Burly, bearded producing legend Rick Rubin was born on Long Island in 1963, weaned on Beatles and Monkees records. As a hip-hop loving NYU student in the early ’80s, he began Def Jam Records with Russell Simmons, launching the careers of The Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Run-D.M.C. Throughout the ’90s, Rubin became more spiritual and reclusive, while overseeing albums for Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tom Petty, among others, and founding American Recordings. In the 2000s, Rubin resurrected Johnny Cash’s gritty persona on his AMERICAN series, and was subsequently hired to remake such unlikely acts as Neil Diamond and the Dixie Chicks. In 2007, he was named co-chairman of Columbia Records, signing up-and-coming bands like femme-punkers the Gossip.