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Kanye West

Rapper and fashion designer Kanye West was born on June 8, 1977 in Atlanta. He is the only child of Ray West, a photojournalist, ex-Black Panther, and counselor and Donda West, a former faculty member in Chicago State University’s English Department. His parents divorced when he was three and he was raised by his single mom in a suburb of Chicago. West’s mom died suddenly in November 2007 of heart disease following liposuction and breast-reduction surgery. He briefly attended the American Academy of Art and Chicago State University, but left school to pursue a career in music. His first solo album was appropriately titled “The College Dropout.” It came out in February 2004 and featured the song “Through the Wire,” which he wrote while his jaw was wired shut following a nearly-fatal car accident. In May 2015, West finally wore a cap and gown when he was given an honorary doctorate from School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He first earned his credibility in the music industry as a producer for Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri, Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, and Nas. The Grammy winner has released several additional solo albums including “Late Registration” in 2005 (featuring hit song “Gold Digger”), “Graduation” in 2007, “808s and Heartbreak” in 2008 (featuring song “Heartless”), “Yeezus” in 2013, and “The Life of Pablo” in 2016. West has stirred up much controversy over the years. While speaking on NBC’s telethon for Hurricane Katrina relief, he infamously said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Then, in September 2009, West burst onto the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards, interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video. He proclaimed that he believed Beyonce deserved the award instead. West married “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star Kim Kardashian on May 24, 2014. They have two children together – daughter North (born June 15, 2013) and son Saint (born December 5, 2015). He struggled to come to terms with his wife being held hostage at gunpoint by robbers in Paris in 2016, causing him to experience nightmares and sleepless nights. In late 2016, West was hospitalized for “temporary psychosis” because friends and loved ones grew concerned about his mental state. During his Saint Pablo tour, West was ranting on stage in front of sold-out crowds. Besides music and family, West dedicates much of his time to another passion of his – fashion — with his Yeezus fashion line.

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