Dr. Dre at the 31st Annual Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction on April 8, 2016.
The ubiquitous rapper and producer has been in the music industry for over three decades, during which time he’s amassed one of the most successful careers in history. This career has experienced a boost in the past few years, with the release of the film Straight Outta Compton (2015), Dre’s accompanying soundtrack, and The Defiant Ones documentary, which airs tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.
With all these Dre material going around, many are wondering just how much the good doctor has stashed away in his bank account. According to Forbes magazine, Dre has an estimated net worth of $740 million. To learn how he’s made his fortune, and how he likes to spend it, check out these five fast facts.
1. He’s Sold Over 17 Albums Worldwide
Dre first made his name as producer for the legendary rap group N.W.A, whose sophomore album Straight Outta Compton (1988), which went triple platinum and sold over three million copies. Dre defied the odds and found even greater success when he went solo with The Chronic in 1992, which he helmed as both rapper and producer. The album kicked off the G-Funk movement on the West Coast and sold a whopping 5.7 million copies and also went triple platinum.
Dre’s belated sequel 2001 again set the bar when it was released in 1999, selling 7.8 million copies worldwide and, again, went triple platinum. With the addition of Compton in 2015, he’s sold over 17 million albums worldwide as a solo artist.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Dre has also profited from the artists that he’s mentored, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar. Each have gone on to earn platinum albums of their own, only increasing Dre’s net worth as a producer.
2. He Sold Aftermath Records to Interscope for $52 Million
After departing Death Row Records in 1996, Dre founded Aftermath Entertainment. In an interview with Angelo Saunders, Dre said it was a “boutique label” that allowed him to focus on “quality over quantity.” It is here that he released the compilation album Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath (1996), which debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 200, and The Firm release The Album (1997), with rappers AZ, Foxy Brown, Nature and Nas. The Album would up selling 925,000 and was certified Gold in Canada.
Aftermath continued its commercial success into the new millennium, especially with 2001 and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP (2000). For Dre, however, the biggest financial benefit was when he sold Aftermath to Interscope Records for a whopping $52 million in 2001. According to Cinema Blend, he still oversees artists like Lamar and Anderson .Paak, but all distribution goes through Interscope. The latest Aftermath-Interscope release, Lamar’s DAMN, has been certified platinum in four months.
3. He Sold Beats to Apple Music for $3.2 Billion in 2014
Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine founded Beats in 2008 after Dre suggested they start a sneaker line together. The results have made for one of the most lucrative collaborations in hip-hop history, according to Forbes magazine. Through endorsements from athletes like LeBron James, as well as numerous product placement, Beats quickly became the ubiquitous speaker and headphone brand for the genre.
Iovine also forged an equity deal with Universal Music Group, which allowed him to insert Beats headphones into just about every Interscope music video– and, according to Forbes, he and Dre took home about $400 million in the process. The business duo eventually sold Beats to Apple Music in 2014, though with the price tag of $3.2 billion, Dre sucessfully tripled his net worth in the span of three years.
4. He Bought His Current Home in Los Angeles for $40 Million
On the heels of his deal with Apple Music, Dre bought a lavish mansion in the Los Angeles hills. Formerly owned by NFL star Tom Brady and his wife Gisele, the four-acre estate was designed by architect Richard Landry in 2009 and sits on a “country French chateau reached by a winding driveway,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
The estate also features antique doors, salvaged tile, a center hall, a den, a library, a gym, a sauna, nine bathrooms, a garage space and five bedrooms. Forbes reports that while Dre has owned the place for only three years, government records report that it’s already worth 20% more than he originally paid.
5. He’s Currently the Second Richest Hip-Hop Mogul in the World
Many believed that Dre’s deal with Apple Music would make him hip-hop’s first billionaire, a title that’s also been pursued by Diddy and Jay-Z over the past decade. That being said, Dre currently sits in the second richest spot when it comes to hip-hop moguls. As for why this is the case, Forbes reports that Dre’s stake in Beats had been diluted to about 25% before it was sold in 2014, making the deal not quite as lucrative as it may have initially seemed for him.
This in addition to the $40 million he spent on his Los Angeles home, has put Dre a hair behind Sean “Diddy” Combs, who currently holds the top spot with an estimated net worth of . Still, as Forbes notes, it won’t take much for Dre to continue making smart business moves and beat his East Coast counterpart in the race to become the ultimate hip-hop mogul.
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