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Will.i.am Reflects On The Investments That Changed His Life

While working in the music industry, many artists make the smart move and don’t limit themselves to only excelling in music. Will.i.am is among such musicians who are the definition of “multi-hyphenate.” As an entertainer, record producer, tech entrepreneur, and founder, the East Los Angeles, CA, native has built an extensive resume for himself.


Will.i.am Reflects On The Investments That Changed His Life — ‘I Invested In Tesla In 2006 Before Elon Took Over’

“Investor” is yet another title under his growing list of endeavors. In an interview with the “Drink Champs” podcast, Will.i.am recounted two specific investments he’s made thus far. When asked by host N.O.R.E. whether he’d choose Steve Jobs or Elon Musk — like in a game of “This or That” — Will.i.am was prompted to share how both CEOs have made an impact on his life.

“I invested in Tesla in 2006 before Elon took over [the company] — around the same time,” Will.i.am explained on the podcast.

He continued, “And then, I was a part of Beats. And then, Apple bought Beats from us. So you’re talking about two companies that changed my life. So, I say both.”

As previously shared by AFROTECH™, along with featuring Beats headphones by Dr. Dre and Interscope Records Co-Founder Jimmy Iovine in Black Eyed Peas’ 2009 “Boom Boom Pow” music video, Will.i.am had a stake in the company.

“I’m like, ‘Yo, I wanna put the product in the song,’” Will.i.am said on the “Baby, This Is Keke Palmer” podcast. “I be rockin’ them Beats, I was talking about headphones on that joint. So, that just showed us what Black entrepreneurship, us owning our own stuff, what we can actually do from culture.”

Nearly a decade after Beats Electronics launched, the company and Beats Music went on to be acquired by Apple in 2014. The Los Angeles Times reported that the acquisition was worth almost $3 billion.

Although Will.i.am’s stake was undisclosed, if he owned only a 1% share, he could have earned about $30 million from the sale, according to Billboard.

In addition to Tesla and Beats, Will.i.am has invested in OpenAI, Runaway, Anthropic, and Hugging Face as part of a private investment group. Each of the aforementioned companies have multi-billion-dollar valuations, per Forbes.