Originally posted on Buzzfeed
1. Dr. Dre
Estimated Net Worth: $700–800M
Legacy: The incredibly influential producer got his break as a part of the rap Group N.W.A. in 1986. Almost three decades later, we haven’t forgotten Dre for introducing us to Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and 50 Cent. The mogul solidified his icon status when he dropped The Chronic and solidified his place in the millionaire’s club with the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple for $3 Billion.
Quote: “Kids are the ultimate form of motivation. They’re watching. They’re mimicking. They’re an extension of you. So you have to win.”
2. David Geffen
Estimated Net Worth: $6.8B
Legacy: With an impeccable ear for music, Geffen signed no-names turned icons:The Eagles, Tom Waits, Guns N’ Roses. Risky business moves, like releasing Risky Business under his own film company in the ’80s, have paid off big for Geffen who went on to co-found DreamWorks Studios.
Quote: “I thought I’d be a success even back in the mailroom at William Morris.”
3. Richard Branson
Estimated Net Worth: $4.8B
Legacy: The Branson empire started with the introduction of Virgin Records in the ’70s, bringing us some of the biggest names in music (including The Sex Pistols). Today, Virgin Group consists of more than 200 companies in over 30 countries including Virgin Galactic, a space-tourism company.
Quote: “I am prepared to try anything once.”
4. Jack Warner
Estimated Net Worth: Worth $15M at time of death. Warner Bros. now earns billions annually.
Legacy: From introducing the world to the first talking picture (“The Jazz Singer”) to the introduction of talents like Bob Newhart and Peter, Paul and Mary, Jack Warner is a name that will be synonymous with Hollywood forever. Today, Warner Bros. Studios is still one of the most influential powerhouses in media across all platforms.
Quote: “It’s funny how the harder I work the more successful I become.”
5. Jay Z
Estimated Net Worth: $520M
Legacy: Hova’s first album, Reasonable Doubt, wasn’t a major commercial success upon release, but is now considered a hip-hop institution. It’s this kind of foresight that makes Jay one of the rap game’s most influential business minds — signing small acts and shaping them into modern day icons. If you’re a fan of
Rihanna, Ne-Yo, and J. Cole, you can address your thank you note to Mr. Carter.
Quote: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”
6. Simon Cowell
Estimated Net Worth: $350M
Legacy: Simon began his career as a mailroom clerk at EMI Music Publishing. After working his way up to an executive assistant left the company to pursue other ventures. Cowell is one of the driving forces behind the success of Pop Idol (UK),America Idol, America’s Got Talent, and many more. He has since introduced artists such as, One Direction, Susan Boyle, and Il Divo. In 2004 the mogul was named one the the Top Entertainers of the Year and UK Personality of the Year.
Quote: “When you get your first pay cheque, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
7. Sean Combs
Estimated Net Worth: $700M
Legacy: In 1993, Diddy started Bad Boy Entertainment and began introducing groundbreaking artists like Biggie Smalls, Lil’ Kim, and Faith Evans. His gift and drive earned him “Songwriter of The Year” in 1996. Come 1997 BBE sold nearly $100M recordings.
Quote: “Nobody is going to take you to the front of the line unless you push your way to the front of the line.”
8. Jimmy Iovine
Estimated Net Worth: $970M
Legacy: Want to talk about starting from the bottom? Iovine’s career began as a record studio janitor. Since founding Interscope, Iovine signed legends such as Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and No Doubt. He has also participated in several joint-venture projects such as Beats by Dre. Iovine’s enthusiasm and visions have respectfully placed him at the top.
Quote: “Continue to learn with humility, not hubris. Hubris is boring.”