Kanye West

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Biography

Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnjeɪ/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, businessman, and fashion designer. He has been influential in the 21st-century development of popular music, mainstream hip hop, and general popular culture. Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West gained notoriety as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several popular artists. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to critical and commercial success, and founded the record label GOOD Music. He went onto experiment with a variety of musical genres on subsequent acclaimed albums, including Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008). Drawing inspiration from maximalism and minimalism respectively, his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and sixth album Yeezus (2013) were also critical and commercial successes. West also diversified musical styles on The Life of Pablo (2016) and Ye (2018), and explored Christian music on Jesus Is King (2019). West's discography also includes the full-length collaborative albums Watch the Throne (2011) and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Jay-Z and Kid Cudi, respectively. West's outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant media coverage. He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at award shows, on social media, and in other public settings, as well as for his comments on the music and fashion industries, U.S. politics, and race. In 2020, he ran an independent presidential campaign that advocated for a consistent life ethic. His Christian faith, as well as his marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian, have also been sources of media attention. As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C. on both clothing and footwear, and have most prominently resulted in the Yeezy collaboration with Adidas beginning in 2013. He is the founder and head of the creative content company DONDA. West is one of the world's best-selling music artists, with more than 160 million records sold worldwide. He has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. Among his other awards are the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Six of his albums were included on Rolling Stone's 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. West is the tied holder for the most albums (four) topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll, a distinction he shares with Bob Dylan. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.