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Diddy tops the list of 2017's highest-paid musicians, even without an album

Photo: Scott Gries/Getty Images

Diddy, who was recently reminded that jokes need to somehow be funny— otherwise it just looks like you’re honestly changing your name to Brother Love—is back in the news, and not because he’s got a hologram of Biggie Smalls doing ads for Frosted Flakes, or something.

No, the sort-of-musician turned business mogul is in the news for making lots and lots of money, then presumably using a small amount of it to hire two people to move his legs for him when he walks. Forbes reports Diddy tops this year’s list of the highest-earning musicians in the world, despite not releasing an album this year—actually, despite not having a solo album since 2006. (His “comeback” album, No Way Out 2, is due to be released sometime soon, and his first mixtape MMM came out in 2015.) He earned $130 million goddamn dollars this year, which is a career best, meaning it’s even more than he pulled in that year he fought Godzilla and won through sheer force of the verses he was spitting.


That chart-topping amount came from a combination of sources, including his Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, the Ciroc Vodka deal that includes those weird ads, and the sale of one-third of his Sean John clothing line, which was by far the largest part of his income, netting Diddy an estimated $70 million. This proud man has come a long way from those terrible days of the great recession, when the once-mighty Diddy was briefly forced to fly first class instead of on a private jet, like some sort of crippled peasant child.

Coming in second is Beyoncé with a not-inconsiderable $105 million, the only other artist to crack nine figures, largely from her Formation World Tour. Drake takes the third-place spot with $94 million, which is the income level at which you may as well just start to look for a two-bedroom to share with a roommate. The Weeknd is fourth ($92 million—hey, maybe he could be Drake’s roommate!) and Coldplay ($88 million, but divided four ways, so they might as well be working at Jack In The Box). Hopefully this is just a prelude to next year, when the top earner will be the person who came up with the “We Are Farmers, bum bum da bum bum bum bum bum” jingle.

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Alex McLevy

Alex McLevy is a writer and editor at The A.V. Club, and would kindly appreciate additional videos of robots failing to accomplish basic tasks.