SOMETHING IN THE WATER - Day 2
Craig Barritt

Self-Made: Jay-Z Officially Named Hip-Hop's First Billionaire

"Jay-Z's journey is the modern-day embodiment of the American dream."

It's official – Forbes has declared Jay-Z hip-hop's first billionaire.

Hov has reportedly accumulated a fortune that totals $1 billion, making him the first musician in hip-hop to do so. He is also one of only a few entertainers to achieve that feat. According to Forbes, Jay's empire was built through various deals in liquor (Armand de Brignac and D’Ussé), cash investments, art collections, real estate, streaming services, his record label, and music catalog.

Jay-Z's cash and investments come to a total of $220 million; his stake in liquor brands D’Ussé and Armand de Brignac totals $410 million; his music streaming platform, Tidal, tallies at $100 million; Roc Nation follows with $75 million; his music catalog rakes in $75 million; his art collection, $70 million; finally, his real estate investments totals $50 million.

Some may assume that Dr. Dre already achieved billionaire status a couple of years ago, but that isn't entirely true. According to Forbes, Dre sold his brand, Beats by Dr. Dre to Apple for $3 billion. While his company is worth billions, Dre's personal net worth is $850 million.

Jay's story is especially astonishing considering his journey to the top. Coming out of Brooklyn’s Marcy housing projects, Jay hustled as a drug dealer. He later traded in the life for music, co-founding Roc-A-Fella Records and releasing 14 No. 1 albums.

Swizz Beatz, the superproducer behind some of Jay-Z’s biggest hits, says that people can look to Jay as the model of success. "It’s bigger than hip-hop … it’s the blueprint for our culture. A guy that looks like us, sounds like us, loves us, made it to something that we always felt that was above us," he said.

Forbes senior editor and Jay-Z biographer Zack O'Malley Greenburg agrees with Swizz, telling VIBE: "Jay-Z's journey is the modern-day embodiment of the American dream. His ascent offers an invaluable blueprint and inspiration to the next generation of entrepreneurs."

Read more from Forbes' full story here.

 

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Stevie Wonder Leaves Motown Records, Drops 2 New Songs

2020 has been a year of change for a lot of people, including Stevie Wonder. The music legend announced that his time with Motown Records has come to an end after spending his entire career on the record label.

Wonder, 70, held a virtual press conference on Tuesday (Oct. 13) where he revealed that he left the label and is releasing music under his own imprint, What the Fuss Records, named after his 2005 single, “So What the Fuss.” Wonder’s record label inked a distribution deal with Republic Records, meaning he will stay in the Universal Music Group family, per The Hollywood Reporter.

In addition to the label reveal, Wonder debuted two new songs: “Can’t Put it in the Hands of Fate,” featuring Rapsody, Cordae, Chika and Busta Rhymes, and the Gary Clark Jr.-assisted track, “Where Is Our Love Song.” Proceeds from the latter song will go to the non-profit Feeding America.

“Can't Put It In The Hands of Fate” – Out Now.https://t.co/TSbAuGiXc9 pic.twitter.com/hDlnfh7aS7

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

“Where Is Our Love Song” – Out Now.https://t.co/6rO9gVRhJq pic.twitter.com/0BTkFVIojr

— Stevie Wonder (@StevieWonder) October 13, 2020

Wonder was just 11 years old when music veteran, Berry Gordy, signed him to Motown in 1961. Over the last 60 years, Wonder has released more than 40 albums, which includes his 23 solo studio albums, several live albums, collaborative projects, and soundtrack albums. The Michigan native and 25-time Grammy winner has sold over 100 million records (making him one of the best-selling recording artists in history).

Last year, Wonder stepped back from the stage to undergo kidney transplant surgery. “I was blessed with a new kidney and that happened on Dec. 6, 2019,” he said during the press conference. “Since I have been released from the hospital, I've had nurses that have made sure I have my medicine on time and I'm going to take it for as long as I have to — even if it's for the rest of my life.”

“I feel great. My voice feels great,”continued Wonder. “I told my daughter, Aisha, I'm going to be like five years younger than you now.' I said, 'I'm gonna go from being 70 to like 40.’ I feel like I'm about 40 right now and I just thank everyone for their prayers and love. I'm feeling great.”

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Billboard Music Awards 2020: Watch Performances From Brandy, Ty Dolla $ign, Doja Cat And More

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards went off without a hitch. Hosted by Kelly Clarkson, Wednesday's (Oct. 14) show opened with the multi-platinum selling singer performing “Higher Love” alongside Sheila E. on the drums.

The big night included performances from Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Doja Cat, Sia, En Vogue, Demi Lovato, Bad Bunny, and more. Khaled, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Billy Eilish, Post Malone ( who took home nine awards), and BTS were among the night’s big winners, along with Killer Mike, who received the first ever Billboard Change Maker Award.

Lizzo gave a powerful speech after accepting her award for Top Song Sales Artist. “I just want to say I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refuse to be suppressed and I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voice suppressed,” she said.

“If you’re at home right now and you’re thinking about changing yourself, this is your sign to remain who you are. When people try to suppress something, it’s because they’re afraid of your power. So whether it’s through music, protests, or your right to vote, use your power, use your voice and refuse to be suppressed.”

The socially-distanced award show, which was broadcast from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, featured a virtual audience.

Watch some of the performances below.

Brandy and Ty Dolla $ign Perform a Medley Including "Borderline" Doja Cat Performs "Juicy," "Say So" and "Like That" Alicia Keys Performs "Love Looks Better" John Legend Performs "Never Break"  EnVogue Performs "Free Your Mind"

 

 

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Bryson Tiller Announces Deluxe Edition Of ‘Trapsoul’ Debut

Update: 12:42 AM EST (Sept. 26, 2020) — Stream the deluxe installment of Trapsoul below.

Original story below...

Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated new album, Bryson Tiller is giving fans another chance to fall deeper in love with Trapsoul. The Grammy-nominated singer announced that he will be releasing a deluxe version of his debut album to streaming service this Friday (Sept. 25).

The deluxe edition will feature fan favorites “Just Another Interlude” and “Self Righteous,” Tiller tweeted on Tuesday (Sept. 22). “Before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, 'Trapsoul.' Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut.”

before we get into my new album, I wanna celebrate with this special edition of my debut album, Trapsoul. Featuring a few songs that didn’t quite make the cut. Y’all asked for these on All Platforms and they’ll finally be yours this Friday. thank you! pic.twitter.com/8MJ5rC5jYB

— tiller (@brysontiller) September 23, 2020

Released in 2015, Tiller’s debut album put him on the map, and earned a Billboard Music Awards nomination for Top R&B Album. The triple platinum release, lead single “Don’t” cracked the Top 20 on the Billboard singles charts becoming his highest charting solo effort to date.

Earlier in the month, Tiller released the music video for his song “Inhale” which samples Mary J. Blige’s “Not Gon' Cry.” The end of the video reveals that Tiller’s new album will drop sometime this fall.

Watch “Inhale” below.

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