Credit: Vince Bucci/Getty Images Photo: Jimmy Iovine and Gwen Stefani During the Celebration of the Harajuku Lovers Tour 2005 on October 21, 2005

Have you seen him on American Idol 2013 and wondered: Who is Jimmy Iovine? When  showed up as a mentor a couple of seasons ago on American Idol, it seemed to most that he had come out of nowhere. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, and Jimmy’s story is one of someone who definitely worked his way up the ranks.

 

When the outspoken producer was a teen, he meet a songwriter who gave him a job cleaning a recording studio. The rest, as they say, is history. He began working as recording engineer in 1972 and, only one year later, he was working at the highly revered New York studio, the Record Plant. There, he worked on Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run album, along with Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell. He went on to work with plenty of prominent musicians, like U2, The Pretenders, and Stevie Nicks, among many others.

 

Already having a resume that read like a list of “Who’s Who,” Jimmy co-founded Interscope Records in 1990. Interscope became Geffen A&M in 1999, which combined a trio of the most influential record labels to date. The label, which is now part of Universal Music Group, has worked with such chart-topping acts as No Doubt, Eminem, Lady Gaga, The Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, and more.

 

Jimmy branched out into the world of film in 2002, co-producing the Academy Award-winning 8 Mile, which starred Eminem. He also executive produced the LeBron James documentary More Than A Game as well as 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

 

In 2006, Jimmy teamed up with Dr. Dre again to co-found Beats By Dre, a premium headphones and sound transmission company. Recently, it was announced that Beats will makes its foray into digital music with Daisy, a new service which is supposedly set to launch later this year.

 

As you can see, the folks at American Idol knew what they were doing when they brought Jimmy Iovine on as a mentor in 2011, although his time on the show hasn’t been without controversy. He’s been tough on some of the hopefuls, and new judge Nicki Minaj even told TV Guide she wishes he would “zip his lips” when it comes to advising the season 12 hopefuls, especially Lazaro Arbos.

 Whether you agree with his critiques or not, he’s already helped Scotty McCreery and Phillip Phillips see tremendous commercial success through Interscope Records.