UPDATE: Dr. Dre, American Idol's Jimmy Iovine donate $70 million for new USC center (poll)

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UPDATE 1:26 p.m.: Legendary rapper and producer Dr. Dre (Andre Young) and music producer Jimmy Iovine have given USC $70 million to start a new business, arts and technology academy at the private university. The two music powerhouses and USC president Max Nikias spoke at Interscope Records on Wednesday, to provide details about the new venture. 

Young said that he and Iovine have been given a lot over the years, and this academy was just their way of paying it forward. 

“I really wish there was a program like this when I was coming up to develop my skills," said Young. "I had to do it the hard way. It was basically on-the-job training, so it took a little bit longer to accomplish my goals. So this is an incredible thing for all the youngsters that are trying to do some of the things that I’ve done in my career.”

Iovine is a co-founder of Interscope and over the course of his lengthy career he's worked with pop culture icons from Lady Gaga, U2, Patti Smith and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He offered a few words of wisdom for prospective academy students and aspiring artists. 

"Be willing to start at any low-level job," said Iovine. "Work harder — you don't have to be smarter than the next guy. You got to work harder than the next guy. And that's your edge. I wasn't smarter than anybody."

Nikias said the donation is: "the third largest gift to American higher education from a celebrity. After George Lucas and Mr. Geffen, is Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre.

He added that the new school, which will be called the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, will be "revolutionary" and "disruptive" as it provides "a unique education for a very special type of student."

Nikias credited Young's tireless work ethic and pursuit of artistic perfection with transforming the music industry as a whole. 

"Dr. Dre's legend as an artist, producer and entrepreneur extends from the streets of Compton to the headphones and the hearts of young people around the world," said Nikias.

PREVIOUSLY: Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, and music industry entrepreneur Jimmy Iovine have donated a combined $70 million to create a new institute at the University of Southern California, the school announced Tuesday night.

The huge gift from the two who have been music business partners in the past will be used to create the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

The academy will provide a special four-year program for undergraduates whose interests span several fields from marketing to computer science to visual design and other arts. It will include one-on-one faculty mentoring with professors from programs around the university and interaction with entertainment industry luminaries.

"The vision and generosity of Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young will profoundly influence the way all of us perceive and experience artistic media," said Nikias in a statement. "We are committed to encouraging our students to use their intellectual and creative resources to effect change in all segments of society. Our goal is to ensure that the academy is the most collaborative educational program in the world."

The academy will accept its first class of 25 students in the fall of 2014. 

Iovine is the co-founder of Interscope Records, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M and a mentor on "American Idol." The announcement was made on the eve of the two-night "American Idol" season finale.

Dr. Dre is best known as a producer, solo rapper and co-owner of Death Row records. He later started his own record label, Aftermath Entertainment.

Dr. Dre and Iovine started Beats Electronics LLC, the parent company of the Beats by Dr. Dre line of popular high-end headphones and other music devices.

 

With contributions by KPCC staff

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