Jimmy Iovine is regarded as both a legendary figure in the music industry as well as a forward-thinking visionary. Iovine, along with hip hop pioneer Dr. Dre, is the Co-Founder/CEO of Beats Electronics (Beats) and Beats Music, which were both purchased by Apple Inc. in 2014. He is also the founder and former Chairman of Universal Music Group’s Interscope Geffen A&M Records unit.
The Brooklyn-born Iovine’s four-decade career began when he was just out of his teens. As a recording engineer, he found himself in the studio with John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen (Born To Run, Darkness On The Edge Of Town) before setting his sights on being a producer. Building on what he’d learned from the masters, he helped Patti Smith (Easter), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Damn The Torpedoes), and U2 (Rattle & Hum) — all current Rock and Roll Hall of Famers — achieve career breakthroughs. He also produced Stevie Nicks first solo album (Bella Donna) as well as albums for Dire Straits (Making Movies) and The Pretenders (Get Close).
Interscope, the record label that Iovine co-founded in 1990, has come to be widely regarded as the home of music’s most consistently fearless, intriguing, and popular artists, including Dr. Dre, Nine Inch Nails, U2, Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Marilyn Manson, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, 50 Cent, and Lady Gaga. Powered by Iovine’s peerless rapport with musicians, new buzzed-about stars like Azealia Banks, Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamar, and Lana Del Rey, are ensuring that that reputation endures.
With the rise of hip-hop, alternative culture, and technology, Iovine didn’t rest on his legacy but instead used his credibility and integrity to transform Interscope into a multi-media powerhouse that puts artists and ideas first. “The way I produce records now is I support record producers,” Iovine has said.
Iovine co-produced the hit Eminem movie 8 Mile directed by Curtis Hanson and executive produced the critically acclaimed LeBron James documentary More Than A Game.
In 2006, Iovine and hip-hop pioneer/producer Dr. Dre co-founded Beats, the high-performance consumer electronics audio brand that single handedly revived and expanded the premium headphone category into the billion+ dollar global market that it is today.
“Dre’s and my mission for Beats was to introduce premium audio to a generation that had never experienced the emotion of music as intended by the artists because of substandard ear buds and PCs,” says Iovine.
Iovine later expanded the Beats Brand and reputation into the digital music space with Beats Music—the first streaming music service delivering contextually and culturally relevant playlists, personalized for each user, by real music experts to truly bring streaming music to the masses. In June 2015, Iovine spoke at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference to announce the launch of Apple Music.
In 2013, Iovine and Dre gave 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 — a new model for training and inspiring young innovators. The Academy recently announced the creation of a graduate program, powered by state-of-the-art online education technology. Called Design@USC, the Academy will offer a Master’s of Science in integrated design, business and technology, expanding upon the academy’s unique multi-disciplinary undergraduate program.
In 2017, HBO released a four-part documentary, The Defiant Ones, chronicling the life and relationship of Iovine and Dre throughout the years and how they have shaped some of the more exciting moments in pop culture. Directed by Allen Hughes (Menace II Society), the documentary features interviews with Bono, David Geffen, Eminen, Nas, Ice Cube, Gwen Stefani, Jon Landau, Tom Petty, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen and will.i.am. The series also features never-before-seen footage from a multitude of recording and writing sessions with Eazy-E, JJ Fad, Stevie Nicks, N.W.A., Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others. Currently the recipient of a Grammy, NAACP, ACE, and GMS award, the documentary debuted internationally on Netflix in March 2018.
Founders & Board
XQ works in direct collaboration with Emerson Collective, which is dedicated to removing barriers to opportunity so people can live to their full potential. Established and led by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective’s work focuses on education, immigration reform, the environment, and other social justice initiatives. XQ is an independent affiliate of Emerson Collective.