- NAME: Lil Wayne
- OCCUPATION: Rapper
- BIRTH DATE: September 27, 1982 (Age: 30)
- EDUCATION: Lafayette Elementary School in New Orleans, Eleanor McMain Secondary School in New Orleans
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New Orleans, Louisiana
- Full Name: Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
- AKA: Dwayne Carter
- AKA: Dwayne Michael Carter
- AKA: Lil Wayne
- AKA: Dwayne M. Carter
- ZODIAC SIGN: Libra
Best Known For
Lil Wayne is a Grammy Award-winning rapper known for his hit albums, mixtapes and singles, including "A Milli" and "Lollipop."
Lil Wayne - Mini Biography (2:51)
Nicki Minaj - Mini Biography (2:57)
Jay-Z - Mini Biography (3:44)
Drake - Mini Biography (3:06)
Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records at the age of 9. After success as part of the duo B.G. and group Hot Boys, he released his debut solo album in 1999 and often appears on songs by other artists.
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Nicki Minaj's family moved to Queens, where she attended La Guardia High School. She was introduced to rapper Lil Wayne, who signed her to Young Money Entertainment and launched her career.
Hip-hop artist Jay-Z was born in Brooklyn and began freestyling at an early age. In addition to his musical talents, he's one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.
Drake came to fame playing wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks in seven seasons of, "Degrassi: The Next Generation." Drake began circulating mixtapes of his raps, and signed a record deal. His songs include "Best I Ever Had," and "Take Care."
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Quickly following up this latest wave of success, Wayne released Tha Carter, Vol. 2 in December 2004. The album debuted at the number two spot on the Billboard pop charts and brought more critical praise for Wayne. A cameo appearance on the Destiny's Child smash hit "Soldier" only further enhanced Wayne's popularity.
Over the next few years, Lil Wayne released several more popular mixtape recordings,
including the critically adored Dedication, Vol. 2 (2006), which he made with DJ Drama. Around the same time, Wayne teamed up with Cash Money mentor Bryan William (also known as "Baby" and "Birdman") to create the album Like Father, Like Son (2006), which spawned the hit "Stuntin' Like My Daddy."
In response to several unreleased tracks being made public over the internet, Lil Wayne released the download-only EP The Leak in 2007. The songs came from his work on his anxiously anticipated next studio album, which was finally released in 2008: Tha Carter III hit the top of the rap, hip-hop and pop charts, selling more than 1 million copies in its first week of release.
Tha Carter III features several successful singles, including the No. 1 hits "A Milli" and "Lollipop," a track that he recorded with Static Major. Jay-Z appeared on the track "Mr. Carter," and T-Pain was featured on "Got Money." Babyface, Robin Thicke, Busta Rhymes and Juelz Santana also made cameos. The project netted the Grammy Award for best rap album, and Lil Wayne picked up three more honors at the February 2009 awards ceremony. He won the Grammy for best rap song for "Lollipop," earned the Grammy for best rap solo performance for "A Milli" and shared the award for best rap performance by a duo or group with Jay-Z, T.I. and Kanye West, for "Swagga Like Us."
During the summer of 2009, Lil Wayne spent much of his time on the road with the Young Money Presents: America's Most Wanted Music Festival, which also featured Young Jeezy, Soulja Boy and Drake. In August 2009, Wayne signed rapper Bow Wow to his label. That same year, the rapper performed with Jay Sean on his hit song "Down," from Sean's 2009 album All of Nothing.
Lil Wayne released his seventh studio album, the rock-influenced Rebirth, in February 2010. His eighth studio project, I Am Not a Human Being, was released that same year. Both projects were well-received.
In August 2011, Wayne released his fourth installment of Tha Carter series, Tha Carter IV, which quickly met with success. In its first four days online, the album saw 300,000 song downloads on iTunes—setting a new record on the media-downloading application. Hits from the album include "Mirror," featuring the smooth vocals of R&B singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, and "It's Good," featuring fellow rappers Drake and Jadakiss.
Not one to rest on his laurels, in March 2013, Lil Wayne put out his 10th studio album, I Am Not a Human Being II, to great acclaim. The recording sold 217,000 copies in its first week and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart.
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When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
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