To his fans, Dr. Dre is known as a pioneer in hip-hop music and culture. The celebrated music producer, whose real name is Andre Young, was one of the creative forces behind West Coast rap, and his collaborations with artists such as Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent and Eminem have produced numerous hit songs.
In the past decade while leveraging Dr. Dre as a brand name, Young and business partner Jimmy Iovine shook up the consumer electronics world by building the Beats by Dr. Dre audio equipment company into a billion-dollar business. Iovine had co-founded Interscope Records, the record label where Young had early success as a rap music producer.
Seeking to import some of the duo’s success to its academic offerings, the University of Southern California announced on Wednesday that Young and Iovine are donating $70 million to establish the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. The academy, which is inspired by Young’s and Iovine’s success in music and electronics, intends to develop “a new generation of inspired innovators”, according to USC officials. The gift is part of the Campaign for the University of Southern California, a multiyear effort to raise $6 billion to advance USC’s academic priorities and to broaden its impact on the world.
“These two visionary men have collaborated as groundbreaking pioneers in the music industry and as entrepreneurial businessmen. Now, they’re combining their efforts to become visionary philanthropists in American higher education,” said USC president C. L. Max Nikias during a televised news conference.
“Jimmy and I have been very fortunate over the last 20 years,” Young said. “We’ve been given a lot and we thought this was a great way to give back by building this academy.” <Read more.>