Dr. Dre is a Grammy Award-winning rapper, producer, and mogul who is considered by many to be the greatest hip-hop producer of all time. He raised the profile of West Coast rap after he helped pioneer the sounds of gangsta rap in the 1980s with N.W.A and helped popularize the G-Funk sound in the 1990s with his label Death Row Records before changing his sound again after he established Aftermath Entertainment. Dre assisted in the rise of hip-hop stars Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar, while producing hits for many other artists. He also became a mogul with his Beats empire and partnership with Apple, helping him become one of the richest musicians in the business.
Born Andre Romelle Young in Compton, California on February 18, 1965, Dr. Dre started as a club and radio DJ. In 1984, he joined the music group World Class Wreckin Cru, which included producer DJ Yella. Dre’s cousin Sir Jinx introduced him to a rapper named Ice Cube, and they later connected with Compton hustler Eazy-E, rapper MC Ren and producer Arabian Prince to form the gangsta rap group N.W.A. They released their seminal debut album Straight Outta Compton in 1988 and helped put the West Coast on the hip-hop map.
Financial issues led to the demise of N.W.A and caused Dre to form Death Row Records along with The D.O.C. and Suge Knight. Dre released his classic solo debut album The Chronic in 1992 and further helped the West Coast dominate the sound of hip-hop. Due to disagreements with Suge Knight, Dre left Death Row in 1996 and formed Aftermath Entertainment. He released his classic sophomore album 2001 in 1999 and later released multi-platinum albums from Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar. In 2002, Dre won a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
Dre made some appearances in movies such as Set It Off, Training Day, and he starred with Snoop Dogg in The Wash. He established his Beats by Dr. Dre brand of headphones in 2008, and in 2014, the Beats brand was purchased by Apple for $3 billion. In 2015, Dre started a show on the Apple Music Beats 1 station called The Pharmacy—the same year that saw the release of his third album, Compton, and the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, which grossed over $200 million. As a member of N.W.A, Dr. Dre was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016.
On February 13, 2022, Dr. Dre headlined the NFL Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Dre was joined by Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, and Eminem, along with fellow Southern California representatives Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. This performance would later land them all an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Variety Special category. In 2023, Dr. Dre received the inaugural Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the Grammy Awards ceremony. He was also the first recipient of ASCAP’s Hip-Hop Icon Award.