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Kanye WestThe popular rapper and music producer was born Kanye West on June 8, 1977, in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Grammy winning rap star first dreamed of a music career while still in his teens, practicing at the keyboard and creating beats and rhymes that would one day launch his career.

After briefly attending Columbia College in Chicago, West dropped out to pursue his big break with production work on Jermaine Dupri's Life in 1472 album, and subsequently made a name for himself in the industry while producing hit singles for Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, and Ludacris.

Meanwhile, he continued to pursue his dream of a solo album and eventually signed with Roc-A-Fella Records in 2002. That same year, however, he was involved in a near-fatal car crash, fracturing his jaw in three places. With his mouth still wired shut, West began recording Through The Wire, which would become his mega-hit single spun from his debut album, The College Dropout in 2004.

A role model for optimism and determination despite the odds, West has sometimes been criticized for sending the wrong message with his album title, The College Dropout. But despite not completing a formal higher education, West nevertheless topped the list of nominees this year at the 2005 Grammy Awards with a total of 10 nominations. West ultimately won Best Rap Album for his double-platinum The College Dropout and Best Rap Song for Jesus Walks.

In 2005, West also won accolades for Best New Artist at the NAACP Image Awards and was is also in contention at the 2005 BET Awards with nominations for Best Male Hip-Hop Performer, Best Gospel Artist and Video of the Year for "Jesus Walks."

In August, Kanye West's next album, Late Registration, was the subject of immense pre-release buzz for its rich and complex orchestral sound, the result of a close collaboration with record producer and Hollywood film score writer, Jon Brion.

Later that year, the rap star made worldwide headlines for his appearance on a national telethon to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina in which he openly criticized the administration of President George Bush. "They're saying black families are looting and white families are just looking for food...they're giving the (Army) permission to shoot us," Kanye West said in an emotional outburst, apparently unscripted.

West ended his statement with "George Bush doesn't care about black people!" just before being cut-off by NBC during their live broadcast of A Concert for Hurricane Relief.

In November 2006, the outspoken rapper was back in the news and criticized as a sore loser after storming the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards while shouting expletives in protest of his not winning Best Video for "Touch the Sky." His next album, Graduation, was released in August 2007, quickly outselling popular rap star 50 Cent who released his new album, Curtis, on the same day.

Triumph, however, turned to tragedy that same year when in November the rapper's mother died at age of 58 due to complications following cosmetic surgery. Donda West, subject of the rapper's song Hey Mama, managed the star's businesses and educational foundation.

Several months later, it was reported that Kanye West and his fiancée of a year and a half, Alexis Phifer, had broken off their engagement, siting the strain caused by West's busy touring schedule.

By 2008. West released his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak following up with his fifth album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, in 2010.

West released a collaborative album, Watch the Throne, with Jay-Z  in 2011, spinning off such No. 1 hits as "Otis" and "Niggas in Paradise." That same year, his collaboration with pop star Katy Perry, "E.T.", also topped the online sales charts with more than 4,000,000 downloads.

Away from the recording studio, West made headlines in April 2012 when he began dating reality TV star Kim Kardarhian. At year's end, the couple announced that they were expecting their first baby, a girl, due in July 2013. West and Kardashian became engaged in October 2013 and married on May 24, 2014 at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. Their daughter, North West, was born in June 2013.

More about Kanye West around the Web:

Kanye West - The official site featuring a slick Flash interface and offering a biography, interviews, discography, audio and video clips, message board, photo gallery, wallpapers. - Kanye West - Bio, news and updates, audio and music video clips, ringtones, photo gallery, links to fan sites.

Kanye West - Wikipedia - Complete biography, career highlights, song lists, photos & album covers, related references and resources, from Wikipedia.


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