Born: October 6, 1940
Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Industry: Business, Music (Management)
Net Worth: $20 million
Not everyone involved in the rap industry is a rap artist. Sitting behind the scenes in the earliest era of rap artists, Jerry Heller probably surprises a few rap fans. The fact that he is both white and Jewish makes him a bit of an oddity when mixed in with the rest of the rap crowd. However, Heller has been involved in the industry for nearly as long as the industry has even existed. Helping to get the West Coast rap industry off the ground in the 1980s, Heller is connected to rap industry greats N.W.A. and Eazy-E. Together, he and Eazy-E helped launch the careers of some other well-known groups: The Black-Eyed Peas and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Before he worked with rap artists, Heller was working with many other musical acts throughout the 60s and 70s, including Elton John, Pink Floyd, Journey, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, The Who, Black Sabbath, Styx, REO Speedwagon and many others. He has also managed several acts that are now well-known producers in their own right, including Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. The recent film Straight Outta Compton features Heller’s involvement in N.W.A. in a very negative light. Heller’s response was to sue the filmmakers for defamation, as well as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.