Born as Andre Romelle Young in Compton, California on February 18, 1965, the first child of Theodore and Verna Young. His middle name, Romelle, is derived from his father’s amateur rhythm and blues singing group ‘The Romells’. His parents married in 1964, separated in 1968, and divorced in 1972. His mother later remarried to Curtis Crayon and had three children: sons Jerome and Tyree (both deceased) and daughter Shameka.
Dr Dre, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, record executive, actor, and audio engineer. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and was previously co-owner of Death Row Records. Dr Dre began his career as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru in 1985 but found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A, which popularized explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life.
Inspired by the Grandmaster Flash song “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel”, Dr Dre often attended a club called Eve After Dark to watch many DJs and rappers performing live. He subsequently became a DJ in the club, initially under the name “Dr J”, based on the nickname of Julius Erving, his favourite basketball player. At the club, he met aspiring rapper Antoine Carraby, later to become member DJ Yella of N.W.A.
Dr Dre’s solo debut studio album The Chronic (1992), released under Death Row Records, made him one of the best-selling American music artists of 1993. It earned him a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for the single “Let Me Ride”, as well as several accolades for the single “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang”.
In 1996, Dr Dre left Death Row Records to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. Following the same, Dre signed Eminem in 1998 and 50 Cent in 2002 and co-produced their albums.
Besides working on his own material, Dr Dre produced Snoop Dogg’s debut album Doggystyle, which became the first debut album for an artist to enter the Billboard 200 album charts at number one.
In 1995, Death Row Records signed rapper 2Pac and began to position him as their major star: he collaborated with Dr Dre on the commercially successful single “California Love”, which became both artists’ first song to top the Billboard Hot 100. However, in March 1996 Young left the label amidst a contract dispute and growing concerns that label boss Suge Knight was corrupt, financially dishonest and out of control.
He was the second-richest figure in hip hop as of 2018 with an estimated net worth of US$800 million.