Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), professionally known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, record executive, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and Game. As a producer he is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. As of 2011, Dr. Dre is ranked as the third richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $250 million.
Dre began his career in music as a member of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru and he later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. His 1992 solo debut, The Chronic, released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993 and to win a Grammy Award for the single “Let Me Ride”. In 1996, he left Death Row to establish his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. Under that label, he produced a compilation album titled Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath in 1996, and released a solo album titled 2001 in 1999, for which he won the Grammy producer’s award the next year.
During the 2000s, he focused his career on production for other artists, while occasionally contributing vocals to other artists’ songs. Dr. Dre signed Eminem and 50 Cent to his record label in 1998 and 2003 respectively while contributing production on their albums. Rolling Stone named Dr. Dre among the highest-paid performers of 2001 and 2004. Dr. Dre has also had acting roles in movies such as Set It Off, and the 2001 films The Wash and Training Day.