Kanye West first came to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records producing hits for the likes of Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson and is now a world-famous rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur and designer.
Born in Chicago in 1977, Kanye began rapping in third grade
, and following graduation enrolled in art college. He dropped out after one semester to pursue a music career, but for many years was encouraged to remain a producer.
In 2004 however he released his debut album The College Dropout
to critical acclaim and became an international superstar.
He went on to release three other albums, Late Registration
, Graduation, and 808's & Heartbreak.
In 2007, Kanye's mother, who had helped Kanye to found the Kanye West Foundation in Chicago in 2003 and with whom Kanye was incredibly close, sadly passed away due to heart disease. When, a year later, Kanye spoke of his mother's death, he said: It was like losing an arm and a leg and trying to walk through that."
In 2009 Kanye created controversy throughout the recording industry and the entertainment world when he interrupted Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards
. Country star Taylor won the Best Video Award and Kanye took the microphone off her during her speech to tell the audience, and viewers at home: "Yo, Taylor, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time! One of the best videos of all time"
He cancelled his tour with Lady Gaga and took a break from the spotlight, moving to Hawaii to work on a fashion line and his next album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
. It solidified his comeback, and the next year Kanye had another hit on his hands when he collaborated with long-time friend Jay-Z on Watch The Throne
, which went on to gain seven Grammy nominations. His sixth album Yeezus became his sixth consecutive number one debut in 2013.
In 2012 Kanye began dating his friend Kim Kardashian
, who was a star because of her reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians
. Their relationship was highly publicised and the wedding in 2014 was one of the entertainment world's biggest stories of the year.
Kim and Kanye have an 11-month-old daughter called North.