By Deena Allen Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
Interscope Records was founded as a small alt-rock label in the late 1980s. It was the determination and vision of it's founder, Jimmy Iovine, that led to the label becoming a hip hop powerhouse and industry standard-bearer. As chairman of Universal Music Group's Interscope Geffen A&M label, Iovine has been the man behind such hip hop luminaries as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac and Eminem.
Interscope had a stellar 2009; with artists affiliated with the company receiving a whopping 24 Grammy nominations. Also, for the first time in the 51-year history of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the four most popular songs of the year were all from the same label; Interscope. Established stars continued to rack up huge commercial success, with artists like the Black Eyed Peas and Eminem dominating the sales charts throughout 2009 and 2010.
Additionally, Iovine spearheaded a deal with the virtual goods platform Viximo, which signed an exclusively with Interscope/Geffen/A&M.Through the deal, Viximo will be able to create officially licensed virtual gifts and goods representing Interscope artists. He was also the man behind MySpace's music push.
Iovine also served as an executive producer with LeBron James and Maverick Carter of the documentary More Than A Game which was released in the fall of 2009. He owns the Beats By Dr. Dre headphone brand with Dr. Dre under exclusive license to Monster Cable Products. Iovine also spearheaded a joint venture between Mary J. Blige, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and eyewear company Orange 21 Inc. to develop Melodies by MJB, a signature line of fashion sunglasses set to debut in Fall 2010.
Iovine also welcomed new R&B signees like Kelis and Lloyd over to the Interscope family, but the label's biggest catch was Sean "Diddy" Combs and his Bad Boy label. Bad Boy signed a distribution deal with Interscope at the end of 2009.
Raising his visibility even higher, Iovine agreed to become a 'mentor' to contestants on the hit show "American Idol." The top finishing contestants would be signing their recording contracts with the Interscope, A&M, and Geffen group. He was also named one of FastCompany.com's 100 Most Creative People In Business.