What happened? Nicole Young is now filing for divorce from Andre Young, aka Dr. Dre, after 24 years of marriage.
After more than two decades of marriage, Nicole Young (née Plotzker) is officially parting ways with Andre Young, better known to the world as Dr. Dre. The surprise paperwork was shared with Digital Music News this afternoon and filed earlier this week. The exact reasons for the divorce remain unclear, though Young cited ‘irreconcilable differences’ in the preliminary paperwork. Depending on whether a legal battle emerges, more details on the circumstances of the split may emerge.
Dr. Dre and Nicole Plotzker first wed in 1996, when the ultra-successful rapper and producer was already a household name. Since that point, the pair have had two children: son Truice (now 23) and daughter Truly (now 19). Prior to Dre, Nicole Young was married to NBA point guard Sedale Threatt. At the time of their divorce, Threatt was ending his run as a bonafide star with the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s unclear whether Nicole Young will now change her name back to her maiden name. Also unclear is what Young’s grievances with Dr. Dre were. Depending on the specifics of the divorce complaint, the ex-Young could find herself awarded a handsome sum.
In 2019, Dr. Dre’s net worth was estimated at $800 million by Forbes, a figure that was bolstered in recent years by the sale of Beats by Dre to Apple for over $3 billion.
Accordingly, a divorce award could be substantial, though — luckily for Dre — both of the couple’s children are now legally adults.
Indeed, Dre’s success has remained remarkably steady over the decades. Since his marriage in 1996, Dre has consistently combined his business acumen with unmatched musical instincts to become one of the richest musicians in the world. As his career as a rapper calmed down in the early 2000s, Dre focused on the next generation of rappers. That includes both Eminem and 50 Cent, who Dr. Dre signed and mentored towards success.
While still producing and rapping, Dre also eventually focused on technology, tying with industry mogul Jimmy Iovine to create Beats by Dre headphones. The pair focused intently on marketing and celebrity associations, with Beats soon adorning the ears of superstar athletes and tastemakers worldwide. While routinely criticized by audiophiles as bass-heavy disasters, Beats headphones enjoyed incredible mainstream success while massively expanding the over-the-ear, higher-end headphone business.
Following Apple’s monster acquisition of Beats, Dre assumed an executive position at the tech giant.
But despite the searing success, Dre’s career has been dogged by a violent and misogynistic past. Critics have blasted Dre’s lyrics and gangsta rap demeanor as incredibly violent and demeaning to women (among other groups). But this wasn’t just an act: in 1991, Dr. Dre brutally assaulted MTV veejay Dee Barnes, who criticized the group in a previously-aired network segment.
At an industry event in Los Angeles, Dre brutally and repeatedly beat Barnes, trapped her in a bathroom, then dragged her down the stairs by her hair while bodyguards allowed the violence to occur. Dre subsequently bragged about the incident and boasted that Barnes had it coming; the veejay still reports physical issues from the beatdown. Dre has since apologized for the incident, though it’s unclear if the violent episode — and potentially others like it — weighed on the now-canceled marriage.