Dr. Dre’s net worth is a widely discussed topic. Ever since Apple acquired his headphone company, Beats, for $3.2 billion, it was reported that Dr. Dre had become the first hip hop artist to achieve a net worth of $1 billion. But is that really true? And if not, how much exactly is Dr. Dre’s net worth?
Dr Dre’s Net Worth as of 2018: $760 Million
Dr. Dre is not just one of the most successful entertainers in the world, but one of the world’s most successful people. Period. Following his pioneering of the legendary hip hop group N.W.A., and subsequent launch of one of the most famous record labels of all time, Death Row Records, Dr. Dre turned his focus to business. He is now the CEO of both Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. In fact, according to Forbes, Dr. Dre has astoundingly tripled his net worth since 2011. But how did this troubled kid from Compton become one of the most successful men in America? We take a look back at all the major events that got Dr. Dre to this point.
1985 – 1991
1985: Dr Dre. met aspiring rapper Antoine Carraby, later to become member DJ Yella of N.W.A.
1986: Dre met rapper O’Shea Jackson—nicknamed Ice Cube—who collaborated with Dr. Dre to record songs for Ruthless Records, a rap record label run by local rapper Eazy-E. Dre, Ice Cub, and Eazy-E would go on to form the foundation of gangsta rap group N.W.A.
August 9, 1988: N.W.A.’s debut album, Straight Outta Compton, is released. It has been considered groundbreaking by music writers and has had an enormous impact on the evolution of West Coast hip hop. Straight Outta Compton redefined the direction of hip hop, which resulted in lyrics concerning the gangster lifestyle becoming the driving force in sales figures.
May 28, 1991: N.W.A.’s second album, EFIL4ZAGGIN, is released.
1991: After a dispute with Eazy-E, Dre left the N.W.A. at the peak of its popularity in 1991. Later that year, Dre and former body guard Suge Knight founded Death Row Records: Artists signed to the label included The D.O.C. Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, The Outlawz, The Lady of Rage, MC Hammer and others.
1992 – 1996
December 15, 1992: Dr Dre’s critically acclaimed debut solo album, The Chronic, is released.
1994: Dr. Dre and Ice Cube collaborate for the first time since Ice Cube left N.W.A., on the song Natural Born Killaz.
December 28, 1995: Dr. Dre and Tupac’s smash hit, California Love, is released. This song was both Dr. Dre’s, and Tupac’s, first song to top the Billboard Hot 100.
1996: In March of 1996, Dr. Dre left Death Row Records amidst a contract dispute and growing concerns that label boss Suge Knight was corrupt, financially dishonest and out of control. Later in 1996, Dr. Dre would found Aftermath Entertainment. It operates as a subsidiary of, and is distributed through, Universal Music Group’s Interscope Records. Current acts include Dr. Dre himself, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Jon Connor and Justus with former acts including 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, The Game, Raekwon, Eve, Rakim and many others.
November 26, 1996: The first album produced by Aftermath Entertainment, Dr. Dre Presents: The Aftermath, is released.
1998 – 2000
1998: Jimmy Iovine, the head of Aftermath’s parent label Interscope, suggested that Dr. Dre sign Eminem, a rapper from Detroit. Eminem went to Los Angeles to compete in the 1997 Rap Olympics (an annual, nationwide battle rap competition). He placed second, and Interscope Records staff in attendance sent a copy of the Slim Shady EP to company CEO Jimmy Iovine. Iovine played the tape for Dr. Dre. Dre recalled, “In my entire career in the music industry, I have never found anything from a demo tape or a CD. When Jimmy played this, I said, ‘Find him. Now.'” Although he was criticized by associates for hiring a white rapper, Dre was confident in his decision: “I don’t give a fuck if you’re purple; if you can kick it, I’m working with you.”
November 16, 1999: Almost seven years since his debut album, Dr. Dre’s sophomore effort, 2001, is released. The album was highly successful, charting at number two on the Billboard 200 charts and has since been certified six times platinum, validating a recurring theme on the album: Dr. Dre was still a force to be reckoned with, despite the lack of major releases in the previous few years.
May 23, 2000: Eminem’s seminal album, the Dr. Dre produced The Marshall Mathers LP, was released. The album sold more than 1.76 million copies in the US in the first week alone, becoming the fastest-selling studio album by any solo artist in American music history. In 2001, the album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. The album was certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America in March 2011 for shipping 10 million copies in the United States.
May 21, 2002: Eminem’s fourth studio album, the Dr. Dre produced The Eminem Show, is released. It was the best-selling album of 2002 in the United States, with 7.6 million copies sold. At the 2003 Grammy Awards it was nominated for Album of the Year and became Eminem’s third LP in four years to win the award for Best Rap Album. On March 7, 2011, the album was certified ten-times-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, making it Eminem’s second album to receive a Diamond certification in the United States. Since its release in 2002 the album has sold 11,500,000 copies in the United States and more than 30 million copies worldwide.
February 4, 2003: Dr. Dre produces the debut album of New York based rapped 50 Cent, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 872,000 copies in its first week. It generated four singles, including the number one hits “In da Club” and “21 Questions”, and the international hit “P.I.M.P.” By July 2014, Get Rich or Die Tryin ’ has sold 8.3 million copies in the United States and is certified 8× platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America
November 12, 2004: Eminem’s fifth studio album, Encore, is produced by Dr. Dre. Encore sold 710,000 copies in its first three days, and went on to sell over 1.5 million copies in its first two weeks of release in the United States, certified quadruple-platinum that mid-December. Nine months after its release, worldwide sales of the album stood at 11 million copies. As of November 2014, the album has sold 7,423,000 copies in the United States.
2004-2006: Dr. Dre spent most of these years as a producer, producing albums and songs for the likes of Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Young Buck, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem.
2007: Dr. Dre’s supposed third and final album, Detox, was set for release. The album had initially been set for a fall 2005 release. Work for the Detox album dates back to 2001, where its first version was called “the most advanced rap album ever”, by producer Scott Storch. Later that same year, he decided to stop working on the album to focus on producing for other artists, but then changed his mind.
2008: In 2008, Dr. Dre and former partner Jimmy Iovine founded Beats Electronics. The product line is primarily focused on headphones and speakers.
2008-2010: Dr. Dre spent these years producing, as well as furthering his other business ventures.
November 14, 2011: Dre announced that he would be taking a break from music after he finished producing for artists Slim the Mobster and Kendrick Lamar. In this break, he stated that he would “work on bringing his Beats By Dre to a standard as high as Apple” and would also spend time with his family.
May 28, 2014: Apple officially announced its intention to acquire Beats Electronics for US$3 billion—with $400 million to be paid in Apple stock and the remainder in cash.
2015 – 2017
August 1, 2015: Dre announced that he would release what would be his final album, titled Compton.
August 7, 2015: Dr. Dre’s final studio album, Compton, is released exclusively for iTunes and Apple Music.
August 14, 2015: The N.W.A. biopic film, Straight Outta Compton, is released, reigniting interest in the legendary hip hop group.
So there you have it, from humble beginnings as a local club DJ, to becoming one of the faces of hip hop, Dr. Dre has turned what started as a promising rap career into a global entertainment empire. With some of the top rappers in the game signed to his record label, as well as his growing business ventures, specifically Beats, Dr. Dre seems destined to be the first hip hop recording artist to have a net worth of $1 billion.
Dr. Dre performed Hip-Hop beat on 6th January 2018 with his Dre headphones, buoyed by many celebrity endorsements and a striking design.