What’s the difference between you and Dr. Dre? About $620 million.
That’s the amount the rapper-producer-entrepreneur earned before taxes in 2014, according to Forbes, which crowned Dr. Dre the "Hip-Hop Cash King." His earnings represent the highest annual total for any entertainer ever evaluated by Forbes.
In fact, that figure is more than the combined earnings of everyone else on Forbes’ annual Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, which includes P Diddy and Jay Z, tied at the No. 2 spot ($60 million); Drake at #4 ($33 million); and DJ Khaled at #20 ($7 million).
At one time, Death Row Records was the label that paid him; but most of Dr. Dre's recent earnings came from the $3 billion sale of Beats Electronics to Apple this past May. Co-founded by Dre and music exec Jerry Lovine, Beats features premium sound equipment like logo-embossed headphones and speakers as well as software and a streaming-music subscription service, and was described as “not just a product but a category” by Forbes.
Dr. Dre first rose to fame as co-founder of the influential gangster rap group N.W.A in 1986 and then Death Row Records in 1991, where he produced rappers including the late Tupac Shakur, MC Hammer, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and 50 Cent. (He stepped down in 1996.) Dr. Dre has also won a few Grammies, continued producing, and even acted in films such as “Set It Off” and “Training Day.”
Though Dr. Dre called himself hip-hop’s first billionaire shortly after the Beats deal, Forbes says a “nine-figure tax bill means that won’t happen immediately,” but it couldn’t be too far off.
In any event, it doesn’t seem like anyone will be forgetting about Dre anytime soon.