce is a favorite dressing and dip for people in Southern California and the West Coast. Holland made sure to turn this passion for hot sauce, into a highly successful business venture. Creating a booming business with hot sauce, Holland said, “I just thought it would be cool to have a hot sauce. I gave away the first batch as Christmas presents to my friends”. The artist writes on the Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce site. He further added, “It has always been a DIY operation for sure. It started small but it has just kept on growing.” The singer also possesses a degree in molecular biology at USC and his hot sauce brand has become a platinum project now.

10. Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake Business EmpiresJustin Timberlake Business Empires
Image Source: lifestyleasia.com

Multi-faceted music artist Justin Timberlake can do it all and he has provided a reflection of his versatile skills in singing, songwriting, producing, acting and the list goes on. His wildly dynamic aura made me become a successful businessperson with a handful of ventures in different industries. JT owns the record label exec Tennman Records as well as clothing brand William Rast as well as a restaurant in Southern Hospitality. Timberlake has also invested in golf course Mirimichi as well as Sauza 901 tequila. The artist is also a part owner of the NBA team Memphis Grizzlies. Currently, he is the spokesperson for the iPhone.

11. Maynard James Keenan

Maynard James Keenan Business EmpiresMaynard James Keenan Business Empires
Image Source: huffpost.com

The frontman for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifier; Maynard James Keenan has already captivated the world with his amazing sense of original music and paramount skills of going crazy. As if, working for the three bands were not enough for Keenan he decided to focus on wine instead. After his success in his music career, the singer about bigger plots on the outskirts of Arizona and Sedona and turned them into Caduceus Cellars. Keenan successfully expanded his wine ventures along with the Merkin Vineyards. His immense passion for stomping grapes can be also seen in a documentary that was released in 2010, named ‘Blood Into Wine’. Currently, Caduceus Cellars is one of the biggest names that hail from 23 states along with Washington D.C.

12. Marky Ramone

Marky Ramone Business EmpiresMarky Ramone Business Empires
Image Source: businessinsider.in

A true Italian would know the importance of a good pasta sauce about a drummer. Well, he seems to know a lot of seasoning too as Marky Ramone’s Brooklyn’s Own Pasta has a significant impact on the market. This drummer had even come up with a catchy slogan for a product that reads, “A recipe so flavorful, it beats the rest. Now put it to the test!” His pasta sauce has become immensely popular all over NYC as well as other states. A portion of the revenue generated is also shared for donations. 10% of Marky Ramone’s Pasta Sauce sales that are placed online can help the foundation Autism Speaks.

13. Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre Business EmpiresDr. Dre Business Empires
Image Source: variety.com

The rapper and music producer who created the funky groove of ‘G-Funk’, is now a billionaire in the industry. ‘Beats’ was one of the most successful ventures which was carefully planned with the rise of airpods in the industry. The white earpods look identical and can create confusion among the users. By foreseeing the need for unique and customized headphones and earphones that look good, Beats Electronics was born in 2006. Beats by Dre reached the top of the success overnight along with celebrity clients like Lady Gaga and LeBron James. Other than that, Dre’s Death Row Records helps to pump a significant amount of money. No wonder, why he likes to travel via private jet.

14. Billy Corgan

Billy Corgan Business EmpiresBilly Corgan Business Empires
Image Source: nme.com

Billy Corgan, the member and songwriter of The Smashing Pumpkins has a knack for wrestling and he decided to create the Resistance Pro Wrestling League. His love for wrestling was also visible through his music as Corgan was found offering a tribute to the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling, with a track named “G.L.O.W” which was released back in 2008. The wrestling league became so popular that the Illinois State Crime Commission has recently awarded him with an Award for Resistance Pro’s community outreach. The wrestling project will be soon visible on AMC.

15. Diddy

Diddy Business EmpiresDiddy Business Empires
Image Source: cbsnews.com

Diddy is a next-level business persona who has gained more popularity in the business than in music. One of his biggest business ventures would be the Sean John clothing line-up that helps to generate more than $250 million in revenue every year. He was also the ambassador for Ciroc Vodka which is a joint venture between Diageo and Bad Boy Guru. However, the recent lawsuit claims that Diddy has done physical abuse, sexual assault, harassment, as well as sex trafficking throughout his career. Maybe he is successful but these recent shows he has no ethics or character.

Stay tuned to find out more nitty-gritty of the music industry with some of the most successful artists.

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