drake

Toronto rapper Drake, real name Aubrey Graham, performs at the BET Awards on June 27. Forbes.com reports he earned $10 million US in the past year. (Matt Sayles/Associated Press) ((Matt Sayles/Associated Press))

Jay-Z is the world's richest rapper, earning $63 million US last year, according to a ranking released by Forbes.com.

The website said the singer, a hitmaker for songs such as Empire State of Mind and Run This Town, earned much of his money from his 40/40 nightclub chain.

 Hip Hop's top earners

 Jay-Z: $63M

 Diddy: $30M
 Akon: $21M
 Lil Wayne: $20M
 Dr. Dre: $17M
 Ludacris: $16M
 Snoop Dogg: $15M
 Timbaland: $14M
 Pharrell Williams: $13M
 Kanye West: $12M
Source: Forbes.com

Toronto star Drake just missed out on a spot in the top 10 in the 20 top earners list. Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, was No. 11 with an income of $10 million US.

Drake was a highly hyped newcomer to hip hop, able to strike a good record deal, and his debut recording Thank Me Later has gone platinum since June. His real earning power was boosted by advertising agreements with Sprite and Virgin America, Forbes.com reported.

The second and third biggest earners were Sean (Diddy) Combs with $30 million and Akon, who made $21 million despite serving a prison sentence on weapons charges.

Eminem, who has sold more records since 2000 than any other rap artist, earned a relatively low $8 million and came in way down the list at No. 14, in part because he doesn't do much other than make music.

The richest rappers are those who diversify — into acting, sponsorships and lines of clothing or other products, Forbes.com said.