West Coast producer Dr. Dre has reasons to smile as Forbes has released its list of highest-paid celebrities and the Doc ranks in its top five along with television mogul Oprah Winfrey and Hollywood director Michael Bay.
While no other hip-hop stars appeared in the top five, Dre shared the honor with iconic director Steven Spielberg and producer Jerry Bruckheimer.
Despite wrapping up her talk show in May 2011, Oprah Winfrey is still managing to stay on top. The media mogul is No. 1 on Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid celebrities. Director Michael Bay is second on the list, earning an estimated $160 million, thanks in large part to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which brought in $1.1 billion at the box office. Steven Spielberg had a big year in television with four new shows. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer comes in fourth at $115 million; his “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was one of the highest-grossing films last year. Dr. Dre rounds out the top five, earning $110 million. (Zap 2 It)
Forbes cites the Doc’s popular Beats By Dre brand for elevating his standing.
The ageless super-producer’s latest hit isn’t a song, but rather a line of headphones. In August handset maker HTC paid $300 million for a 51% stake in Beats by Dr. Dre, the headphone company he co-founded with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2006. Each owned about a third of the company, pocketing about $100 million apiece, before taxes, from last summer’s deal. (Forbes)
Earlier this summer, he ranked at third on Forbes‘ wealthiest list behind Diddy ($550 million) and Jay-Z ($460 million).
Dr. Dre ranks third with $270 million, doubling from a year ago thanks to a major sale. In August, handset maker HTC paid $300 million to buy a 51% stake in Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine in 2008. Birdman clocks in at No. 4 with a fortune of $125 million. He cofounded Cash Money Records with brother Ronald “Slim” Williams two decades ago, inking very favorable $30 million distribution deal with Universal in 1998. Rounding out the Forbes Five is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson at $110 million. The Queens-born rapper earned $100 million on the sale of his Vitaminwater stake in 2007–and tens of millions more from touring, record sales and clothing–but spent freely on cars and renovations to his mansion, formerly owned by Mike Tyson. (Forbes)
Dre’s headphones line were reportedly the hottest items amongst New York City thieves this year.
The city’s thugs have a new favorite to go with their stolen iPhones — stolen Dr. Dre headphones. The legendary rapper’s pricey, high-tech headphones, called Beats by Dr. Dre, are the new rage among bandits because they’re seen as “status symbols,” a police source said. Although they have yet to dethrone the iPhone as thieves’ top target, the headphones — which retail for $300 to $500 — are being snatched from kids at an alarming rate since the latest model hit the market at around Christmas. “They’re very hot among thieves,” the source said. “It’s like, ‘I see it. I want it. I can have it. I’m taking it for me, or my sister needs a pair,’ ” the source said, adding that crooks also resell them. (New York Post)
Check out the Forbes’ Highest-Paid Celebrities rundown below: