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Dr. Dre's $3 Million Lawsuit Against Death Row Has Been Dismissed

The self-proclaimed billionaire rapper was seeking unpaid royalties during a time his former label was in bankruptcy

May 12, 2014 11:05 AM ET
Dr. Dre performs
Dr. Dre performs in Indio, California.
Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella

Dr. Dre filed a lawsuit against his former label, Death Row Records, for $3.05 million in unpaid royalties earlier this year, and now a judge has dismissed his claim. The rap producer and self-proclaimed billionaire, as of last week's reported deal between his company Beats and Apple, was seeking money the label brought in during a period of bankruptcy, TMZ reports, and wanted it before Death Row's other creditors. Now he will reportedly receive nothing.

Kanye West Explains Why Dr. Dre Is One of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists

Dre was seeking over $676,000 in unpaid mechanical royalties (the license to sell the literal recording of a song), over $1.2 million for unpaid artist and producer royalties and close to $1.2 million for digital sales. A judge had suggested the last amount in 2010 after Dre lost a trademark infringement suit, according to Radar Online. The rapper claimed that the amount of the money he was asking for reflected a bump in royalties from 18 percent to 20.

Last week, Apple reportedly purchased Beats for an estimated $3.2 billion. A video posted by Dre's friend, actor and singer Tyrese, showed the rapper bragging that he was the "first billionaire in hip-hop" (though a rep for Forbes has disputed that claim). Currently, Dre ranks Number Two on Forbes' list of the wealthiest rap artists; Puff Daddy leads the list with a net worth of $700 million. "The Forbes list just changed," Tyrese said in his video. Dre added, "In a big way."

In 2012, Dre led Forbes' list of the top earning musicians overall, having earned $110 million that year.

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