Dr. Dre has been in the music industry for three decades, during which time he’s crafted one of the most successful careers in history. His career has experienced an added boost as of late, with the release of the biopic Straight Outta Compton (2015), Dre’s accompanying soundtrack, and The Defiant Ones miniseries, which airs this week on HBO.
With all this Dre content going around, many are wondering just how much the good doctor (born Andre Young) 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 Million Albums Worldwide
Dre first made his name as producer for the legendary rap group N.W.A, whose debut album Straight Outta Compton (1988), which went triple platinum and sold over three million copies. Dre defied the odds and found even more success when he went solo with The Chronic in 1992, which he made 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 anticipated sequel 2001 again set the bar when it was released in 1999, selling 7.8 million copies worldwide and 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 leaving 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‘s 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 35% of his Aftermath stock to Interscope Records for a whopping $52 million. According to Rolling Stone, this put him at number two on their list of highest-earning artists for 2001.
3. He Sold Beats to Apple Music for $3.2 Billion in 2014
Dre and record executive Jimmy Iovine founded Beats Electronics in 2008. The resulting partnership have made for one of the most lucrative collaborations in hip-hop history, according to Forbes magazine. With endorsements from athletes like LeBron James, as well as numerous product placements, Beats quickly became the ubiquitous speaker and headphone brand for the genre.
Iovine also forged an equity deal with Universal Music Group that allowed him to insert Beats headphones into almost every Interscope music video– allowing him and Dre to take home an additional $400 million in the process. The duo eventually sold Beats to Apple Music in 2014, and with a price tag of $3.2 billion, enabled Dre to tripled his net worth in the span of three years.
In an interview with Time magazine, Dre spoke on the impact that Beats has had on his career:
I knew people were going to dig it, but I didn’t know it was going to be this big. I didn’t know it was going to be at this magnitude. I know that people really care about the way their music sounds. So did I know it was going to work? Yeah, but I had no idea it was going to be this massive… Everything in my life has been about sound and making music, so Beats represents just that.
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.
Dre’s previous Los Angeles residence wasn’t too shabby either, as it came with 9,696 square-feet, six bedrooms and nine bathrooms. It also included a wine cellar, a swimming pool and a media room. NME reports that he sold it for $32 million in 2015.
5. He’s Currently the Third 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 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 Jay and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who currently holds the top spot with an estimated net worth of $820 million.
Still, as Forbes notes, it won’t take much for Dre to continue making smart business moves and beat his East Coast counterparts in the race to become the ultimate hip-hop mogul.