Dr. Dre says he had 3 strokes while hospitalized for brain aneurysm

Dr. Dre told James Corden in a recent interview that he was surprised when doctors shared what had happened to his brain.
Dr. Dre answers questions during a news conference.
Posted at 5:08 PM, Mar 18, 2024

Dr. Dre was told he was lucky to be in good health after a stir of health scares in 2021.

In a recent interview on SiriusXM's "This Life of Mine with James Corden," the music mogul reflected on his brain aneurysm in January of that year that put him in the hospital, where he had three strokes within two weeks of being treated for the initial issue. 

The 59-year-old told Corden his condition dramatically worsened after first waking up one morning with pain behind his right ear. His son's friend insisted they take Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, to see a doctor, so they took him to urgent care, where he was quickly told his condition was "serious."

"Next thing you know, I'm blacking out. I'm in and out of consciousness, and I ended up in the ICU. I was there for two weeks," Dre said. "I'm hearing the doctors coming in and saying, 'You don't know how lucky you are.'"

The eight-time Grammy winner said "nobody could give me an answer" on what could've been done to prevent the brain aneurysm, but that he was surprised to learn he had high blood pressure despite keeping a healthy lifestyle.

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Neurosurgeon Ian Kaminsky holds an experimental device for treating aneurysms

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"I'm lifting weights, I'm running, I'm doing everything I can to keep myself healthy," he said to Corden. "High blood pressure in Black men; that's just what it is. They call it the silent killer."

While he said he hasn't made a "significant change" since the scare, Dre told the show's host it made him appreciate being alive. 

"It's crazy … knowing that I had no control over that. It's just something that could happen out of the blue," he said.

Dre's fame was kick-started as an original member of N.W.A. in the mid-1980s. From there, the Compton-born rapper founded Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics and co-founded Death Row Records. His solo career soon ballooned into producing with other artists, including Eminem and 50 Cent — both of whom he signed — plus Kendrick Lamar, Silk Sonic and Snoop Dogg.

When news of his hospitalization broke in 2022, many of his collaborators and other music industry icons showed their support. Dre thanked them and his other followers in a post on Instagram and sent a shout-out to his care team at Los Angeles' Cedars Sinai Hospital.

A brain aneurysm occurs when a weak spot on an artery in the brain balloons and fills with blood, potentially putting pressure on the nerves or brain tissue, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The bulging aneurysm can also rupture and spill blood, which is called a hemorrhage. This causes hemorrhagic strokes, which leaves the part of the body controlled by the damaged area of the brain unable to work properly, Cedars Sinai says.