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ndré Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965 in Los Angeles, California), better known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper, actor and record executive. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records, also having produced albums for and overseeing the careers of many rappers signed to those record labels. As a producer he is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats.
Dr. Dre began his career in music as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru and he later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A, which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life. His 1992 solo debut The Chronic, released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993. In 1996 he left Death Row to found his own label Aftermath Entertainment, producing a compilation album, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, in 1997 and releasing a solo album titled 2001 in 1999.
During the 2000s he focused his career on production for other artists, while occasionally contributing vocals in other artists' songs. Rolling Stone named him among the highest-paid performers of 2001 and 2004. Dr. Dre also had acting roles in the 2001 films The Wash and Training Day. In 2010 his final solo studio album, Detox, is set to be released following much delay and speculation.
The first child of Verna and Theodore Young, Dr. Dre was born as André Romelle Young on February 18, 1965. His mother was only 16 years old at the time of his birth, after being impregnated by teenage boyfriend Theodore, whom she later married. Young's middle name, "Romelle", came from Theodore Young's unsigned, amateur R&B singing group The Romells. In 1968 his mother divorced Theodore Young for another man, Curtis Crayon, and had other children with him, including two sons named Jerome and Tyree (both of whom are now deceased) and daughter Shameka. As a young child, Young was fascinated with vinyl records spinning on phonographs; his family's record collection included many popular R&B albums of the 1960s and 1970s, from such singers as Diana Ross, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin. According to an interview with the Los Angeles Times, his mother Verna found R&B music to be a relief from the two jobs she had to work daily. Despite economic troubles, she continued to encourage Young not to give up in life. During Verna's second marriage, Young and his step-brother Tyree were raised primarily by their grandmother and Curtis Crayon, as their mother spent much time in search of work.
In 1976 Young began attending Vanguard Junior High School and had a new sister named Shameka. However, due to gang violence around Vanguard, he transferred to nearby Roosevelt Junior High School. Verna later married Warren Griffin, whom she met at her new job in Long Beach, which added three new stepsisters and one new stepbrother to the family. The stepbrother, Warren Griffin III, would eventually become a rapper under the stage name Warren G.
Young attended Centennial High School in Compton during his freshman year in 1979 but transferred to Fremont High School due to poor grades. On December 15, 1981, Young fathered a son with Lisa Johnson, however Curtis Young was not brought up by his father and they only met when Curtis had become rapper Hood Surgeon about 20 years later. He was nearly enrolled to an apprenticeship program at Northrop Aviation Company until poor grades at school made him ineligible. Therefore, he focused on social life and entertainment for most of his high school years.
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Last release date: 1999-11-16
Label: Aftermath Entertainment
Last release date: 2009-09-01
Label: Death Row Records