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Dr. Dre Lost $200M and Billionaire Status After Tyrese Drunkenly Leaked Apple-Beats Deal

By: April Carson

It was reported that Dr. Dre had become a billionaire when he and former Interscope executive Jimmy Iovine sold Beats By Dre to Apple, which they did in 2014 for $3 billion. But, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Dre revealed that he actually lost $200 million in the deal.

The reason? Because his former business partner Tyrese Gibson drunkenly leaked the news of the sale to the media before it was officially announced.

"I felt like I just blew it," Dre told Rolling Stone.

The distinction of making Andre Young the first hip-hop billionaire was thwarted by an announcement made by R&B singer Tyrese on social media at the time.

According to iMore, Tyrese's brief "announcement" on Facebook was the reason why $200 million from the Beats By Dre sale ended up in Dr. Dre and Iovine's pockets. In a new book by Tripp Mickle called After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul, the 2014 event is chronicled, shortly before the Apple acquisition was official.

The author claims in the book that Apple CEO Tim Cook ordered all parties to keep the agreement secret, or it would endanger the deal. In chapter 10 of the book, Mickle explains Cook's interest in music streaming, with Beats By Dre catching his attention. It wasn't because of the actual headphones; it was because of curated playlists created by real people that intrigued him. He felt acquiring the firm would be "the solution to [Beats] Music's failure to enter into streaming music."

Dr. Dre was adamant that Apple acquire both Beats Music and Beats Electronics, contending that such a merger is "strategically necessary." Cook finally yielded to $3.2 billion as the purchase price for the acquisition. The book states that Iovine was responsible for Dre's financial security, as the sale gave him a 5.2% stake in Apple, worth about $700 million at the time.

In May 2014, Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre flew to New York City to meet with Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook in person. It was a figure that neither Iovine nor Dre could comprehend - a sum that would make them both rich beyond their wildest imaginations. As the lawyers completed the formalities, Iovine summoned the Beats leadership team to his residence in Beverly Hills for an impromptu meeting. He informed everyone that they were on the verge of signing a lucrative contract. The only thing standing in their way was if news of the agreement leaked beforehand.

After Interscope's president ordered his staff not to announce the news, Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs called Iovine at 2:00 a.m. the next morning. According to Puff, Iovine about the viral Facebook video.

“At 2:00 a.m., Iovine received a call from Puff Daddy, who was screaming about the deal in a Facebook video. Iovine reviewed the video and grimaced when he saw Tyrese bragging about being drunk on Heineken in a recording studio.”

In the video, Dr. Dre boasts of being “the first billionaire in hip-hop.”

Of course, Cook was informed about it.

“When the video was leaked, Cook called Iovine and Dre to Cupertino. He invited them into a conference room for a confidential meeting. Iovine was afraid that Cook would kill the deal because of his rage and insults, rather than the anger and swearing that came out of Jobs whenever he was angry about something. Instead of lashing out in fury like Steve Jobs would have done, Cook radiated calmness."

This is how Iovine and Dre lost $200 million each.

The astonishing thing is that, after all these years, neither Iovine nor Dre have ever spoken about what happened that day. It’s as if they’ve agreed to keep it a secret between the three of them. Until now.

According to Cook, the price should decrease just enough so that Dre wouldn't become a billionaire, which was a $200 million reduction. This step enabled Jay-Z of Brooklyn, New York two years later in 2019 to acquire the title from Forbes as hip-hop's first billionaire.

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About the Blogger:

April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on

To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav



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