British business tycoon Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is most well known for being the founder of the 400 company strong Virgin Group. He is also known for being an adventurer who loves racing in powerboats, hot-air ballooning and trying to break world records. Not only that, he is involved in and has initiated various philanthropic efforts, including many that focus on environmental issues.
Branson begun his entrepreneurial journey at a young age, with his first business venture being a student magazine at the age of 16. It was onwards and upwards from there, with the Virgin brand first being introduced to the world with the launch of Virgin Records in the 1970s.
Read on to find out more about the man who was officially knighted in 2000 for his “services to entrepreneurship”
In November 2017, Branson’s net worth was estimated at $5.1 billion by Forbes.
On 18 July 1950, Branson was born to Eve and Edward James Branson in Blackheath, London. With two younger sisters, he was the eldest of three children. Branson had a great education growing up, attending a Surrey prep school and then the independent Stowe School in Buckinghamshire until he turned 16.
While he was at school, Branson wasn’t the greatest academic achiever. He struggled in his classes and he also suffered from dyslexia which may have impacted his academic performance..However he was undoubtedly a smart boy, showing signs of entrepreneurship from a young age. Branson started his own magazine at the age of 16, a youth culture publication called ‘Student’. His parents were proud and supportive of these efforts, as his mother had been an entrepreneur herself at different periods in her life.
Branson’s career really begun quite early in his life with the launch of his magazine called ‘Student’ at the age of just 16. Within the magazine he featured the interviews of many famous personalities at the time such as Mick Jagger. He included adverts for some of the most popular records of the time in the magazine, and it proved to be a popular publication.
Branson decided to start selling records under the trading name Virgin. Virgin was the name suggested by one of his very first employees, who suggested it to reflect their own newness in business. Virgin sold records for much lower prices compared to most of the high street stores. Eventually, Branson opened his first record shop in Oxford Street in the heart of London.
In 1972, Branson decided to expand his business to include a record label, Virgin Records. He had a recording studio set up in a country estate just outside Oxford, where up and coming artists could record their albums. Virgin Records’ first release was Mike Oldfield’s debut album, which topped the charts and became a bestseller.
The label went on to sign other soon to be major artists such as the Sex Pistols, the Rolling Stones and Paula Abdul. Virgin Records quickly established itself as the largest independent record label in the world. It had to be sold by Branson in 1992 in order to keep Virgin Airways afloat, which was hard for him to do considering it had been his very first successful Virgin business.
In 1984, Branson launched his airline, Virgin Atlantic Airways. More Virgin brands followed, with the creation of Virgin Trains in 1993, Virgin Mobile in 1999, and the launch of Virgin Blue Australia in 2000. By this point Branson was worth a little more than £3 billion and had firmly established his presence on the Sunday Times Rich List.
In September of 2004, Branson announced that he had signed a deal which would mean that a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, would soon be launched using the Spaceship One technology. Virgin Galactic was created to allow passengers to fly into space, with the flights being available to purchase for $200,000.
Branson continued expanding the Virgin Group with his next venture, Virgin Fuels. This venture was created as a response to global warming to offer cheaper fuel options for automobiles and someday aircrafts. Branson’s efforts for the environment continued with his 2006 pledge to invest some of his profits (about $3 billion) into researching fuels that would be more environmentally friendly.
In 2006, Branson decided to sell his Virgin Mobile company and launch a new company called Virgin Media. He also formed Virgin Animations as Virgin Comics that same year, and Virgin Health Bank the following year. Virgin Health Bank was formed to offer expectant parents the chance to store the blood stem cells of their new baby’s umbilical cord in a stem-cell bank. He continued his foray into healthcare with the launch of Virgin Healthcare in 2008, a chain of healthcare clinics that would offer medical and homeopathic care.
The expansion of the Virgin group didn’t stop there. Branson created a new business called Virgin Hotels with 2010, with the first hotel due to open in Edinburgh this year. However, throughout the Virgin journey, there have been a few failed ventures amidst all the successes. These include the likes of Virgin Cola, Virgin Publishing and Virgin Cars.
The Virgin Group now has a presence in around 35 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, South Africa, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, and many more. They employ around 70,000 employees around the world working across their various brands and businesses.
In 1972, Branson wed Kristen Tomassi. The marriage didn’t last long unfortunately, ending in divorce in 1979. He married again in 1981, to his current wife Joan Templeman. The wedding was held on his own private island, Necker Island. Necker Island was hit by a hurricane in 2017, and is currently uninhabitable.
Branson has two children with Joan, a son named Sam and a daughter called Holly.
Interesting Stories and Lesser Known Facts
Branson is also known for making several attempts to break world records. This began in 1985, when he first attempted to complete the fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. This led to his boat capsizing and the RAF were needed to provide rescue. The attempt received a lot of media coverage, with some calling for Branson to pay the government back for the costs of the rescue efforts. Branson didn’t give up and made another attempt the following year. This time he managed to beat the world record by two hours, together with expert in sailing Daniel McCarthy.
In 2004, Branson continued setting world records by crossing the English Channel from Dover to Calais in record breaking time. His next attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in 2008 was less successful, as turbulent weather destroyed much of the boat he was on.
Branson is also known for his various appearances in the media. This includes appearing on many popular television shows, including Friends, Only Fools and Horses and Baywatch. He also attempted to create his own reality show called The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best. The format of the show was somewhat similar to that of The Apprentice but it didn’t last beyond the first season.
Fun Fact: Branson has made several cameo appearances in movies over the years. These include popular flicks such as Superman Returns, Casino Royale and Around the World in 80 Days.
Fun Fact: Branson is known to be a major Star Trek fan. He even called his new spaceship VSS Enterprise to honour the Star Trek spaceships. Reportedly, he also offered Star Trek actor William Shatner a spot on the first space launch ride of Virgin Galactic. Shatner states in an interview that Branson asked him how much he would be willing to pay for the ride. And Shatner responded by saying “how much would you pay me to do it?”
Fun Fact: Branson is known to dislike ties and prefer much more casual clothing, both in the workplace and when he’s at home. He is quoted as saying “I have been carrying out a lifelong campaign to say bye to the tie. I often carry a pair of scissors with me, ready to cut off the tie of any unsuspecting wearer. I even have a cushion on Necker Island made up of some of my victims! I remain convinced that ties only exist because managers, after spending years being forced to wear ties by their bosses, decide to force the next generation to do the same. They subtly encourage conformity. Most people in business dress the same and that contributes to them acting the same. Wearing a tie really can restrict new ideas and innovative thoughts – not to mention breath!”
Fun Fact: If you’re interested in learning more about Branson’s journey in his own words, check out his autobiography. Called “Losing My Virginity: How I’ve Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way”, Branson’s autobiography was published in 1998 and more recently updated in 2011. If you’re more interested in just his business philosophy, he focusses on this in his 2014 book called “The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership”.
Branson is one of the donors who funds a group formed by Nelson Mandela called ‘The Elders’. This group is based on the premise of a small group made of leaders who would work together to help resolve difficult conflicts around the world. It is chaired by Kofi Annan.
Branson has also long been a supporter of environmental issues. In 2006, he famously pledged to donate £3 billion towards helping to address and deal with global warming over the next decade. He also hosted a gathering on Necker Island in 2008 that was focussing on discussing environmental issues with a host of famous personalities including world leaders and other entrepreneurs. The group, including names like Larry Page, Jimmy Wales and Tony Blair, discussed all the problems that were arising around the world due to global warming and potential solutions and ideas.
Branson is also a signatory of the campaign known as Global Zero. This initiative was developed to focus on the elimination of nuclear weapons internationally. 300 leaders and more than 400,000 citizens from around the world have signed up to support this initiative, along with Branson. As part of their efforts, they have developed a practical plan to eliminate the nuclear weapons, and produced a documentary film on the subject.
Branson is also a supporter of the “Say No” Campaign, which has been developed by the African Wildlife Foundation and WildAid to create awareness around wildlife poaching and wildlife trafficking.
In more recent years, Branson has been focussing most of his time and attention on his space tourism project. He is committed to the successful development of a suborbital plane that will allow passengers to travel in space. The development of the project has been moving ahead with various tests, with the impressive SpaceShipTwo having a successful test launch in 2013. Branson was said to be truly delighted by the success of the test. He told NBC News, “We’re absolutely delighted that it broke the sound barrier on its very first flight, and that everything went so smoothly.” By 2013, over 500 people had reserved their tickets to fly on a Virgin Galactic spaceship.
3 years ago, Branson also announced the formation of Virgin Voyages, a cruise line. The first Virgin cruise ship, which will be able to hold upto 2800 passengers and 1150 crew, is on track to launch with its first voyage in 2020.
Dwayne Johnson Net Worth
Actor, producer and professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson is more popularly known by his name on the wrestling ring, The Rock. Widely regarded to be one of the most legendary professional wrestlers ever,Johnson first gained his fame when he started wrestling in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF,known as WWE). He’s also had a successful acting career and is involved in various charitable projects.
Read on to find out more about the life story and achievements of this much-loved wrestling legend.
Dwayne Johnson’s net worth is estimated at $190 million as of April 2017.
Born on May 2nd, 1972 in the town of Hayward in California, Dwayne Douglas Johnson is the son of Ata Johnson and wrestler Rocky Johnson. His grandfather was a wrestler, and his grandmother was a promoter in the world of wrestling. Many would say that the passion for wrestling ran in his family and his blood.
Johnson was briefly living in New Zealand, but returned to the U.S. at a young age. He spent his early years of schooling in Connecticut, and then moved to Pennsylvania due to his father’s job. Whilst at high school in Pennsylvania, Johnson joined the football team, the track team, and the wrestling team.
Due to his talent on the football field, Johnson was offered many offers from Division 1 collegiate programs. He chose the University of Miami, and went there on a full football scholarship. In 1991, he was chosen to be part of the national team the Miami Hurricanes. Unfortunately, he was injured soon after and had to be replaced.
While at the University of Miami, Johnson also met Dany Garcia, who he would soon decide to marry. In 1995, Johnson received his degree in criminology with physiology from the university. He went on to join a team in the Canadian Football League the same year. Two months after the season begun, Johnson was cut from the team.
As many of Johnson’s relatives were in the wrestling industry, it didn’t come as a huge surprise to anyone when he decided to become a wrestler himself. Though his father initially wasn’t as into the idea, he finally agreed to train Johnson himself.
Johnson managed to get some trial matches with the WWF in 1996, through a connection to the company. He used his real name on the ring at that time. In 1996, Johnson officially came on board with the World Wrestling Federation and his debut under the name Rocky Maivia. The name was his father and his grandfather’s ring names combined.
Rocky Maivia made his debut with rest of the entourage of Marc Mero on the 4th of November in 1996, as part of Monday Night Raw. His first WWF official match led to him being the only survivor of an elimination match of eight.
Maivia wasn’t instantly appreciated by fans. The initially thought that his character was a little cheesy. However, after a string of successes and title wins, he started to gain a reputation on the ring.
After his second win of the Intercontinental Championship, Johnson suffered a knee injury on the ring in a 1997 match. After this time, he started to refer to himself as The Rock and often talked about himself in the third person. He also would often insult the WWF audience in his promos, and such antics made him more and more famous.
The Rock had many feuds with other wrestlers throughout his time at the WWE. He regained the Intercontinental Championship belt by 1998, and he also overthrew Faarooq to become the new Nation of Domination leader.
Over the next few years, The Rock continued to defeat rivals including Dan Severn and Triple H. He also managed to defeat Mankind and Shamrock in a steel cage match to rise to the ranks of being the top contender for WWE Championship.
In 1998, The Rock joined The Corporation, and continued his ongoing feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin. He even stole Austin’s personalised championship belt.
The Rock was known for his hugely entertaining promos, and his popularity rose over the years. He started to refer to himself as The People’s Champion. He also continuously feuded with fellow wrestler Mankind over the main WWF Championship. For a while the championship went back and forth between the two. Their feud finally ended when The Rock managed to win his third championship from him. However, he ended up losing it to Stone Cold Steve Austin at the following WrestleMania XV.
The Rock tried to position and portray himself as a bit of a villain, but his fans loved him and cheered for him. He became something of a fan favourite by the end of the 90s. His charismatic persona and verbal skills had much to do with his popularity, and his fan loved to repeat his various catchphrases. The Rock merchandise also proved really successful.
In 2000, The Rock managed to win his fourth World Wrestling Federation Championship. And then at King of the Ring, he went on to win it a fifth time. He eventually lost it to Angle at the No Mercy match, and continued to feud with him for some time in an attempt to regain it. He was eventually successful and found himself a six-time winner of the WWF championship.
The Rock was suspended from the WWF for a short while and took the time off to act in his first major film The Mummy Returns. Upon his return to the WWF in 2001, he quickly resumed winning titles such as the WWF Tag Team Championship with Jericho and the WCW Championship (now known as the World Championship). He lost this to Jericho at the end of 2001.
The following year, The Rock was one of the headline acts of the WWE Asian Tour. He travelled to Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan to perform at the sell-out shows. Upon his return, he challenged wrestling legend Hulk Hogan to a WrestleMania match. He managed to defeat him in an iconic match between two legends that was viewed by millions.
After a short sabbatical, The Rock returned to break a record by winning his seventh WWF Championship. He defended the title for some time before losing it to Lesnar. Following this, the Rock decided to take another sabbatical from wrestling to focus on some more films.
The Rock returned in 2003 and restarted feuds with both Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. After a short while he decided to leave again and returned to WWE in other roles that didn’t involve wrestling. From 2004 – 2009, The Rock made only sporadic appearances at WWE, choosing instead to place his focus on his film career. He did appear as the WrestleMania host in 2011. Over the next few years he returned to the ring only occasionally.
The character of The Rock was so strong and so widely loved, that he was able to easily cross over and adopt the same character in more mainstream channels. He appeared in music videos, hosted Saturday Night Live, and had guest appearances on television shows, all as The Rock. He was starting to be regarded as a modern pop culture icon.
Johnson’s first leading role in a movie was in a spinoff of The Mummy Returns called The Scorpion King. The Guinness World Record stated that his $5.5 million paycheck made him the highest paid actor in his debut lead role. He also appeared on the front cover of many major magazine publications, including Rolling Stone and Newsweek.
Even his former rival Hulk Hogan has referred to The Rock as”the biggest superstar in this business”, and John Cena has called him “the biggest superstar in the history of WWE”.
Other than appearances on television shows such as Star Trek and That 70’s show, Johnson has now featured in a huge number of movies. The list includes The Game Plan, Be Cool, The Mummy Returns, Fast Five, Hercules, and a lead role voicing a character in Disney film Moana among others.
Johnson has also formed his own production company, called Seven Bucks Productions. They’ve produced major films such as Baywatch as well as Jumanji. They have a movie called Rampage scheduled for release in 2018.
Johnson has lived in the Southwest Ranches in Florida for the last four years. He was previously married to Dany Garcia and has a daughter with her called Simone. Garcia and Johnson divorced in 2007. Since then, Johnson has been dating Lauren Hashian. They also have a daughter together called Jasmine and are currently expecting their second baby.
Interesting Stories and Lesser Known Facts
Fun Fact: Johnson has been given the noble title Seiuli by the Samoan people, as he is a direct descendant of the Samoan chiefs.
Fun Fact: Johnson released his autobiography in 2000, called The Rock Says… It spent many weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Fun Fact: In 2015, Johnson managed to set a record taking the most selfies within three minutes. He took 105 selfies with his fans during the London premiere of his movie San Andreas.
Fun Fact: Johnson started his own YouTube channel in 2016 called The Rock with the assistance of popular YouTube vlogger Lilly Singh who is one of his biggest fans. The channel has already had many appearances from online stars.
In 2006, Johnson formed his foundation called Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, which is focused on working with children who are terminally ill or at-risk. When it was first created, the foundation aimed to help in the recovery process and offer hope to children who had been hospitalised for different medical conditions.
It has since expanded upon its aims to also focus on education and create programs that are dedicated to the prevention of obesity in children. These include educating kids on the importance of nutrition and physical fitness initiatives. The children that the foundation help range from babies to those in their early twenties.
In 2007, Johnson and his wife at the time gave a $1 million donation to the university they had attended in Miami. The money was given to be used renovate the campus football facilities.
Johnson is also a director at an organisation called The Beacon Experience. This organisation is dedicated to encouraging kids to pursue further education upon leaving high school. They try to achieve this through a mix of courses and mentoring programs.
Johnson is also a great supporter of the fantastic Make-A-Wish Foundation. Furthermore, he played a fundamental part in organising a fundraising gala event for Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. This organisation focuses on getting funding for those non-profit organizations that help raise awareness around the issues facing disadvantaged urban youths and bringing them access to the arts.
He has also supported charities working towards an end to Parkinson’s Disease and AIDS.
Emma Watson Net Worth
British actress, model, and activist Emma Watson was born in Paris in 1990. Looking at her achievements, it’s hard to believe just how young she is. However, she is still most well known for her role as Hermione in the Harry Potter franchise. Harry Potter fans saw her on their screens when she was as young as 11.
Read on to find out more about the life story of this young high achiever.
Emma Watson is reportedly worth $80 million.
Emma Charlotte Watson was born in Paris but raised in Oxfordshire, England by her lawyer parents. After her parents divorced when she was quite young, Watson lived with her mother and brother but kept a close relationship with her father. Her early education was at the Dragon School in Oxford. She trained as an actress from an early age, attending the prestigious Stagecoach Theatre Arts school in Oxford. She states that she was aware of her desire to become an actress from the age of six!
By the time she turned 10, Watson had already been a part of various productions at Stagecoach as well as various school plays. Her first professional role was in the worldwide phenomenon Harry Potter series.
Casting for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling’s first book in the hugely popular Harry Potter book series, started back in 1999. Watson was approached by casting agents who were connected to her theatre teacher. They were impressed with her after her very first audition, but it took eight auditions for her to be finally offered the role of Hermione Granger that would make her famous around the world.
Harry Potter first came to our screens in 2001, marking Watson’s first big screen debut. Various world records were broken by the release of the film, making it the highest grossest feature of that year. Watson’s performance was met with critical acclaim, and she was nominated for awards including the Young Artist Award for Leading Young Actress which she won.
The second instalment of the series came just a year later with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Watson’s performance was again widely appreciated. By the time the Prisoner of Azkaban released in 2004, Watson had matured considerably due to being thrust in the limelight at a young age.
The New York Times didn’t appreciate main lead Daniel Radcliffe’s performance, but had this to say about Watson,: “Luckily Mr. Radcliffe’s blandness is offset by Ms. Watson’s spiky impatience. Harry may show off his expanding wizardly skills … but Hermione … earns the loudest applause with a decidedly unmagical punch to Draco Malfoy’s deserving nose.”
Throughout the course of the series, Watson received several awards including Otto awards. She also had the honour of being the youngest front cover model of Teen Vogue.
In 2007, the film series continued to break records with the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, its highest grossing release to date. The fame of the 3 lead actors continued to rise, and in 2007, they were given the honour of including their imprints on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Watson had also already earned herself over £10 million by 2007, from her work on the series. In 2010, she was announced to be the highest paid actress in Hollywood, having earned £19 million in just the previous year.
The first time Watson appeared in a feature film not from the Harry Potter series was her role in the 2007 film Ballet Shoes by the BBC. It was viewed by over 5 million viewers when broadcast, but received mixed reviews. In 2008, Watson voiced Princess Pea in the animation The Tale of Despereaux.
Watson was in her late teens by the time the sixth instalment of Harry Potter premiered in 2009. Though she was no longer a child, critics still appreciated her performance and The Washington Post called it her “most charming performance to date”. At this point Watson started to express her desire to go back to study at university once the film series was complete.
The final Harry Potter book was adapted into two films for financial reasons. The final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part II, was released towards the end of 2010.
Post the Harry Potter era, Watson appeared in the movie My Week with Marilyn in 2011, based on a tale about Marilyn Monroe. She didn’t play the titular character, but her role as Lucy the wardrobe assistant still left an impact.
Watson’s role in The Perks of Being a Wallflower in 2012 was also widely appreciated. The following year she appeared in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, a movie about the real-life robberies in Los Angeles. The film didn’t receive the best reviews, but critics praised Watson’s performance.
When Watson was offered a supporting role in Seth Rogen’s end of the world comedy called This is the End in 2013, she said she jumped at the opportunity. She stated that she was excited to work “with some of the best comedians” in the world.
In 2013, British GQ announced that their Woman of the Year award would go to Emma Watson. That same year she also topped a poll of the sexiest stars of 2013, showing that she was clearly appreciated for her looks as well by the viewing public.
Awards continued to pour in, with the British Artist of the Year award being bestowed upon Watson at the 2014 Britannia Awards. Two years later, Watson publicly announced her plan to take a break from acting for a year. She wanted to use her year to focus on her work in women’s rights and “personal development”.
The following year, Watson got what is considered the second biggest role of her career to date. She was cast as Belle in Disney’s live adaptation of The Beauty and the Beast. The enormous box office earnings of the movie catapulted Watson to further fame. Later on that same year, she appeared in a movie with Tom Hanks called The Circle, playing a completely different role.
Watson also did a fair amount of modelling throughout her career. She was the face of Burberry in 2009 and 2010, and the face of Lancôme in 2011. She was widely praised within the fashion industry for her sense of style. She even received the British Elle Style Icon award in 2011, and in 2014 she got the Best British Style award at the British Fashion Awards.
The young actress is not a fan of talking about her personal life and tries her best to keep news of any boyfriends away from any media. The press has managed to find out some information over the years about Watson’s dating life.
From 2006 – 2007, Watson was dating a rugby player and Oxford student called Matthew Jenny. In 2008, she moved on to Jay Barrymore, who was said to resemble her childhood crush Prince Harry. They were said to be living together for a little while.
Watson’s next boyfriend was claimed to be her colleague from the shoot of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, model George Craig. In 2011, Watson started dating an Oxford University graduate student named Will Adamowicz until her busy schedule allegedly led to them breaking up.
Most recently in 2016, Watson was snapped by paparazzi with William Knight, an entrepreneur and programmer not from the world of show business. Their break up was said to be due to both of their conflicting busy schedules.
Interesting Stories and Lesser Known Facts
In her gap year after leaving school, Watson had stated her intention to continue her studies at university. She chose Brown University in Rhode Island to do so in 2009. After attending the university for 18 months, Watson decided to defer her education for a couple of semesters. She also attended Oxford University in 2011 as a visiting student. Watson was able to graduate from Brown University in five years, with a degree in English Literature.
Fun Fact: Watson declared that she had had a massive crush on the actor Tom Felton, played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, when she was just 10. Harry Potter fans worldwide loved this fact. She told Jonathan Ross, “I had a really terrible crush on Tom Felton, to the extent that I would go into work in the morning and look down the numbers on the call sheet to see if he was going to be in.” Many of the fans were amused by this as Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger had been each other’s enemies in the movie series.
Fun Fact: Watson was extremely close to not signing on for the last three movies in the Harry Potter series because of the massive time commitment. It was a four year commitment, and one that the budding actress was unsure that she should sign up for. Luckily for all of us she decided to do go ahead complete the series with the rest of the original cast. We really can’t picture anyone else in the role of Hermione Granger.
Fun Fact: Watson learned to teach yoga as well as meditation in 2013, from a facility in Canada. She also attended a meditation course there in which speaking wasn’t allowed for a week.
Fun Fact: In early 2016, Watson decided to start a feminist book club with Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf. The aim of the book club was to discuss feminism and feminist ideas. She also left various books on the underground in London in an attempt to get more people reading.
Fun Fact: Watson received something of a backlash for a photo of her in Vanity Fair where she was posing with partly visible breasts. She was accused of hypocrisy by some feminists. Watson fought back by arguing that feminism “shouldn’t be a stick with which to beat other women”
Fun Fact: Watson was number 26 within the TIme’s 100 list of the most influential people in the world at the young age of 25.
Watson became involved with a Fair-Trade clothing brand called People Tree in 2009, working closely with them to release a few collections. It was widely covered by major fashion publications and the brand had a huge boost of awareness due to her involvement. About her involvement, she stated that “Fashion is a great way to empower people and give them skills; rather than give cash to charity you can help people by buying the clothes they make and supporting things they take pride in”.
Watson has also long been a passionate advocate for women’s rights. She supports the education of girls everywhere and has visited countries like Bangladesh as well as Zambia to raise awareness around the importance of educating girls. It is an ongoing passion of her to raise awareness of this issue, and it’s definitely one that’s extremely close to her heart.
In 2014, the United Nations appointed Watson as their Women Goodwill ambassador. She delivered her first address to the UN at their headquarters in New York. This is where she announced the launch of the campaign by UN Women called HeForShe, that she would front. The campaign focuses on encouraging men to become gender equality advocates. Her impressive speech on the topic was praised around the world, but she also revealed that she received death threats soon after.
That same year, Watson visited Uruguay as part of her new UN Women Goodwill Ambassador role. She also delivered a powerful speech on gender equality at the World Economic Forum’s meeting in January 2015.
At the recent Golden Globe awards, Watson showed her support for the Time’s Up campaign by bringing along Marai Larasi as her guest, an activist dedicated to fighting violence against women.
Dr Dre Net Worth
Born with the name Andre Romelle Young, this famous rapper is much more well known by most of us by his stage name Dr Dre. There isn’t much in the music industry that Dr Dre doesn’t have the talent for. He is a rapper, a songwriter, and a record producer. And he is proficient at playing various instruments including the keyboards. To add to that, he’s a hugely successful entrepreneur as well. He is the CEO of both Beats Electronics and Aftermath Entertainment. His huge net worth makes him one of the richest people in the world of hip hop.
Read on to find out more about the story of this musically gifted business mogul.
Dr. Dre’s net worth is estimated at $740 million. He is widely regarded as the richest man in hip hop, and a lot of the net worth is due to his business Beats by Dre. The acquisition by Apple is really what cemented his fortune.
Born on February 18, 1965, Andre Romelle Young was the first of Verna and Theodore Young’s children. His parents got a divorce just seven years after his birth, but he gained three siblings through his mother’s remarriage.
Young was raised in Compton, an area known for its gang violence. It was this very violence that made his parents transfer him from Vanguard Junior High to the relatively safer Roosevelt Junior High in the suburbs. His grandmother played a major role in raising him. His mother’s remarriage to Warren Griffin brought four step siblings into his life, (one of whom would eventually be the rapper Warren G).
Young didn’t have the best grades at school, and was much more focused on socialising and music. His cousin was the producer known as Sir Jinx. At a young age, he became father to a son named Curtis with Cassandra Greene. Curtis was primarily raised by his mother, and didn’t actually meet his own father until 20 years later.
From an early age, Young loved to attend live music and DJ gigs. He often frequented the club Eve After Dark to watch live rap performances. His first real gig in the music industry was as a DJ in that very club, calling himself Dr. J based on his favourite professional basketball player Julius Erving.
It was at Eve After Dark that Young met another aspiring rapper called Antoine Carraby who would later become a member of N.W.A. called DJ Yella. At this time, Young decide to adopt the name Dr. Dre. It was a mix of his Dr. J alias and his own real first name Andre. Dre and Carraby used the back room at the club as a studio to record their first few demos.
Dr. Dre went on to join a musical group called World Class Wreckin’ Cru in 1984. They dominated the hip hop scene in the West Coast in the early 80s. Their first hit was a record called Surgery, and it sold more than 50,000 copies just in the Compton area.
Together with DJ Yella, Dre performed mixes at local radio stations. He was frequently absent from school, and was almost kicked off the swim team for this reason.
After he left high school, Dre’s mother wanted him to pursue further education so he enrolled himself at the Chester Adult School situated in Compton. He then briefly attending a school for radio broadcasting. He left Chester School pretty soon to focus on his music career.
Dr. Dre met the rapper now known as Ice Cube in 1986. They collaborated on various songs together, which were released through record label Ruthless Records. The first album by the group calling themselves N.W.A. was called Straight Outta Compton and was a huge success, even though there hadn’t been much airplay on the radio and no big concert tours to promote the album. For their second album, Dre did much of the production as well as featuring in it heavily.
Following disagreements with fellow group member Eazy-E, Dre decided to leave the group in 1991. Together with his then bodyguard Suge Knight who founded Death Row records, Dre continued to release music. The first single was a collaboration with Snoop Dog.
Dre’s first solo album was called The Chronic. It was praised for his distinctive style of rap and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Snoop Dogg also featured heavily on the album. The sound of the album came to dominate the hip hop scene of the early 90s. It was a triple platinum album, and Dre had the first taste of huge success with it. He also won a Grammy Award, Best Rap Solo Performance for the song “Let Me Ride”
According to Billboard magazine, Dre was the eighth biggest selling music artist of 1993. He got his first number one on the BillBoard chart with the song California Love.
Other than the material on which he featured himself, Dre also produced albums for other artists. This included Snoop Dogg’s first album which was also a huge success.
Death Row Records signed up rapper 2pac to their label in 1995, and he was featured on California love with Dr. Dre. The following year, Dre decided to leave the label due to his concerns that Knight was engaging in corrupt practices. He decided to set up his own label, Aftermath Entertainment.
The first album released by Dr. Dre’s new label featured many songs with him on it, as well as many with other artists signed to the new label. The album sold well but was not as widely praised as Dre’s previous work. Rumours spread that the label was suffering from financial troubles. There was a turning point when Eminem (at the time not a well-known artist) was signed by Dr. Dre. His first album with Dr. Dre producing some of the songs was a huge success and generally received critical acclaim. It revived the Aftermath Entertainment label’s place in the industry.
Dr. Dre decided to release his second solo album in 1999, which featured many famous collaborators such as Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige. The album became hugely successful and re-cemented Dr. Dre’s place in the music industry. He won the Grammy Award Producer of the Year for the album.
After the success of this, Dr. Dre decided to spend some time focusing on production for other artists. This included co-producing many of the tracks on Eminem’s famous Marshall Mathers LP album. It was again a huge success for Eminem and consequently reaped a lot of acclaim for Dr. Dre for the production. Dre also produced popular singles released by Mary J. Blige and Gwen Stefani around this time. Dre continued his successful working relationship with Eminem by executive producing his third album, the Eminem Show in 2002, as well as his fourth album Encore.
The Aftermath Entertainment label also signed up New York rapper 50 Cent, and his first album called Get Rich or Die Tryin’ was a major success in 2003. Dre also produced 2005’s major hit single How We Do by the rapper The Game.
Dr. Dre’s continued success as a producer got him a place on the Rolling Stone’s list of The Greatest Artists of all Time. He continued producing for many popular artists including Raekwon and Jay Z for the next few years.
Dr. Dre had planned to release his next studio album Detox in 2010, after years of working on it. However, he didn’t release all the material on it. Many say that his love for perfectionism is what drove him not to release it, as he didn’t want to release anything he wasn’t completely happy with. The single I Need a Doctor by Eminem and Skylar Grey from the album was the biggest success from the releases so far. The following year, Dr. Dre announced his plans for a break from the world of music to focus on his business endeavour Beats By Dre. and to spend time with his family.
In 2015, Dre announced that he wanted to release an album called Compton that he said was going to be his final album. It was inspired by the biopic for N.W.A. called Straight Outta Compton, and was to feature several of his favourite collaborators including Eminem, The Game, and Snoop Dogg, among others.
In 2016, Dre featured on Puff Daddy’s tour, the Bad Boy Reunion tour, along with Snoop Dogg.
Dr. Dre also has an extremely successful business venture, on top of his super successful music career. He released his headphones brand in 2008, called Beats by Dr. Dre. It launched various different types of headphones, and partnered with HP to release a limited edition laptop. Apple Inc. purchased the brand from Dr. Dre in 2014 for a reported $3 billion, which is what makes him the richest man in the world of hip hop now.
Dr. Dre has six kids that he had with five separate women, 4 sons and 2 daughters. His first child was born to Cassandra Joy Greene in 1981 when Dre was just 16 years old. His first son is called Curtis Young and he is a rapper with the stage name Hood Surgeon.
Dre’s next child was born soon after, a daughter La Tanya Danielle Young, in 1983. 5 years later, he had his next son with Jenita Porter who is named Andre Young Jr. He sadly passed away at the young age of 20, reportedly from a heroin and morphine overdose. The entire family was understandably devasted at the loss.
Dr. Dre had a relationship with the singer Michel’le for 9 years from 1987 to 1996. She had been a frequent vocalist on records from Ruthless Records and Death Row Records. They welcomed their son Marcel into the world in 1991.
In 1996, Dre got married to Nicole Threatt, who had previously been married to the NBA player Sedale Threatt. Together Dre and Nicole had two children, a son Truice and a daughter Truly.
Interesting Stories and Lesser Known Facts
Dr. Dre has faced accusations of violence against women. This includes accusations from his former partner Michel’le, who alleged that he had been physically abusive to her when they were together. Tairrie B, who was previous labelmate of Dre’s, also accused Dre of assaulting her at a Grammy after party in 1990.
Dre has addressed this in the press, stating the following in a Rolling Stone interview:
“I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life. I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true—some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
Fun fact: Dr. Dre donated the large sum of $70 million to the University of Southern California together with Jimmy Iovine to form the creation of the USC arts academy. Their goal is “to shape the future by nurturing the talents, passions, leadership and risk-taking of uniquely qualified students who are motivated to explore and create new art forms, technologies, and business models.”
Fun Fact: Dr. Dre is known to be a perfectionist and refuses to release any work that he isn’t hundred percent satisfied with himself.
Fun Fact: Apple revealed in 2016 that they were creating a scripted television show that would feature Dr. Dre called “Vital Signs”, and it would reflect his own life story.
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