Dee Barnes On Dr. Dre’s Grammys Honor: ‘They Named This Award After An Abuser’

Days after the Recording Industry honored West Coast Hip Hop pioneer Dr. Dre, former host of Fox’s Pump It Up, Dee Barnes, condemns the Grammys’ choice to honor Dr.Dre.

Barnes slammed the decision to honor the N.W.A. co-founder with the inaugural “Dr. Dre Global Impact Award” at the Black Music Collective honors ceremony. Barnes spoke to Rolling Stone about the decision saying, “Everybody wants to separate the art from the artist, and sometimes that’s just not possible…They named this award after an abuser.”

She continued, “It wasn’t just a one or two-time thing; these are choices. The first time, it’s maybe a mistake. The second time, okay. The third time, it’s a choice. I’m not saying he is the same person now, though. I don’t know. I’m not around him anymore. I haven’t talked to him.” She even said, “They might as well call [the honor] the ‘Ike Turner Award.’”


Barnes’ gripe comes from an alleged assault by Dr. Dre on Jan. 27, 1991 when Dre encountered Barnes at a record release party in Hollywood. According to Barnes, he picked her up by her hair and “began slamming her head and the right side of her body repeatedly against a brick wall near the stairway” as his bodyguard held off the crowd with a gun. After Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women’s restroom.

Dre pleaded no contest to the assault. He was fined $2,500, placed on two years probation, and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service and produce an anti-violence public service announcement. The lawsuit was settled out of court.