The music world was shocked Monday when TMZ reported that Nicole Young had filed for divorce from her husband of 24 years, hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre. The couple, who share two children, first got together in the '90s as Dre was climbing the ladder with his career and became a pillar of the music community before news of their sudden split broke.
Keep reading to read more about how Dre and Young came to be such a power couple in hip-hop, and how things took a turn for the worse.
Dr. Dre, born Andre Romelle Young, first met his wife-to-be in the mid-1990s when she was still married to then-husband Sedale Threatt. The NBA player and Young had tied the knot in 1992, but split just four years later, with Dre apparently making quite his mark on the young lawyer. The rapper at the time had reportedly penned a romantic letter to Young, convincing her to leave her husband and become involved with him instead.prevnext
Starting an Empire
Dre was certainly no slouch when it came to his own success at the start of his relationship with Young. Before the two wed in 1996, Dre had found fame as an original member of N.W.A. before releasing his solo debut studio album The Chronic in 1992 under Death Row Records, which he co-owned. The same year he married Young, Dre founded his own label, Aftermath Entertainment, and signed Eminem and 50 Cent.prevnext
Building a Family
In the early years of their marriage during the 2000s Dre stepped away from the stage himself, focusing on producing for other artists, including 2Pac and Snoop Dogg. Meanwhile, he and Young were beginning a family, welcoming son Truice, now 23, and daughter Truly, now 19. Dre is also a father to four children from previous relationships, daughters Tyra Young and La Tanya Danielle Young, as well as sons Marcel and Curtis. His son Andre Young Jr. died at age 20 in 2008.prevnext
In July 2008, Dre's music empire took a whole new turn when he released his first product under Beats by Dr. Dre. The company took off, and in May 2014, Apple bought Beats for $3 billion. In 2019, Forbes estimated Dre's net worth was $800 million, making him second on that year's list of the world's wealthiest hip-hop artists. In December of that same year, Dre made it to number one on the list of decade's highest earners with a total of $950 million.prevnext
Young stood by her husband throughout the years, including in 2015 when his former fiancée, Michel'le, and hip-hop journalist Dee Barnes, came forward with allegations that Dre had been physically abusive toward them in the past. Dre apologized for his behavior as a young man in an interview with The New York Times in August 2015.
"Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life," Dre said at the time. "However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again. I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives."prevnext
Last Public Appearance
Throughout Dre's climb, the couple has appeared solid and became a reference point for strong couples in the music industry. The last public appearance the two had was in February of 2020 at the Tom Ford fashion show, where they looked happy holding hands while walking the red carpet and talking to one another. Attending with daughter Truly, the family looked stylish in coordinated black outfits, and Young can be seen wearing her wedding ring in the photos.prevnext
It came as a shock for many then when Young filed for divorce on Monday, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their separation. Young, who still works as a lawyer, is being represented in the divorce by high-powered celebrity attorney Samantha Spector and is seeking spousal support. The couple reportedly did not have a pre-nuptial agreement, making this split a potentially messy financial situation for Dre.prev