Ready for ‘The Defiant Ones’ this weekend? The buzz-worthy HBO documentary event will take us inside the successful lives of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. But first, here’s a few things you may not know about Dre.
1. Dre started as “Dr. J”
Let’s start with the beginning. The artist, now 52, actually began as a DJ at a local club after frequenting to watch performers. He started as “Dr. J,” but later adopted the new moniker as a mix of his old name, and his real first name, Andre. A year later, he met Ice Cube and decided to record with him at a studio run by Eazy-E — that was the beginning of N.W.A.
2. He’s always had a hand in the production side.
In 1991, Dre left N.W.A., and found Death Row Productions with The D.O.C., Dick Griffey and Suge Knight. There, he dropped his first album, The Chronic. However, he departed in 1996 and created a new project through Interscope Records: Aftermath Entertainment. He dropped his other two albums under Aftermath, 2001 and Compton.
3. He’s partially responsible for Eminem and 50 Cent’s careers.
After discovering Eminem with Jimmy Iovine, he signed him to Aftermath and in 1999, he produced three songs — including “My Name Is” — on Em’s debut studio album, The Slim Shady LP. In 2002, Eminem discovered another rapper, 50 Cent, and got him signed to Aftermath as well. Dre produced four tracks on Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
4. He’s been married since 1996 — but has a total of six children by five different women.
Dre had a son, Curtis, in 1981; a daughter, La Tonya Danielle in 1983; a son, Andre Young Jr. in 1988 (he later passed away from an overdose); and a son, Marcel, in 1991. In 1996, he married Nicole Threatt and together, they had two children — a son, Truice, in 1997, and daughter, Truly, in 2001.
5. He’s not planning to release any more music.
In 2015, he put out his final album, Compton, inspired by the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton. He recently revealed he had a whole other album, Detox, but never released it because he didn’t think it was good enough. He also joined Puff Daddy and Snoop Dogg in 2016 in a Bad Boy Reunion performance.
You can learn more about Dre’s journey in the four-part documentary event, The Defiant Ones, beginning on July 9 at 9PM ET on HBO.