Jimmy Iovine

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Jimmy Iovine
JimmyIovineMaryJBligeJan10 Cropped.jpg
Iovine in 2012
Born (1953-03-11) March 11, 1953 (age 66)
OccupationEntrepreneur, record producer
Vicki Iovine
(m. 1985;div. 2009)

Liberty Ross (m. 2016)
Partner(s) Stevie Nicks (1981–1982)
Musical career
Years active1973–present

James Iovine ( /ˈ.əvn/ ; Italian:  [ˈjoːvine] ; born March 11, 1953) [1] is an American record producer best known as the co-founder of Interscope Records. [2] In 2006, Iovine and rapper-producer Dr. Dre founded Beats Electronics, which produces audio products and operated a now-defunct music streaming service. The company was purchased by Apple Inc. for $3 billion in May 2014. [3]

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Interscope Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Interscope Geffen A&M imprint. It was founded in late 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field as a $20 million joint venture with Warner Music Group's Atlantic Records. At the time, it differed from most record companies by giving decision-making authority to its A&R staff and allowing artists and producers complete creative control. It had its first hit records less than a year after it was founded, and achieved profitability in 1993. Iovine served as chairman and CEO until May 2014, when he was succeeded by John Janick.

Dr. Dre American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur and actor from California

Andre Romelle Young, known professionally as Dr. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics, and was previously co-owner of Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including 2Pac, The D.O.C., Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, Knoc-turn'al, 50 Cent, The Game, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak. He is credited as a key figure in the crafting and popularization of West Coast G-funk, a rap style characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. As of 2018, he is the third richest figure in hip hop, with a net worth of $770 million.


Prior to the Apple acquisition of Beats in 2014, Iovine became chairman of Interscope-Geffen-A&M, an umbrella unit merged by the then-newly-reincarnated Universal Music Group in 1999.

Universal Music Group American music corporation

Universal Music Group is an American global music corporation that is a subsidiary of the French media conglomerate Vivendi. UMG's global corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. It is considered one of the "Big Three" music companies, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Since 2004, the corporation is no longer related to the film studio Universal Studios. UMG has signed licensing agreements with more than 400 platforms worldwide.

Early life and training

James Iovine was born in Brooklyn, New York, to an Italian [4] [5] [6] working-class family. His mother was a secretary and his father, Vincent "Jimmy" Iovine, [7] worked in the docks as a longshoreman. His father's passing and his love for Christmas inspired Jimmy to record A Very Special Christmas in 1985. [7] [8] Iovine attended Catholic [9] school in Brooklyn, graduating from the since-closed Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School and went on to attend New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice. [5] At 19, he was a college dropout. He was introduced to music production after he met a songwriter who got him a job cleaning a recording studio. He began working as a studio professional around 1972. [10] Since the start of his career, Iovine has been involved in the production of more than 250 albums. [1] [11] [12]

Italians nation and ethnic group native to Italy

The Italians are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian peninsula and its neighbouring insular territories. Most Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry or language. Legally, all Italian nationals are citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence and may be distinguished from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian Peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak another regional or minority language native to Italy; although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy.

<i>A Very Special Christmas</i> (album) 1987 compilation album by Various artists

A Very Special Christmas is the first in the A Very Special Christmas series of Christmas-themed compilation albums produced to benefit Special Olympics. The album was released in mid-October 1987, and production was overseen by Jimmy Iovine for A&M Records. A Very Special Christmas has also raised millions of dollars for the Special Olympics. The cover artwork was designed by Keith Haring.

Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School

Bishop Ford Central Catholic High School was a private, Roman Catholic high school in the Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn, New York, located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn. Due to a loss of enrollment by 75% since 2006, Bishop Ford closed at the end of the 2013–2014 school year. The building is now being used by New York City's Board of Education to house K-280, a pre-kindergarten school.


Music and film engineering and production career

In the early 1970s, Iovine became a recording engineer, working with John Lennon [13] and Bruce Springsteen, among others. By 1973, Iovine was on staff at the New York studio the Record Plant, [14] where he worked on Springsteen's Born to Run and Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell albums. He came to prominence via his work on the 1978 Patti Smith album Easter , which included her Top 40 hit "Because the Night". He teamed with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on Damn the Torpedoes and U2 on Rattle and Hum . Iovine also produced Bella Donna (the first solo album for Stevie Nicks), Making Movies for Dire Straits, and Get Close for The Pretenders.

John Lennon English singer and songwriter, founding member of The Beatles

John Winston Ono Lennon was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist who co-founded the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He and fellow member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group achieved worldwide fame during the 1960s. In 1969, Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band with his second wife, Yoko Ono, and he continued to pursue a solo career following the Beatles' break-up in April 1970.

Bruce Springsteen American singer and songwriter

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American singer-songwriter and leader of the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss," he is recognized for his poetic lyrics, his Jersey Shore roots, his distinctive voice, and lengthy, energetic stage performances.

Record Plant series of three famous recording studios

The Record Plant is a recording studio first established in New York City and later operating in Los Angeles, California, which hosts top level artists and musicians. It is mainly known for its role in innovating the recording artist’s workspace, as well as being the site of many highly influential recordings over the decades, including notable albums such as The Eagles’ Hotel California, Eminem's The Marshal Mathers LP, Guns N' Roses’ Appetite for Destruction and Kanye West’s The College Dropout. More recent albums recorded at Record Plant include Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP, Justin Bieber's Purpose and Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next.

Iovine served as sound engineer for the Voyager Golden Records, a pair of phonograph records which were launched aboard the Voyager space probes in 1977. [15]

Voyager Golden Record Record containing information from Earth

The Voyager Golden Records are two phonograph records that were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. The records contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them. The records are a sort of time capsule.

Voyager program American scientific program about the probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2

The Voyager program is an American scientific program that employs two robotic probes, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, to study the outer Solar System. The probes were launched in 1977 to take advantage of a favorable alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Although their original mission was to study only the planetary systems of Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager 2 continued on to Uranus and Neptune. The Voyagers now explore the outer boundary of the heliosphere in interstellar space; their mission has been extended three times and they continue to transmit useful scientific data. Neither Uranus nor Neptune has been visited by a probe other than Voyager 2.

Iovine was also responsible for supervising the music used in the 1984 romance film Sixteen Candles and the 1988 comedy film Scrooged .

<i>Sixteen Candles</i> 1984 film by John Hughes

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 American coming-of-age comedy film starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, and Anthony Michael Hall. It was written and directed by John Hughes.

<i>Scrooged</i> 1988 film by Richard Donner

Scrooged is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film directed by Richard Donner and written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue. Based on the 1843 novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Scrooged is a modern retelling that follows Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a cynical and selfish television executive, who is visited by a succession of ghosts on Christmas Eve intent on helping him regain his Christmas spirit. The film also stars Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard and Alfre Woodard.

In 1990, Iovine co-founded Interscope Records, which became Interscope Geffen A&M after a merger in 1999. [16]

Iovine signed Tupac Shakur to a recording contract as one of the first hip-hop acts on the Interscope label in 1991.

Iovine was also responsible for providing distribution, initial funding and financial oversight for the highly successful Death Row Records hip-hop label in the 1990s. Death Row operated as a subsidiary of his company Interscope, and was largely responsible for Interscope's initial platinum selling chart successes throughout the 1990s, which later launched the company into greater success in the 2000s with platinum artists like Eminem and 50 Cent.

In 2002, Iovine co-produced the Academy Award-winning Eminem movie, 8 Mile , which opened at #1 at the box office and went on to gross more than $240 million worldwide. [17] Additionally, Iovine executive produced the 2009 LeBron James documentary More than a Game [18] [19] and 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' . [20]

Business career

In 2008, Iovine teamed up with Dr. Dre to co-found Beats By Dr. Dre, a headphones brand. The company had captured 20 percent market share of the headphones industry by 2012. [21] [22]

In January 2013, Iovine announced the expansion of the Beats brand into the online digital music world with Daisy, a new service slated to launch in late 2013. Former Topspin Media executive Ian Rogers and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor were said to be involved. [23]

On May 28, 2014, Apple Inc. announced the acquisition of Beats Electronics. Iovine was hired to assume an undisclosed position at Apple [24] where he helped in the creation of Apple Music. [25]

Television career

In 2005, Iovine made a guest appearance as himself on "Don't Make Me Over", an episode of Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy .

From 2011 to 2013, Iovine was a mentor on Fox's American Idol. [26] [27] [28] Iovine's protégés—Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, and Candice Glover—release their music through Interscope. [29] Iovine stopped working with the show in mid-2013. [30]

In July 2017, HBO ran a four-part documentary about Jimmy Iovine's relationship with Dr. Dre and other musicians titled The Defiant Ones .


In May 2013, Iovine and Dr. Dre donated a $70 million endowment to the University of Southern California to create the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation. [31] The first class of the Academy began in September 2014 with 31 students. [32]

Honors and recognitions

In 2011, Iovine was honored by The Producers & Engineers Wing of the Grammy Awards. "This year we pay tribute to an industry leader, Jimmy Iovine, who has made an indelible impact as a recording engineer, producer, founder of Interscope Records, and now, entrepreneur focused on audio quality," Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the governing body of the Grammy Awards, said in presenting the award. [33]

On May 17, 2013, Iovine received an honorary Doctor of Music degree [34] from the University of Southern California and gave the 2013 USC commencement address. [35]

Personal life


Selected discography

John Lennon Walls and Bridges 1974
Kansas The Classic Albums Collection: 1974–19831974–1983
Bruce Springsteen Born to Run 1975
Bruce Springsteen Darkness on the Edge of Town 1978
Golden Earring Grab It for a Second 1978
Patti Smith Easter 1978
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes 1979
Bruce Springsteen The River 1980
Dire Straits Making Movies 1980
Graham Parker and the Rumour The Up Escalator 1980
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna 1981
U2 Under a Blood Red Sky 1983
Simple Minds Once Upon A Time 1985
Pretenders Get Close 1986
Various A Very Special Christmas 1987
U2 Rattle and Hum 1988
Gwen Stefani Love. Angel. Music. Baby 2004
Lady Gaga Born This Way: The Collection 2011
Iggy Azalea The New Classic 2014



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