Why Dr. Dre was a hero at Muscle Shoals long before his Super Bowl show


Everybody talks about it. The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show featuring Dr. Dre and other hip-hop legends he worked with as a music producer including Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. The show was a lively frolic through hits of yesteryear like “The Next Episode,” “California Love,” “In Da Club,” “No More Drama” and “Lose Yourself.”

Dre and company brought gravity and a sense of celebration back to Super Bowl halftime after a shaky four-year streak from The Weeknd, J. Lo, Maroon 5 and Justin Timberlake. Dr. Dre’s extravaganza has also been a huge validation for hip-hop. While there were rap cameos during previous Super Bowl halves, it was the first time culture was front and center in what has become one of music’s few monoculture moments every year.

Even if you’re not a huge hip-hop fan, it’s hard to argue that Dr. Dre didn’t totally crush it on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. Of course, it wasn’t nearly as impressive as Prince’s transcendent shredding and singing 15 years ago, still by far the best Super Bowl halftime performance. But really, what could top The Purple One killing a stadium with “Purple Rain” in the rain?


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Dr. Dre’s winning performance at the Super Bowl has had his praises sung again by old friends in Alabama. Because long before Dre saved the Super Bowl halftime show, he helped save much of Muscle Shoals’ musical legacy. As widely reported before, some nine years ago Beats Electronics, co-founded by Dre and label producer/executive Jimmy Iovine, made a donation to help restore the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, where the Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett and other legends cut classic tunes during the studio’s heyday in the 60s and 70s.

February 14 post on Muscle Shoals Sound social media reads: “Epic Super Bowl halftime show featuring our hero, Dr. Dre, whose generosity restored 3614 Jackson Highway. He and Jimmy Iovine saw the Muscle Shoals documentary in Santa Monica, California and reached out to help us. Thanks to this donation, 82,000 people from 40 different countries have made the pilgrimage to stand in these sacred spaces where so much magic has been (and continues to be) done.

Ever since the 2013 documentary “Muscle Shoals,” the otherwise quiet area of ​​northern Alabama, known for facilities such as Muscle Shoals Sound and FAME Studios, continues to experience a resurgence. Along with the tourism boom, over the next few years, stars like Steven Tyler, Gregg Allman, Jack White, Ann Wilson and Demi Lovato brought star power back to the Shoals recording scene. And the next generation of musicians hailing from Muscle Shoals, including Jason Isbell, are adding new chapters to the region’s legend.

On February 14, FAME General Manager Rodney Hall posted, “Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, Beats Electronics and Apple have invested in the Shoals to help us restore Studio 3614 Jackson Highway to its former glory! This was huge, because without it we couldn’t afford to do what it took to get the job done!


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