Dr. Dre: World's First Billionaire Rapper?

Dr. Dre: World's First Billionaire Rapper?
Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BETRap artist Dr. Dre
By Nyshka Chandran | @NyshkaCNBC

Dr. Dre could become the world's first billionaire rapper if Apple (AAPL) goes through with its purchase of Beats Electronics, the headphone maker co-founded by the hip-hop star.

Andre Young, aka Dr. Dre, is ranked second on Forbes' list of the wealthiest hip-hop artists of 2014 with an estimated wealth of $550 million. But if Apple's acquisition gets the green light, it could propel him to the number one spot, surpassing Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, who has a net worth of $700 million.

Reports from the Financial Times early Friday revealed that the U.S. tech giant's purchase of Beats Electronics is valued around $3.2 billion.

There is no publicly available information about how big Young's stake in Beats is, but according to The Wall Street Journal, the rapper and co-founding music mogul Jimmy Iovine are majority owners.

Young's Forbes ranking means he needs another $450 million to become hip-hop's first billionaire; that's equal to a 15 percent stake in a $3 billion company like Beats Electronics; it's highly likely Young's stake exceeds that figure.

The California-based artist accumulated the majority of his wealth after founding Beats Electronics with music producer Jimmy Iovine in 2008. With an around 65 percent share of the headphone market, the company's valuation has topped the $1 billion mark.

Based on Forbes' list, released in April, the majority of rappers rose through the wealth ranks primarily due to non-musical ventures.

Sean Combs' digital cable television network Revolt TV and joint-venture tequila deal with Diageo (DEO) has increased his fortune by $120 million in the last year alone.

Third on this year's rich list is Shawn Carter, known by his stage name Jay-Z. Carter's net worth is estimated at around $520 million thanks to his management, music publishing, and entertainment company Roc Nation, which is worth around nine figures.

Fourth is Bryan "Birdman" Williams, co-founder of record label Cash Money Records, whose artist roster includes Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wane. Williams is worth roughly $160 million, up $10 million from a year ago, as he diversifies his business into a clothing line and a deal with Grand Touring Vodka.

Rounding out the top five, Curtis Jackson, known as "50 cent," has a net worth of $140 million. His energy drink, Street King, boasts a 90 percent share of the energy drink market, according to Forbes, and has increased the rapper's wealth by $15 million in the last year.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to ETFs

The basics of Exchange Traded Funds and why ETFs are hot.

View Course »

Introduction to Economic Indicators

Measure the performance of the economy.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

these comments are disturbing.. cant anybody just congratulate a hard working individual..

May 09 2014 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am happy to hear that a music artist has invested in something and can become more successful.. for the long run and for his children..(never bought BEATS headphones-but he did a smart business investment) i see them on everyone.

P.S. Someone whos optimistics and not negative thinking..unlike some people that commented!!

May 09 2014 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yet another indication in the direction the country is going

May 09 2014 at 10:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I have always been curious about rich Black people. Most call themselves African Americans. But do they ever send any money to help their Brothers and Sisters in Africa? Do they help build schools, hospitals, homes, provide clean water. A large population of Blacks in Africa live in poverty, I mean real poverty. 1 meal a day, hand full of rice. We support a child there, so don't think I don't care. It just annoys me when a Black person uses the term "African American" but doesn't help his brothers and sisters there. Dr. Dre, you just became a billionaire, step up to the plate and help.

May 09 2014 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob's comment
beach view

How do you know, he dose not all ready?

May 09 2014 at 8:56 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

It is a sad day when people that put out this drek become rich off of it. I have no faith in the survival of the human race. The world is going down the tubes.

May 09 2014 at 8:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Charley Validum

I've never spent a single cent of my money on anything these guys do, it's not a necessity, many old adults are like me, yet they are super super rich, how come? Our youth, maybe.

May 09 2014 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Charley Validum's comment

I'm sure when you were young you just LOVED your parent's big band music, right?

Why are you people so obtuse?

May 09 2014 at 8:46 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Dr. Who?

May 09 2014 at 7:49 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stephen's comment

Dr.Dre^^...a former member of NWA!

May 09 2014 at 1:13 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply