If Apple buys Beats Electronics for $3.2bn, will Dr Dre become hip hop's first billionaire?

The reports that Apple is looking to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion has got people wondering: could the deal make founder Dr Dre hip hop’s first billionaire?

The answer is ‘probably’ with a slice of ‘we’re not quite sure’ on the side.

A recent ranking by Forbes of the wealthiest rappers in 2014 estimated that Dr Dre’s net worth was $550 million - just behind Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy) who took the top spot with a cool $700m (Jay Z came third with an estimated $520m).

This means that Dre would need only an additional $450 to make it into the billionaire boys club (sic) a sum that’s roughly equal to a 15 per cent stake in Beats Electronics if the $3.2 billion valuation holds true.

The problem is we don’t know exactly how much of a stake Dre holds in Beats Electronics. The rapper founded the company with Interscope exec Jimmy Iovine back in 2008, and previous estimates have put the founders’ stake at approximately 25 per cent apiece.

Beats by Dr Dre - the favourite headphones of the image-conscious but looked down on by audiophiles.

However, numerous deals since then have muddied the waters. In August 2011 Taiwanese phone manufacturer bought 51 per cent of the company before selling back half this stake in July 2012.

It’s been reported that their remaining 25.1 per cent makes them the largest single stakeholder, but this still leaves plenty of room for Dre to claim more than the 15 per cent stake necessary to make the billion.

Despite all this though we still can’t say for certain whether the deal will go through.

Beats have done a lot to make the ‘premium’ headphones a thing (they control 57 per cent of the pricier end of the market) and their music streaming service certainly has far more youth appeal than Apple’s iRadio, but some analysts are still doubtful – especially given the fact that a $500m investment by the Carlyle Group in September 2013 only valued the company at $1bn, a third of what Apple might be paying.

So will Dr Dre become hip-hop’s first billionaire? We're not sure, but if he does it’ll be business sense, not street cred, that gets him there. 

Update: A video posted by Tyrese Gibson last night apparently 'confirms' the deal, with Gibson posting (before the story broke) a video of himself celebrating with Dre with the caption "How did I end up in the studio with Dr Dre ON THE night his deal went public that he did with Apple 3.2 BILLION!!!!" Click here to watch (warning, NSFW language)

Double update: The video has been deleted!

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Hardware Engineer - SW London - £35,000 plus benefits and c

    £28000 - £35000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Hardware Engineer...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executives

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of Europe's leading prov...

    Ashdown Group: Software Development Project Manager

    £60000 - £70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Experienced Software Development Pro...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web design and digital age...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor