Kanye West

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He calls his girlfriend "the most beautiful woman of all time", compares himself to Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Shakespeare and says their daughter is like royalty. Kanye West doesn't do things by halves.

Born in Georgia on June 8 1977, he was writing poetry aged five before moving on to rap. At 13, Kanye begged his mother, a college professor, to pay for some time in a recording studio.

Mid way though an English degree at Chicago State University, he dropped out to focus on a music career and began producing music for local rap artists.

In 2000 he joined Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, producing for stars including Beyoncé and Ludacris, as well as helping Jay-Z with his influential album, The Blueprint.

Despite his success, Kanye's true passion was rapping, but he struggled to obtain a record deal because he didn't fit the typical 'gangsta' image. In 2002, he signed to Roc-A-Fella Records and began recording.

One night, after falling asleep at the wheel, he had a near-fatal car crash and had to have his jaw wired shut. Inspired by the experience, he returned to the studio.

Through the Wire, became his breakthrough single, soon followed by the album, The College Dropout which sold 2.6million copies and won the Best Rap Album Grammy. Another 20 Grammys followed.

Yeezy, as fans call him, has since created a multi-million dollar empire, including fashion collections and his own record label, G.O.O.D Music. "I hope to make a mark that will last forever," he explained.

In 2007, tragedy struck when the rising star's mother died after complications during plastic surgery. Devastated, he broke down on stage a week later. "My mother was everything," he grieved.

Kanye has become famous for his outlandish statements and rants. "I say things the wrong way a lot of times," he explained. "But my intention is always positive".

In September 2013 he gave a controversial interview in which he declared himself the "biggest [rock star] of all". "I get a lot of backlash for comparing myself to Steve Jobs," he added. "But that's my dream. I want to be like that one day".

At the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, Kanye outraged fans when he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to declare that Beyoncé should have won the award.

In the wake of the US government's response to Hurricane Katrina, he raised eyebrows by saying: "George Bush doesn't care about black people" - though he later apologised.

Off-stage, focus has been on the rapper's relationship with reality television star Kim Kardashian. "She's an important person," he said. "At my lowest moments I could get on the phone with her and she would make me feel like I was here for a reason".

Rumours of romance sparked while Kim was still with then-husband Kris Humphries and Kanye rapped: "I had fell in love with Kim/Around the same time she had fell in love with him".

The pair began dating in April 2012, and the following December, Kanye announced Kim was pregnant, during one of his concerts.

A few months after she gave birth to their daughter North, known as Nori, in June 2013, Kanye proposed, hiring an entire stadium and orchestra. "God gave me everything that I wanted", he said.

When talking about plans for their wedding, Kanye had two words: "Fighter jets".
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