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Dr. Dre: ‘Sadness over family bereavements has driven me’

Dr. Dre’s career motivation is driven by the pain he feels over losing close family members.

Over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, the hip-hop star, real name Andre Young, has amassed a $740 million fortune from recording and producing as the founder of Aftermath Entertainment, and from Beats Electronics.

But during that time, Dre has also suffered his fair share of heartbreak – his half-brother Jerome died of pneumonia when Dre was just a one-year-old, while his other half-brother Tyree died in 1989 after he was attacked and left with a broken neck.

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And the Straight Outta Compton rapper says the creativity that has earned him his fortune is fuelled by the grief and sadness brought on by family tragedy.

“There’s this certain pain that I feel – and I don’t know if it’s because of my brother’s death, or (other) deaths in the family – but it’s this thing,” he tells British newspaper The Times.

The musician also lost his son Andre Young Jr., to a heroin overdose in 2008, at the age of just 20 – but says he has refused therapy as he worries it will make him less driven.

“I’m not not sure if I should get rid of it. I don’t know if that’s where my talent lies, or my passion lies for what I do,” he explains. “I’ve been actually asked to talk about it and go to therapy and what have you, but I’m not sure that’s something I wanna do. Because I don’t think I should change it.”

Dre started out as a member of pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A. before finding success as a solo artist, producer, record label boss, and entrepreneur. He and longtime musical collaborator Jimmy Iovine founded audio company Beats Electronics together in 2006, before selling the company to Apple for $3 billion in 2014. The duo’s stunningly successful partnership is also the subject of a four-part HBO documentary series, The Defiant Ones.

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