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Dr. Dre earned more in 2012 than Jay-Z and Kanye West combined

Dr. Dre (left) and Tupac Shakur appeared at Coachella.
Dr. Dre (left) and Tupac Shakur appeared at Coachella.
Kevin Winter, Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Dr. Dre hit the national spotlight when his group N.W.A released "Straight Outta Compton." Now nearly 25 years after that record, the gangster rap icon has shot straight to the top of the Forbes list of Hip-Hop Earners.

Despite the fact that he hasn't released a new album since 1999's "2001," Dr. Dre, born Andre Young, amassed $110 million in the year 2012, according to Forbes, due mainly to his ridiculously successful headphones, Beats By Dre. How successful? NYT previously reported the annual sales for his headphones and ear buds at nearly half a billion dollars.

Ciroc vodka helped Puff Daddy, er, Diddy earn $45 million. 

Jay-Z and Kanye West come in #3 and #4 on the list, in part because of their co-headlining tour and album "Watch The Throne."  Beyonce's husband and Kim Kardashian's boyfriend earned $38 million and $35 million respectively.

It has been a good year, indeed, for Dre, who headlined Coachella last spring with a memorable performance that included an appearance with a hologram version of deceased hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur.