Legal name: Kanye Omari West
Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnjeɪ/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the record label GOOD Music and creative content company DONDA. He is one of the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, and has attracted both praise and criticism for his work and his controversial, outspoken public persona.
West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing hit singles for musical artists such as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys before pursing a solo career as a rapper. He released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to widespread commercial and critical success, and went on to explore a variety of different styles and musical genres on subsequent albums that include the baroque-inspired Late Registration (2005), the electronic-tinged Graduation (2007), and the starkly emotive 808s & Heartbreak (2008). In 2010, he released his critically acclaimed fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He collaborated with Jay-Z on Watch the Throne (2011), and released his sixth album, Yeezus, to further critical praise in 2013.
West's collaborative efforts and outspoken views have received significant mainstream attention. His work as a designer includes multiple collaborations with brands such Nike, Louis Vuitton, A.P.C., and Adidas, and has most recently resulted in the Yeezy Season clothing lines. He has also pursued several collaborative projects related to his GOOD Music label. A frequent source of controversy, his more publicized comments include his declaration that President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people" during a live 2005 television broadcast for Hurricane Katrina relief, and his interruption of singer Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
West is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time and the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age. Three of his albums rank on Rolling Stone's 2012 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list; two of his albums feature at first and eighth, respectively, in Pitchfork Media's The 100 Best Albums of 2010–2014. He has also been included in a number of Forbes annual lists. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.