Today in Hip-Hop: Dr. Dre Debuts His Beats by Dre Headphones
On this day, Jan. 6, in hip-hop history...
2008: Music mogul Jimmy Iovine and the world-famous Dr. Dre originally partnered in 2006, forming Beats Electronics. Their primary goals were to combat music piracy, and to improve the audio experience of music fans across the world. Their solution to the latter issue were the Beats by Dre Studio headphones, which debuted on Jan. 6, 2008.
The stylish headphones took off quickly, buoyed by many celebrity endorsements and a striking design. It started with music stars like Lil Wayne, Justin Bieber, Nicki MInaj and Pharrell. Beats even broke into the world of sports, becoming one of the bigger stories at the 2012 Summer Olympics, thanks to LeBron James and Michael Phelps wearing them. In 2014, the NFL banned Beats headphones on camera, because so many of their athletes were warming up with them on.
After new versions of the headphones and new levels of success, Dre and Iovine launched Beats Music in 2014, their new streaming service. The Beats brand also expanded into computers, speakers, cars and even phones. The company's shining moment lied just ahead, as rumors began to swirl that Apple was in the process of purchasing the entire Beats company. Even with Tyrese Gibson letting the news slip early in a Facebook post, the deal was still finalized months later, with the Tim Cook-led tech company acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion. It all started with a pair of headphones, and ended with Dr. Dre becoming one of the richest hip-hop legends of all time.
See New Music Releases for January 2018