Jimmy Iovine has a $1 billion net worth as a music producer and entrepreneur. Jimmy made his first wealth as a co-founder of Interscope Records, which was a huge hit in the 1990s and 2000s thanks to hip-hop musicians like Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem.
He went on to make a second fortune as the co-founder of Beats Electronics, which was acquired by Apple in May 2014 for $3 billion.
Dr. Dre and Jimmy each received $750 million before taxes approximately $580 million after taxes from the Apple purchase, which included $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock.
One of the main reasons Apple was interested in the acquisition was to hire Jimmy as an executive to help them negotiate the media sector in future music and video licensing discussions.
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Jimmy Iovine was born to a working-class Catholic-Italian family on March 11, 1953, in Brooklyn, New York.
He attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice for a short time before dropping out and working as a janitor at Record Plant Studios in New York City.
Jimmy got exposed to international music creation as a result of this assignment. He quickly progressed from studio cleaning to assisting with basic production tasks.
Ray Cicala, one of the engineers who taught Jimmy the ropes, had a long list of clients and projects under his belt.
Jimmy received a call from Rayon on Easter morning in the early 1970s, asking if he could come to the studio to assist an artist.
Jimmy raced down to Record Plant Studios after being chastised by his mother for missing Easter church services. John Lennon, to be exact.
Jimmy came in and refined the song “Stay in the Chair” through the engineering booth, sensing that Lennon was having trouble with it. Jimmy went on to work on two more of Lennon’s solo albums after being impressed by the former Beatle.
Jimmy Iovine became a sensation after working with John Lennon. He rose to prominence as a music producer/engineer in the 1970s. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, U2, Stevie Nicks, Simple Minds, Dire Straits, Patti Smith, and others would go on to make albums for him.
Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Patti Smith’s “Easter,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “Damn the Torpedoes,” Stevie Nicks’ “Bella Donna,” U2’s “Under a Blood Red Sky,” and Gwen Stefani’s “Love. Angel. Music. Baby” are just a few of the albums that Iovine produced or engineered.
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Interscope Records, a joint venture under Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records, was co-founded by Iovine and Ted Field in 1990.
Gerardo, an Ecuadorian rapper/singer, released Interscope’s debut single, the annoyingly catchy “Rico Suave.” The song was released in December 1990 and charted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Primus album “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” was released a few months later. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s debut album, “Music for the People,” was released in July 1990 by Interscope Records and was a huge success thanks to the #1 single “Good Vibrations.”
Suge Knight and Dr. Dre’s newly formed firm Death Row Records signed an exclusive distribution deal with Interscope in 1992.
Interscope helped start the careers of Snoop Dogg then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, 2Pac, and Nate Dogg, among others, through Death Row Records. More crucially, Jimmy met producer/artist Dr. Dre through Death Row.
MCA Inc. paid $200 million in 1996 for a 50% stake in Interscope.
Jimmy and Interscope would go on to enjoy huge success with artists such as Eminem, Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Maroon 5, Selena Gomez, and others during the next two decades. Interscope-Geffen-A&M was eventually formed. Since 2001, Jimmy has been Chairman.
Jimmy realized the underlying threat Napster posed to the music industry in the late 1990s.
He didn’t believe Napster would go away, and he was frustrated that the music industry’s response was to sue people.
As a result, he started meeting with tech titans to figure out a solution. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who had recently returned to the business as CEO, was one of the notables he met.
Jimmy realized early on that if people were no longer willing to pay for music, he needed to figure out a way to sell them SOMETHING.
It took him several years to figure out what that meant, and it was owing to his old friend Dr. Dre that he came up with the concept.
While having lunch together one day, Jimmy was taken aback to learn that Dre, an audio perfectionist, was dissatisfied with the quality of music his children were hearing through the personal audio gadgets of the day.
That sparked Jimmy’s idea for a technological startup, which he pitched to Dre.
Beats Electronics was formed in 2006 by Jimmy and Dre as a joint venture with component maker Monster Cable. Beats by Dr. Dre Studio headphones were released in July 2008 as the first product of this collaboration.
HTC purchased Beats for $309 million in August 2010. HTC returned half of its stock to Jimmy and Dre for $150 million in July 2012.
In September 2013, HTC paid $265 million to Jimmy and Dre for their remaining 25% ownership of the company.
A month later, the Carlyle Group, a private equity juggernaut, paid $500 million for a 50% share in Beats, valuing the business at $1 billion.
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Apple paid $3 billion in cash and equity to acquire Beats in May 2014. $2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in shares are the figures.
Jimmy and Dre each had a 25% ownership stake in Beats at the time of the sale, so they each received $650 million in cash and $100 million in Apple stock that would vest over three years.
Jimmy and Dre’s cash interest in the company would have been worth about $435 million after taxes at the time of the deal’s conclusion.
The value of Jimmy’s options would have nearly tripled to $300 million if he had held on to his Apple stock for the next six years (pre-tax).
Jimmy Iovine has had a 1.76-acre luxurious mansion in LA’s prestigious Holmby Hills neighborhood as his primary abode for a long time.
In 1998, he purchased the property for $7 million. Jimmy enjoys having people around for touch football games, therefore the estate has grass that is roughly the size of an NFL football field.
Jimmy paid $60 million for a house in Malibu in March 2015. Marcy Carsey, the co-founder of The Carsey-Werner Company, which produced shows such as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and others, was the seller.