Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, composer, entrepreneur and fashion designer. Spanning an eclectic range of influences, including hip hop, soul, baroque pop, electro, indie rock, synth-pop, industrial and gospel, West is one of the most acclaimed musicians of his generation. Outside of his music career, West’s also had success in the fashion industry.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West was first known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several mainstream 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 experimented with a variety of musical genres on subsequent acclaimed studio albums, including Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008) before releasing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), which was hailed by several critics as the best album of the decade. He succeeded the album with the sonically abrasive work Yeezus (2013), and went on to release The Life of Pablo (2016), Ye (2018), and Jesus Is King (2019), as well as the full-length collaborations 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 attention. 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. His Christian faith, as well as his marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian, have also been a source 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 over 140 million records sold worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. Among his other awards include the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Three of his albums have been included on the Rolling Stone 2012 update of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, and the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. West is the tied-holder for the most albums topping the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll with four. Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.
West married Kim Kardashian in 2014. They have a daughter, North “Nori” West, who was born on June 15, 2013. They also have a son, Saint West, who was born on December 5, 2015. Their third child, daughter Chicago West, was born on January 15, 2018. They recently welcomed their fourth child, a son named Psalm West.