Hip-hop mogul Jay Z has always been synonymous with the luxury French champagne Armand de Brignac, also known as Ace of Spades for years. And just yesterday he proved his loyalty to the brand by purchasing it for an undisclosed amount.
Sovereign Brands, the New York-based wine and spirits company that owned the label would not be drawn into commenting on the value of the deal.
Armand de Brignac is produced by a staff of eight people at the Cattier family home in the French town of Chigny-les-Roses, with the golden bottles bearing an ace-of-spades insignia. A bottle currently retails at $225 (R2 506).
While the winemaking house was established in 1763, the Armand de Brignac line was only launched in 2006 – the same year it was discovered by Jay Z who featured the it in his video for the hit Show Me What You Got.
Yvonne Lardner, a spokeswoman for Sovereign Brands said the company has had a “wonderful relationship” with Jay Z. “He became interested in owning the brand and made us an offer we simply couldn’t refuse,” she said. “To establish an iconic, credible high-end champagne in such a short period of time is something trulyremarkable,” she added.
In one high-profile incident, Jay Z showed off a display of 350 bottles of Armand de Brignac in 2012 when he and his wife Beyoncé threw a fund-raising party for President Barack Obama at a New York nightclub.
The giant presentation was quickly covered up however, with Obama’s re-election campaign team presumably concerned about him appearing surrounded by $300-a-bottle champagne.
This acquisition is the latest business venture for Jay Z, whose original name is Shawn Carter. His past transactions have included a stake in the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn that he later sold .
Forbes magazine has estimated his net worth at $520 million (R5,8 billion). The magazine said this week that Beyoncé was the highest-earning woman in music last year, raking in $115 million (R1,2 billion).
Jay Z and other rappers have frequently extolled the joys of champagne. His song Young Forever envisioned a time in which “you never get old and the champagne’s always cold.”
But hip-hop’s relationship with champagne has not been without its difficulties. Louis Roederer’s Cristal brand was always a favorite among hip-hop artists until in 2006 Jay Z called for a boycott of the brand because of comments by an executive that he deemed to be racist.
The executive, who was commenting on hip-hop’s association with champagne, denied the allegations.