A survivor of domestic violence abuse at the hands of Dr. Dre decades ago has spoken out after the celebrated music producer won a Grammy Award created in his name.
Following Dr. Dre’s acceptance of the inaugural Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the Grammy Awards ceremony Saturday night, former rapper and media personality Dee Barnes told Rolling Stone she was appalled at how “an abuser” continues to win such accolades.
She compared the act to naming an award after Ike Turner, the musician better known for physically and mentally abusing Tina Turner decades ago.
From Rolling Stone:
Everybody wants to separate the art from the artist, and sometimes that’s just not possible. Most people without a knowledge of [Dr. Dre’s] history are going to say, “Oh, he must deserve that. He must be such a great person for them to put an award in his name.” But they named this award after an abuser. It wasn’t just a one or two-time thing; these are choices. The first time, it’s maybe a mistake. The second time, okay. The third time, it’s a choice. I’m not saying he is the same person now, though. I don’t know. I’m not around him anymore. I haven’t talked to him. But to name an award after someone with that type of history in the music industry, you might as well call it the “Ike Turner Award.”
Barnes also said she “would’ve been” at the Grammys to help celebrate its 50th-anniversary tribute to hip-hop if it wasn’t for Dr. Dre “blacklisting her,” adding insult to literal injury.
Barnes has a legitimate reason for her reaction.
Back in 1991, she was a victim of a violent assault by Dr. Dre, who beat and kicked her while attempting to throw her down a set of stairs because of her association with then-rival rapper Ice Cube. According to Barnes’ own statement at the time, Dr. Dre punched her in the head multiple times and began “slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall.” Barnes brought a $22.7 million lawsuit against Dr. Dre, which was settled out of court with the famous producer paying just over $2,000 in fines and serving community service.
Barnes isn’t the only woman with whom Dr. Dre has been accused of physically assaulting.
Around the same time that Barnes was abused, Dr. Dre fathered a child with singer Michel’le, who told the New York Times that he once left her with “black eyes, a cracked rib and scars” from what the news outlet described as one of many violent encounters between the married couple. Michel’le’s biopic on the Lifetime network, Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le, spotlighted the abuse that Dr. Dre has acknowledged.
It was in that context that Dr. Dre has continued to be recognized for his musical contributions and celebrated on the largest of stages, like this year’s Grammy Awards and last year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show.
To be sure, Dr. Dre has apologized. He just never explicitly referenced any abuse.
“Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life,” Dre told the New York Times in 2015. “However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.”
Dr. Dre later said he was sorry.
“I apologize to the women I’ve hurt,” he said. “I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”
Notably, Barnes responded to Dr. Dre’s apology by saying, “I hope he means it.”
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‘Ike Turner Award’: Dee Barnes Rips Dr. Dre’s Icon Grammy Over His Abusive Past was originally published on newsone.com
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