Kanye West is the prime example of a musical paragon. His immense talent has earned him multiple Grammys, monumental record sales, and extensive international recognition. Juxtaposing such enormous success is his endearing mascot, a teddy bear, which has appeared on all three of his album covers as well as the cover for the single Stronger. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, West moved to Chicago with his mother, Donda West, when he was three. He grew up in the city and eventually enrolled at Chicago State University. West was ultimately more concerned with his music then his grades and eventually dropped out to pursue a career in the industry. He gained prominence by producing hit singles for already established hip hop and R&B artists such as Jay-Z, Paul Wall, and Common.In 2004, West released his first independent album, College Dropout, carefully balancing mainstream appeal and unique subject matter. In 2005, it was nominated for the Grammy awards Album of the Year, Best Rap Album, and Best Rap Song for Jesus Walks. It was later named best album of the year by Rolling Stone magazine. Its first single, Through the Wire, (recorded when West had his mouth wired shut after a near fatal car accident) reached #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album has since gone triple platinum in the United States. West released his second album Late Registration in 2005. It sold over 860,000 copies in its first week, the highest first week sales of any Def Jam Records recording artist at that time. Since then, it has gone on to sell over 3.5 million copies in the U.S. Multiple tracks have enjoyed time on the Billboard charts, including Gold Digger which reached the number one spot. It was nominated for Album of the Year in the 2006 Grammys and received the award for Best Rap Album. The success of Late Registration set the stage for West's third release, Graduation. Highly anticipated, Graduation sold 957,000 copies in its first week of release, thus becoming the highest sales week for a 2007 album. It quickly reached number one on the United World chart, selling 1,153,000 copies internationally. On January 15th, 2008, it was certified as double Platinum. Graduation received generally positive reviews, although some critics did not take to it as warmly as they did his earlier two albums. Despite some lukewarm reviews, Graduation still managed to win a Grammy in 2008 for Best Rap Album. Kanye West recently lost his mother, Donda, to complications from cosmetic surgery. Despite this, he continues to tour, often dedicating the song Hey Mama to her during his performances.
US hip-hop artist. A respected producer for the Roc-A-Fella camp known for his taste for sped-up soul samples. Has since come out from behind the boards to enjoy significant success as an MC. Before he even became a successful rapper, Roc-A-Fella had rejected Kanye's proposal to start making music too. It wasn't until 2002, when Roc-A-Fella decided to give him a chance.
Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia) is a Grammy award winning rapper, producer, author, designer and singer. He began making beats and rapping in the early 90s in Chicago, IL, United States when he formed the rap group Go Getters with Chicago natives GLC and Really Doe. He later gained nationwide popularity in New York when he began producing tracks for artists such as Jay-Z, Twista, Mase, Talib Kweli and Alicia Keys.
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Kanye Omari West (born June 8, 1977) is an American musician, film director and fashion designer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used pitched-up vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. However, subsequent productions saw him broadening his musical palette and expressing influences encompassing '70s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, and classical music.
West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, his third album Graduation in 2007, his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak in 2008, and his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010. West released a collaborative album, Watch the Throne with Jay-Z in 2011, which is the duo's first collaborative album. His five solo albums, all of which have gone platinum, have received numerous awards and critical acclaim. All albums have been very commercially successful, with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy becoming his fourth consecutive No. 1 album in the U.S. upon release. West has had 6 songs exceed 3 million in digital sales as of December 2012, with "Gold Digger" selling 3,086,000, "Stronger" selling 4,402,000, "Heartless" selling 3,742,000, "E.T." selling over 4,000,000, "Love Lockdown" selling over 3,000,000, and "Niggas in Paris" selling over 3,000,000 , placing him third in overall digital sales of the past decade. He has sold over 30 million digital songs in the United States making him one of the best-selling digital artists of all-time. He is also one of the most awarded artists of all-time.