NEW YORK (AP) — They truly are marching to the beat of their own drum.
It’s as though anything Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre touches turns to gold: The dynamic duo marked epic-level success when they introduced Eminem to the music world 15 years ago, and their lucrative Beats by Dre business reached blockbuster heights following reports that Apple plans to buy the headphones’ parent company, Beats Electronics, for $3.2 billion.
But the music industry veterans have had a string of triumphs, and we take a look at why we never seem to never forget about Dre and Iovine.
STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM
Well, not necessarily the bottom, but Iovine kicked off his career behind the scenes. He was a recording engineer in the 1970s who mixed albums such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” He later upgraded to producer, working with revered icons from Tom Petty to U2 to Stevie Nicks. Springsteen says it best in the song “Ain’t Good Enough for You,” singing: “And babe I tried to make the latest scene, hitting cool just like Jimmy Iovine.”
Dre, too, started as a producer, but it was for N.W.A., the hip-hop group he was a member of alongside Eazy-E and Ice Cube. The West Coast-based rappers made their stance in hip-hop culture and music history in the late ’80s with controversial lyrics and edge, and Dre followed that with his own solo work that topped the charts. Dre is also responsible for bringing forth rap king Snoop Dogg, rap king Eminem, rap king 50 Cent and rising rap prince Kendrick Lamar. Outside of those acts, beats by Dre — literally — include tracks like Tupac’s classic “California Love,” Eve and Gwen Stefani’s Grammy-winning “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” and Mary J. Blige’s only song to hit No. 1, the party jam “Family Affair.”
BEATING THE OTHERS WITH BEATS
Many celebrities and musicians have launched headphones lines, from 50 Cent to Quincy Jones to Jay Z, but no one has come close to Beats by Dre, even before Apple’s billion-dollar acquisition. The brand, which debuted in 2008, brought new life to the headphone industry, reinvented the way people listen to music and revived how earphones could make a fashion statement. Dr. Dre is a doctor in the music industry, and Iovine is as needed as an IV.
HI, MY NAME IS…
It’s hard to imagine the world of entertainment — or Emtertainment for that matter — without thinking of Eminem, one of the ultra-successful members of pop culture. And part of his victory comes from his team: Iovine and Dre have been behind the Detroit icon since he emerged with brash raps and an energy that was both dominating and enticing. From the Oscar-winning “8 Mile” to multiple multiplatinum albums to an influence on today’s musicians and music lovers, Eminem is a musical virtuoso and praise should also go to his guardian angels.
STILL GOING STRONG
Iovine, who co-founded Interscope Records, is the chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, where the roster includes U2, Madonna, Robin Thicke, the Black Eyed Peas, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga, who released a line of headphones via Beats by Dre.
Dre, whose upcoming album “Detox” has been anticipated for a decade, has mentored Lamar, a fellow Compton rapper who had a breakthrough last year with his platinum-selling debut album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” which was nominated for album of the year at the Grammy Awards this year.
Follow Mesfin Fekadu at twitter.com/MusicMesfin