Jimmy Iovine

Jimmy Iovine
Born (1953-03-11) March 11, 1953
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation Entrepreneur, record producer
Spouse(s) Vicky Iovine (m. 1985; div. 2009)
Liberty Ross (m. 2016)
Children 4

Musical career

Years active 1973–present

James "Jimmy" Iovine (/ˈ.əvn/; Italian pronunciation: [ˈjovine]; born March 11, 1953)[1] is an American record and film producer. He is best known as the co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M.[2] In 2006, Iovine teamed with Dr. Dre to found Beats Electronics, a company which produces audio products and operated a now defunct music streaming service. The company was purchased by Apple for $3 billion in May 2014.[3]

Early life and training

James Iovine was born in Brooklyn, New York. As a teenager, Iovine 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.[4] Since the start of his career, Iovine has been involved in the production of more than 250 albums.[1][5][6]


Music and film engineering and production career

In the early 1970s, Iovine became a recording engineer, working with John Lennon[7] and Bruce Springsteen, among others. By 1973, Iovine was on staff at the New York studio the Record Plant,[8] 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.

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

In 1990, Iovine co-founded Interscope Records, which became Interscope Geffen A&M after a merger in 1999.[9]

Iovine signed Tupac Shakur to a recording contract as one of the first Hip Hop acts on the Interscope label in 1992. Iovine was also responsible for providing distribution, initial funding and financial oversight for the highly successful Death Row Records hip hop label in the mid 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 1990's, which later launched the company into greater success in the 2000s with platinum artists like Eminem and Lady Gaga.

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.[10] Additionally, Iovine executive produced the 2009 LeBron James documentary, More Than A Game[11][12] and 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin'.[13]

Business career

In 2008, Iovine teamed up with Dr. Dre to co-found Beats By Dr. Dre, a headphones brand. Due in part to the design of its headphones and an expansion into smartphones and automotive audio systems, the company has captured 40 percent market share of the headphones industry.[14][15]

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 front man Trent Reznor were said to be involved.[16]

On May 28, 2014, Apple Inc. announced the acquisition of Beats Electronics. Iovine was hired to assume an undisclosed position at Apple[17] where he helped in the creation of Apple Music, the electronics giant's foray into streaming music.[18]

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.[19][20][21] Iovine's protégés—Scotty McCreery, Phillip Phillips, Jessica Sanchez, and Candice Glover—release their music through Interscope.[22] Iovine stopped working with the show in mid-2013.[23]


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.[24] The goal of the Academy has been stated as "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".[25] The first class of the Academy began in September 2014 with 31 students.[26]

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.[27]

On May 17, 2013, Iovine received an honorary Doctor of Music degree[28] from the University of Southern California and gave the 2013 USC commencement address.[29]

Personal life

While producing her album Bella Donna, Iovine entered a relationship with singer Stevie Nicks. The two split in 1982. Nicks wrote the song "Straight Back", included in the album Mirage, about him.

Iovine was married 24 years to model and writer Vicki Iovine before divorcing; the couple have four children.[30] In 2014 he started dating Liberty Ross.[31] They got married in front of their Malibu beach house on Valentine's Day, 2016, with friends and family in attendance.

Selected discography

Artist Album Released
John LennonWalls and Bridges1974
KansasThe Classic Albums Collection: 1974–19831974–1983
Bruce SpringsteenBorn to Run1975
Meat LoafBat Out of Hell1977
Bruce SpringsteenDarkness on the Edge of Town1978
Golden EarringGrab It for a Second1978
Patti SmithEaster1978
Tom PettyDamn the Torpedoes1979
Bruce SpringsteenThe River1980
Dire StraitsMaking Movies1980
Graham Parker and the RumourThe Up Escalator1980
Stevie NicksBella Donna1981
U2Bono: The Number 1 Number 21983
Simple MindsOnce Upon A Time1985
PretendersGet Close1986
VariousA Very Special Christmas1987
U2Rattle and Hum1988
Gwen StefaniLove. Angel. Music. Baby2004
Lady GagaBorn This Way: The Collection2011
Iggy AzaleaThe New Classic2014




  1. 1 2 Ankeny, Jason. "Jimmy Iovine Biography". AllMusic.com. Archived from the original on November 24, 2015. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  2. Schillaci, Sophie (December 22, 2011). "Jimmy Iovine To Be Honored By Recording Academy". Hollywood Reporter.
  3. Moore, Heidi (May 28, 2014). "Apple buys Dr Dre's Beats for $3bn as company returns to music industry". theguardian.com.
  4. Salamone, Gina (May 22, 2012). "Brooklyn-born 'American Idol' Mentor Preps Contestants For Finale". New York Daily News. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  5. Hillburn, Robert and, Phillips, Chuck (October 24, 1993). "They Sure Figured Something Out". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  6. Lamb, Bill. "Profile: Jimmy Iovine". About.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  7. Hochman, Steve (October 28, 2001). "Jimmy Iovine Is Hot On The Trail Of The Dead". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  8. "The Record Plant". The Record Plant. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  9. "Corporate Profile: Interscope Geffen A&M". Profile Engine. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  10. "8 Mile Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  11. Turan, Kenneth. "More Than A Game". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  12. "Jimmy Iovine at IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  13. Goldstein, Patrick (November 8, 2005). "Has He Got Next?". Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  14. Sanborn, Josh (January 16, 2013). "How Dr. Dre Mad $300 Headphones a Must-Have Essential". Time Magazine. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  15. Fricke, David (April 12, 2012). "The Man With The Magic Ears". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  16. "Trent Reznor Named Creative Chief of Beats' Daisy Music Service". Rolling Stone. January 12, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  17. "It's Official: Apple Buys Beats Electronics for $3 Billion". MacLife. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  18. Parsons, Jeff (June 8, 2015). "WWDC 2015: Apple Music from Beats is Tim Cook and Jimmy Iovine's 'one more thing...'". The Mirror. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  19. McKinley, Jr., James C. "Straight Shots on Idol, At Last, Courtesy of Jimmy Iovine". New York Times. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  20. "Episode Guide, American Idol". TV Guide. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  21. Ribeiro Truman, Gabriela (May 25, 2012). "Jimmy Iovine: From Music Icon To Mentor". Morton Report. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  22. Mansfield, Brian (November 19, 2012). "Phillip Phillips Looks Beyond Home With Debut Album". USA Today. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  23. Jimmy Iovine Out Of ‘American Idol’, Randy Jackson Poised To Replace Him As Mentor Deadline, Retrieved August 23, 2013
  24. Wortham, Jenna (14 May 2013). "Two Musical Minds Seek a Different Kind of Mogul". The New York Times.
  25. Lacovara, Dan (15 May 2013). "Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre give $70 million to create new academy at USC". University Of Southern California.
  26. "Current Students". University of Southern California.
  27. "Jimmy Iovine To Be Honored". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  28. "Past Recipients · Honorary Degrees". University of Southern California. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  29. "2013 Commencement Speaker". University of Southern California. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  30. Iovine, Vicki (May 8, 2009). "Divorce Is Trite, But Everyone's Is Special". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 29, 2015. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  31. De Bertadano, Helena. "Liberty at last: Liberty Ross on moving on and falling in love again after THAT affair". standard.co.uk/. London Evening Standard. Retrieved September 12, 2014.
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