The irony here is that Dre hasn’t dropped an album since 2015’s “Compton,” and aside from making promo runs during the release of the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” four years ago, he’s stayed out of the limelight.
But it’s the 20 percent stake the producer has in the headphone company Beats that’s made him the decade’s top earner, and he’s raked in $950 million within that period.
Dre and record executive Jimmy Iovine launched Beats in 2006, and Apple purchased it in 2014 for $3 billion.
Sean “Diddy” Combs is No. 5 with $605 million earned, largely due to the profits he gets from being the chief marketer of Cîroc vodka in the United States.
Jay-Z is seventh on the list with $560 million earned in the past decade, which came from a combination of the various businesses he has, including the streaming service Tidal. Plus he’s made a ton of money by going on the road with his wife Beyoncé.
In regard to Dre, he’s kept silent about being named the top earner of the past 10 years. And it’s possible he learned his lesson after that Apple-Beats deal nearly fell through, which would’ve been his fault.
As shown on the award-winning HBO docuseries “The Defiant Ones,” Apple execs were none too happy when they saw a video of Dre and Tyrese Gibson bragging about the acquisition in a video.
“The first billionaire in hip-hop right here from the motherf–king West Coast,” Dre said with Gibson right next to him.
“The Apple family near imploded with outrage,” said a Billboard source.
But obviously everyone moved on and the deal went through.