It pays to be Dre

Rapper, producer and sound-based entrepreneur Andre ‘Dr Dre’ Young has just been named by Forbes as the 2014 Hip-Hop Cash King.

The list counts down the world’s highest paid hip-hop acts, and Dre takes the crown with modest pretax earnings of $620 million.

The figure leaves fellow rappers P Diddy and Jay Z eating his gold dust in joint second-place, with a paltry $60 million each.

Forbes writes that Dr Dre had the highest yearly earnings of any entertainer ever evaluated by them.

Dre’s success comes on the back (the ears?) of Beats Electronics, his music streaming, headphone and speaker company co-founded with Jimmy Iovine.

Some might rap that this May was payday for Dre, when Apple finalised their acquisition of Beats Electronics for $3 billion.

While there’s been speculation the music streaming business, Beats Music, would be shuttered, Apple has said they might fold it in to iTunes with a rebrand.

As if he couldn’t get any cooler, Dr Dre was last month nominated in the ice challenge by his buddy at Apple, chief executive Tim Cook.

He took the challenge, and nominated fellow rappers Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar.

Beats by Dre has a huge amount of content on its YouTube channel and its marketing has focused heavily on celebrity endorsements, largely in the sporting and musical realms. 

It gained plenty of attention for its epic five-minute ad ‘The Game Before the Game’ released before the FIFA world cup in June.

This beautiful piece of storytelling has since been viewed on YouTube more than 24 million times, and even threatened to drive a wedge between FIFA and the players, who stubbornly continued to wear their Beats by Dre headphones even though the tournament was sponsored by Sony.

The star-studded ad features football players Luis Suarez and Neymar Jr., recording artists Nicky Minaj and Lil Wayne, and athletes Serena Williams and LeBron James.

Beats by Dre paired up with Serena Williams again a couple of weeks ago to release its new Powerbeats2 Wireless headphones and the clip has had more than 1.2 million hits so far.

And before that, it ran the Hear What you Want campaign featuring Cesc Fabregas, Kevin Garnett, Colin Kaepernick and Richard Sherman. 

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