Dr. Dre Just Made More Money Selling His Headphones Business Than He Ever Did Making Music

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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC just purchased a controlling stake in Beats Electronics, the headphones company backed by rapper, producer, and entrepreneur Andre Romelle Young, aka Dr. Dre.

HTC paid $300 million for the 51 percent stake, and Forbes looked into what the deal may mean for Dr. Dre's net worth, which was last estimated at $125 million. By the magazine's back-of-the-envelope calculations, Dre may end up worth $300 million, meaning the deal just added $175 million to his fortune, or more than he ever made cutting records. Even really good ones like The Chronic and Doggystyle.

It reminds me of the old Chris Rock bit about race and wealth. "There are no wealthy black or brown people in America," Rock says. "Shaq is rich. The white man who signs his check ... is wealthy."

Well, with the HTC deal, I think we can officially move Dre into the wealthy category.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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