The future of music

Top 12 Empire Record Label Artists

July 21, 2023
empire record label artists

Are you interested in finding out about the top artists from the Empire record label?

EMPIRE Distribution, Records and Publishing Inc., marketed simply as EMPIRE, is a distribution company and record label based in New York City, London, Atlanta, and Nashville.

While they largely focus on the hip-hop music genre, it is really a multi-genre label.

Founded by Ghazi Shami, the label is one of the most well-known and successful to date.

With huge stars such as 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, they have made their name by landing multiple albums and singles on the Billboard charts.

Here are the top twelve Empire record label artists, both past and present, that have helped to make the label as renowned as it is today.

1. 50 Cent

Curtis James Jackson III, who is best known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper and businessman.

His music career began in the year 2000 upon the release of his debut studio album Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

50 Cent made his debut with EMPIRE in 2020, with the release of the single “Part of the Game” which features NLE Choppa and Rileyy Lanez.

He has won a total of seventy-four awards, including a Grammy in the category of Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group for “Crack A Bottle” with Eminem and Dr. Dre.

2. Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is a rapper and songwriter who began his career with EMPIRE in 2011 upon the release of his debut studio album Section.80.

The album reached number one on the Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums chart.

Lamar has won a total of one hundred and seventy-four awards, including an impressive seventeen Grammy Awards including many Best Rap Song and Album of the Year accolades.

3. Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert rose to fame in 2009 after finishing as runner-up on American Idol.

Since then he has sold over three million albums and five million singles and holds a multitude of awards and platinum certifications.

His first single to be released on the EMPIRE record label was “Feel Something”, which was released in 2019 on the studio album Velvet.

“New Eyes” shortly followed, reaching number thirty-six on the Australia Digital Tracks chart.

4. Iggy Azalea

Amethyst Amelia Kelly, who is best known as Iggy Azalea, began her music career at the young age of sixteen.

EMPIRE distributed her second studio album In My Defense in 2019, and it soared to number fifty on the United States Billboard 200.

She has won forty awards throughout her successful career, as well as holding the Guinness World Record for Most weeks at No.1 on the US singles chart for a rap single by a female artist for her popular single “Fancy” featuring Charli XCX.

“Fancy” received eight platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America after selling eight million copies in the United States and millions more around the world.

5. XXXTentacion

Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, who was better known as XXXTentacion, was one of the most successful rappers to come from the EMPIRE record label.

His debut studio album 17 was distributed by them and reached number two on the US Billboard 200.

A year later in 2018, his studio album Skins topped the chart and sold millions of units around the world.

The album was released posthumously, months after his tragic death.

XXXTentacion won Best New Hip Hop Artist at the BET Hip-Hop Awards, as well as Favorite Album – Soul/R&B for 17 at the American Music Awards.

6. Snoop Dogg

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., who is well known as Snoop Dogg or formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg, is a rapper who began his career when he featured on Dr. Dre’s debut single “Deep Cover” in 1992. 

His debut extended play Stoner’s EP was handled by EMPIRE and reached number thirty-one on the US Independent Albums chart and number thirty-three on the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

Snoop earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2018 and has been coined a “West Coast icon” and “an icon of gangsta rap.

7. Cardi B

Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar Cephus, now well known by her stage name Cardi B, is a strong female rapper who began her rose to fame on social media. 

Her debut studio album Invasion of Privacy was released in 2018 and was soon certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

It reached number one in multiple countries, selling millions of units globally.

With one hundred and eighty award wins, Cardi B has become a rap icon.

She won a Grammy award for the aforementioned album in the category of Best Rap Album in 2019, as well as multiple awards for “I Like It” featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin.


Shelley Marshaun Massenburg-Smith, whose stage name DRAM is an abbreviation for ‘does real-ass music’, is a rapper and singer signed to EMPIRE who has also dabbled in music production himself. 

His debut studio album Big Baby DRAM was released in 2016 and was awarded a Gold certification by the Recording Industry Assocation of America, charting at number ten on the US Hot Rap Albums chart.

His most popular single “Broccoli”, which features Lil Yachty, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2017 in the category of Best Rap/Sung Perfromance.

9. Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak, who is known to his friends and family as Brandon Paak Anderson, is a popular rapper, singer, and record producer from California.

“Leave the Door Open” with Bruno Mars is his most successful single, reaching number one in many charts.

He has won an impressive eight Grammy Awards during his career, including Best Rap Performance in 2019 for “Bubblin’”, Best R&B Album in 2020 for Ventura, and Song of the Year and Record of the Year for “Leave the Door Open”.

10. Tyga

Micheal Ray Stevenson, otherwise known as Tyga, began his career with Young Money Entertainment in 2008 but transitioned to EMPIRE a few years later.

His fifth studio album BitchImTheShit2 was released in 2017 and was distributed by the label.

The album was moderately successful but his most popular was the platinum album Careless World: Rise of the Last King, released in 2012.

The album reached number one in both the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Album chart and the US Top Rap Albums chart.

In 2012 Tyga won a MuchVIBE Hip-Hop Video of the Year award at the MuchMusic Video Awards for his collaboration single “The Motto” with Drake and Lil Wayne.

11. Busta Rhymes

Trevor George Smith Jr., who is best known professionally as Busta Rhymes, is an extremely successful rapper from New York City.

He has been nominated for twelve Grammy Awards throughout his career and has won many others.

He has released five platinum studio albums, including his debut The Coming which reached number one on the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.

One of his most successful singles is “I Know What You Want” with Mariah Carey, featuring The Flipmode Squad.

12. Boosie Badazz

Torrence Ivy Hatch Jr., whose stage name is Boosie Badazz, began his career as a part of the rap collective Concentration Camp.

In 2000 he embarked on a successful solo career with the release of his debut studio album Youngest of da Camp.

His most successful album is his third release, Bad Azz, which was distributed in 2006 and reached number on the US Top Rap Albums chart.

He has collaborated with many other EMPIRE artists, including Snoop Dogg, Tyga, and 50 Cent.

Empire Record Label Artists – Final Thoughts

From New York classics like Busta Rhymes to modern stars like Iggy Azalea, the EMPIRE label has failed to disappoint.

Since 2010 they have been bringing us great new music with the help of these artists, and they are always on the ground floor when the hottest new artists break onto the scene.

These are some of the best artists they have ever signed, and we hope you found someone to check out.

You may also like: Best-Selling Music Artists of All Time

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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