Dr. Dre was born Andre Romelle Young on February 18, 1965. He was born and raised in Compton, California, and his father was in an amateur R&B singing group, which is where most people believe that Dr. Dre got his talent. He attended Vanguard Junior High School in Compton. Due to the escalating violence in the school, he transferred to Roosevelt Junior High. Dr. Dre and his father weren’t the only talented people in the family. His step brother is the famous rapper, Warren G, and his cousin is producer, Sir Jinx. Dr. Dre struggled to finish school ad his real passion was music. Over the years, thanks to his talent and business sense, he has managed to accumulate a net worth of $550 million. If you want to learn more about how Dr. Dre earned such a huge fortune, read on.
His Early Years as a DJ
Dr. Dre spent a great deal of time at a club called Eve After Dark. It was there that he listened to music and learned to be a DJ. He started working as a DJ at the club, however, he didn’t make any money. It is just where he learned his craft, which made him millions of dollars. The club is also where he met an aspiring rapper named Antoine Carraby, who would later be known as DJ Yella of N.W.A.
In 1986, Dr. Dre met a rapper named Ice Cube. The two worked on songs for a record label run by rapper, Easy E. When they got together, they created the rap group, N.W.A. This was a very controversial group and they are credited with creating gangsta rap. The group became very popular, they sold millions of records and it put a good chunk of money in Dr. Dre’s pocket.
Death Row Records
After a falling out with Easy-E, Dr. Dre signed with Suge Knight’s label Death Row records. It was there that he released his first solo album, and he collaborated with rapper Snoop Dogg. His album, The Chronic sold millions of copies and make Dr. Dre famous. This album is also credited with inventing the G-Funk style of music which dominated most of the hip-hop music in the 90’s. Not only was he recording and making millions on his own talent, he also started producing albums for some of the most famous rappers at the time, including Blackstreet, 2Pac, and he collaborated with former N.W.A. member Ice Cube. He was able to earn millions of dollar off his own talent and the talent of others.
After realizing that Death Row Records owner, Suge Knight was crazy and corrupt, Dr. Dre decided to move on and do his own thing, and he created Aftermath Entertainment. He began producing and collaborating with artists such as LL Cool J, Jay-Z, and Nas. Now that it was his company, the money started rolling in. After he signed Marshall Mathers aka Slim Shady, his net worth rose greatly. For the next decade, he continued to produce albums and collaborated with major artists such as Nate Dogg, Mary J. Blige, and Kokane.
In the middle of recording and performing, Dr. Dre decided to try his hand in Hollywood. He appeared in the bank robber movie, Set It Off in 1996. He also appeared in The Walsh, Whiteboyz, Unity and Training Day. He also did work on two documentaries, Up In Smoke Tour, and Niggaz4Life: The Only Home Video. These roles didn’t earn him millions and millions of dollars, however, they did add to his net worth. They also showed the world that he was a true entertainer.
Dr. Dre lent is voice and likeness for 50 Cent’s video game, 50 Cent: Bulletproof. This project added a small amount of money to his net worth, however, he did it more as a professional courtesy to a fellow rapper and a friend.
Selling Interscope Records
In 2001, Dr. Dre greatly increased his net worth when he sold part of his shares of Aftermath Entertainment to Interscope Records for $52 million. That year, Rolling Stone Magazine named him the second highest paid artist of the year. That year, his royalties alone earned him over $11.4 million.
Most celebrities understand that there is money to be made by endorsing products. Dr. Dre was no exception. He endorsed several well-known products such as Coors Light beer, St. Idea malt liquor, Dr. Pepper soda, and the Chrysler 300S car. These endorsements put more money in the bank for Dr. Dre.
Beats By Dr. Dre
In July 2008, Dr. Dre released his own brand of headphones called Beats by Dr. Dre. That was followed by Beats Studio, Beats Tour, Beats Solo & Solo, and Beats Spin. In 2009, Hewlett-Packard joined forces with Dr. Dre to bundle Beats by Dr. Dre with some of their laptops and headsets. This partnership earned him a good deal of money, but not as much as he got when he teamed up with Apple. In May 2014, Apple Inc. bought Beats by Dr Dre for $3 billion. This was Apple’s most expensive purchase to date. The deal made Dr. Dre the richest man in hip-hop. He now has a net worth which surpassed the former highest earner, P. Diddy.
Straight Outta Compton
Straight Outta Compton was one of N.W.A’s most famous songs and decades later, Dr. Dre earned millions of dollars again, but this time, Straight Outta Compton was a movie. It is a biopic produced by Dr. Dre and fellow N.W.A. member, Ice Cube. The movie detailed the rise and fall of N.W.A. and where the members went after the group broke up. The film was extremely successful. It earned $200 million at the box office and it became the highest grossing film by an African-American director. Dr. Dre considers the film one of his greatest successes, both professionally and financially.
Dr. Dre grew up in one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in the United States. He grew up poor and thought that he would never make it out of Compton. Today, he is a billionaire.