The Decade’s Highest-Earning Musician Is Dr. Dre


Well, no one’s gonna forget about Dre now.

Forbes has revealed its list of the top-earning musicians of the decade, and Dr. Dre pulled ahead of the rest to earn the number-one spot.

dr. dre

Taylor Swift came close––she earned $825 million in the last ten years––but she couldn’t beat Dre. The hip-hop legend earned an unbelievable $950 million from 2010-2020.

The Top 10 Highest-Earning Musicians of the Decade

According to Forbes, these musicians made more money than any others over the past ten years:

  • Lady Gaga – $500 million
  • Katy Perry – $530 million
  • Paul McCartney – $535 million
  • Jay-Z – $560 million
  • Elton John – $565 million
  • Diddy – $605 million
  • U2 – $675 million
  • Beyoncé – $685 million
  • Taylor Swift – $825 million
  • Dr. Dre – $950 million

How Dr. Dre Made His Money

Dre was born Andre Romelle Young on February 18, 1965 in Compton, CA. As the founder of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics (and the former owner of Death Row Records), the rapper/entrepreneur/producer/record executive is a powerhouse, money-making machine.

The six-time Grammy-Award winner also had a fundamental role in the careers of Eminem, 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, 50 Cent, Warren G, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and an endless line of other influential artists.

His success also comes from smart business decisions. Dr. Dre has had sponsorship deals with St. Ides, Coors Light, Dr. Pepper and Chrysler 300S.

Beats by Dr. Dre: A Billion-Dollar Idea

Most of Dre’s fortune comes from his near-20% stake in Beats Electronics, which Apple bought for $3 billion in the middle of the decade.

It was all the way back in July 2008 that we first saw the release of the now-ubiquitous headphone line, Beats by Dr. Dre.

When Apple purchased Beats Electronics in 2014, it was the most expensive investment they’d ever made. Being the richest man in hip hop had long been Diddy’s domain, but this business move put Dre on top. Way on top.

Dr. Dre’s Legacy in Music

Entrepreneurial finesse aside, Dr. Dre is most widely lauded by fans for his musical genius. The producer is behind countless hits of the modern era:

  • Still D.R.E.
  • Nuthin’ but a G Thang
  • Forgot About Dre
  • No Diggity
  • The Next Episode
  • California Love
  • In da Club
  • The Real Slim Shady
  • B*tches Ain’t Sh*t
  • Gin and Juice
  • Natural Born Killaz
  • The Message
  • Deep Cover

Congratulations to Dr. Dre for being an inspiring artist whose influence spans multiple generations. If he keeps this up, he may just top the highest-earners list again in 2030.