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Dr Dre's amazing story: From gangsta rapper to hip-hop's richest man

It is a long way from the mean streets of south Los Angeles to becoming the world’s richest hip-hop star. 

But that is the path set by Andre Young – better known as Dr Dre – helped by some uber cool headphones. 

The 49-year-old rapper turned producer and entrepreneur is likely to find himself atop Forbes’s hip-hop rich list after a US$3 billion (S$3.7 billion) deal to sell Beats Electronics to Apple was confirmed on Wednesday.

 A pedestrian walks past a Beats brand display in the subway system of New York on Thursday.

Here are some facts about Dr Dre:

Forbes said the deal would boost his net worth from about US$550 million to between US$700 million and US $800 million, making him hip-hop’s richest man.

Sean “Diddy” Combs has been hip-hop’s top mogul with US$700 million.

Dre has discovered and worked with some of the biggest acts in music, including Eminem ( below), Snoop Dogg, Combs and others.

Rapper Eminem performing at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, last month.

Dre pioneered gangsta rap in a career that has seen him win six Grammy awards, including one for producer of the year in 2001.

He was born in Compton, well-known for gang violence but also for producing hip-hop groups and rappers, including gangsta rap group N.W.A,. formed by Young and Ice Cube.

His 2001 Grammy success propelled him up the financial rankings.

He increasingly moved towards producing and business – co-founding Beats Electronics in 2008 with partner Jimmy Iovine, and creating the now ubiquitous Beat by Dre range.

A commuter listening to Beats brand headphones while riding the subway in New York on Thursday

Source: AFP