There’s no limit to an empire state of mind, or the ways in which Jay-Z can make money. Yesterday, news of Parisian luxury house LVMH taking 50% stake in the hip hop baron’s flashy brand of bubbly, Armand de Brignac, fanned out over the Internet. This is significant: For LVMH, whose recent experiments such as with Rihanna’s Fenty have been tricky, it signifies a desire to continue to embrace contemporary luxury and diversity in clientele. For Mr Carter, whose songs have referenced everyone from Gucci to Maybach, Versace to Cristal (another legendary champagne house with whom he had an infamous and very public fallout), it’s a chance to grow one of the youngest and buzziest sparkling wine brands in the world.
Jay-Z first introduced Armand de Brignac, rooted in the Champagne town of Chigny-les-Roses, in 2006, in the video for “Show Me What You Got”. In 2014, reports Wall Street Journal, he took complete ownership of the brand, adding to a portfolio that includes the talent agency Roc Nation, D’Usse Cognac and, soon, a cannabis startup.
But HOVA is hardly the first celebrity to diversify into luxury spirits, and he certainly won’t be the last. Joining this never-ending list of mega-rich celebrities with their own liquor brands is a new league with the same old values: to put their money where their mouth is.