Dr. Dre Becomes First Hip-Hop Billionaire As Apple Finalizes Beats Deal

Matthew He

Dr. Dre became the "first hip-hop billionaire" this week after Apple finalized its $3 billion deal with Beats Electronics to purchase the entire company, including its line of headphones, speakers, and audio software.

Apple initially disclosed its intention to purchase Beats Electronics in May, but it needed the approval from U.S. and European regulators. Four days ago, the European Union approved Apple's acquisition. Apple then paid France-based media company Vivendi $404 million, buying the remaining shares to complete the transaction.

As a result, Dr. Dre, an American rapper and entrepreneur, became the richest man in hip-hop history, passing the previous leader, Diddy. The reality is that Dr. Dre is not a billionaire yet. After taxes and recalculation based on his 25 percent ownership of Beats Electronics, Dr. Dre's net worth is $780 million, $220 million shy of billionaire status.

Beats Electronics founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine are moving over to Apple by September, which is the expected date for tighter integration between Apple devices and Beats Electronics hardware. Apple has refreshed its webpage, including the following message:

"Today we are excited to officially welcome Beats Music and Beats Electronics to the Apple family. Music has always held a special place in our hearts, and we're thrilled to join forces with a group of people who love it as much as we do. Beats cofounders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre have created beautiful products that have helped millions of people deepen their connection to music. We're delighted to be working with the team to elevate that experience even further. And we can't wait to hear what's next."

Dr. Dre's success has been well-received by the hip-hop community. Rappers 2 Chainz, P. Diddy, Tyrese Gibson, and others have congratulated Dr. Dre for creating a historical milestone in hip-hop. Dr. Dre has yet to officially comment on his "billionaire status," but was seen in a video released by Tyrese Gibson to be celebrating.

As of today, Apple has successfully acquired Beats Electronics, and has already made adjustments to the Beats by Dr. Dre website to reflect its acquisition. HP, Apple's competitor, has been removed from the Beats Audio section, and all headphones now redirect to Apple's website. In the future, there may be a merging of iTunes Radio and Beats Music as well as other integrations that will make Apple and Beats Electronics more uniform.

[Image via Getty Images]

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