Dr. Dre: From Rap Producer To Billionaire Mogul
Dr. Dre, one of the most influential artists in history, has turned 56 today, and so we’re paying tribute to an icon.
Ask anyone who is remotely into music, and they will have heard of Dr. Dre, real name Andre Young. From his origins in hip hop group NWA to his hugely successful production and solo career – The Chronic, released in 1992, remains one of the seminal hip hop albums and a must-listen – Dre has broken multiple musical boundaries.
In 2010, Rolling Stone put him at 56 in its 100 Greatest Artists list, and he has won a total of six Grammy awards, three of which were for his work in music production. He is the fourth-richest rapper in the world, with a net worth standing at a cool $820 million, according to Wealthy Gorilla.
He’s been instrumental in building the careers of some of the biggest names in hip hop and rap. In 1993, Dre produced Snoop Doggy Dogg’s critically-acclaimed debut album Doggystyle, and in 1996 left Death Row Records to found his own label, Aftermath Entertainment.
He signed Eminem to the label in 1998 and 50 Cent in 2002, co-producing their albums. Many other rappers have seen their careers skyrocket to new heights under his tutelage. He has produced albums for other iconic rappers, including 2Pac, Kendrick Lamar, The Game and Xzibit.
Not only that, but he’s been pretty successful as an entrepreneur as well. His headphone brand, Beats By Dre, was founded in 2008 and just six years later was bought by Apple for $3 billion, which is still the tech giant’s most expensive purchase by some distance.
He’s also quite the philanthropist. In May 2013, Dre and Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine donated $70 million to the University of Southern California to found the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.
In June 2017, Dre also committed $10 million to the construction of a performing arts centre for the new Compton High School.
On January 4 this year, the music world was shocked when it emerged that Dre had been hospitalised following a brain aneurysm. Fortunately, the mogul was able to take to Instagram a day later to reassure fans he was ‘doing great’ and would be leaving hospital soon.
View this post on Instagram
In a testament to his enduring popularity, celebrities flocked to comment on the post, with boxer Conor McGregor writing, ‘Still Dre!’, while fellow rapper Nino Brown wrote, ‘Can’t stop the doc! Weapons will form but they will not prosper! God just revealing and removing the toxicity from around you so more blessings can land on your landing strip. U are a inspiration’.
Fellow rapper Missy Elliott tweeted, ‘Prayers up for Dr. Dre and his family for healing & Strength over his mind & body’.
Other iconic figures from the rap and hip hop scenes paid their respects to Dre for his birthday over Twitter, including rap icon Ice T.
HappyBirthday to the Greatest Producer of our time. The King @DrDre UNF*CKWITHABLE
Fellow former NWA member Ice Cube also paid tribute, writing, ‘Happy Birthday to my legendary O/G who cemented the West Coast in Hip Hop…the one and only @drdre’.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) February 18, 2021
Happy birthday Dre – we’re ready for The Next Episode.
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