Rap star and all-round business mogul Jay-Z - aka Shaun Carter - has been named as the richest star in hip-hop by Forbes.

The media group's latest Hip-Hop Cash Kings survey ranked the Roc-A-Fella Records star as the top earner with a 2006 scoop of $34 million (£17 million).

As well as his musical return with 11th studio album Kingdom Come, Jay-Z also fronts ad campaigns for Hewlett Packard, Budweiser and General Motors.

Ranked in second place was 50 Cent, who earned a total of $32 million (£16 million) with the release of his third album Curtis and income from his various business interests.

G-Unit, originally started by 'Fiddy' as a clothing line, now has novels, ringtones, video games and various bits of apparel in its product locker.

The rapper broke into The Music business after being signed up by Eminem (sixth on the list) and Dr Dre (fifth). He has since gone on to champion his own protégés and young stars.

Man of the moment Timbaland also featured highly, coming in at number four after releasing his own album - Shock Value - and producing a number of hit albums from Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado.

P Diddy continues to be a hip-hop heavyweight, coming in at number three due to clothing lines, a celebrity fragrance and the odd single on top of his music interests.

Also named in the Forbes list were Snoop Dogg, Outkast, Ludacris, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West.

17/08/2007 10:44:15