André 3000 Biography

(Best known for Being One-Half of Southern Hip Hop Duo 'Outkast')

Birthday: May 27, 1975 (Gemini)

Born In: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and record producer André Benjamin, better known by his stage name André 3000, shot to fame as part of the southern hip hop duo Outkast. The duo also featured rapper Antwan Patton, or Big Boi. A multiple-Grammy-winning artist, Benjamin redefined the hip-hop scene of the 1990s and explored the genres of G-Funk and Dirty South. Known for his chart-busting tracks such as Ms. Jackson, Rosa Parks, and Hey Ya!, with Outkast, he later had a moderately successful solo career too. He has also collaborated with prominent artists such as Beyoncé and Kesha. Benjamin has appeared in several films and series such as Families, Revolver, and Four Brothers. His best-known role is that of Jimi Hendrix in All Is by My Side. He has also voiced several animated characters. He is an entrepreneur and an animal rights activist, too.

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Quick Facts

Also Known As: André Lauren Benjamin

Age: 48 Years, 48 Year Old Males

Family:

father: Lawrence Walker

mother: Sharon Benjamin Hodo

children: Seven Sirius Benjamin

Born Country: United States

Rappers American Men

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

U.S. State: Georgia

Childhood, Early Life & Education

André 3000 was born André Lauren Benjamin, on May 27, 1975, in Atlanta, Georgia, US. His mother, Sharon, was a real-estate seller, while his father, Lawrence Harvey Walker, was a collections agent.

An only child, Benjamin was raised single-handedly by his mother in Atlanta, East Point, and Buckhead. He initially attended the Sarah Smith Elementary School, after which he joined the Sutton Middle School, the Northside High School, the McClarin Success Academy, and the Tri-Cities High School.

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Music Career with Outkast

While in high school, Benjamin (known as Dre back then) met Antwan Patton, or Big Boi. Benjamin and Patton soon formed the rap group 2 Shades Deep and recorded in a basement studio.

They formed the rap duo Outkast in 1992. The duo explored the G-Funk variation of gangsta rap and the profane hip-hop version of the US South, Dirty South.

Soon after high school, Outkast signed with the Atlanta-based label LaFace and released their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (1994). The album contained their platinum single Player's Ball. At the 1995 Source Awards, Outkast was named the Best New Rap Group of the Year.

They then released the albums ATLiens (1996) and Aquemini (1998), which mixed soul, trip-hop, and jungle. The former sold 1.5 million copies and featured the hit Elevators (Me and You). The latter was named double-platinum and contained the Grammy-nominated single Rosa Parks. Meanwhile, Benjamin devoted his time to painting and in learning the guitar.

With Outkast's fourth album, Stankonia (2000), Benjamin came to be known as André 3000. Outkast became a global sensation with the Grammy-winning track Ms. Jackson, which grabbed the first spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was, apparently, about Benjamin's breakup with his former girlfriend, Erykah Badu, and was a note of apology to Badu’s mother. Stankonia also featured the hit track B.O.B” (“Bombs over Baghdad”).

Outkast then released the 2001 album Big Boi and Dre Present... OutKast. It contained 3 new tracks, along with their greatest hits. The same year, Benjamin participated in the album of the musical collective Dungeon Family.

In 2003, Outkast released the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. It had 2 halves: Benjamin's half, The Love Below, and Patton’s half, Speakerboxxx. Benjamin’s tracks Hey Ya!, Roses, and Prototype became popular.

Speakerboxxx had the Top 10 hit The Way You Move and Ghetto Musick. Rolling Stone named the hit Hey Ya! one of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Speakerboxx: Love Below was also named diamond after selling over 10,000,000 records in the US.

In 2006, Outkast released their sixth album, Idlewild, as part of the soundtrack of the musical film Idlewild. In 2007, the duo went on a hiatus from performing together.

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Outkast reunited in 2014 and performed at various festivals. In 2020, the duo re-released Stankonia, with previously unreleased material, to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary.

Solo Music Career

While Benjamin had started his career with rapping, he later took hiatus from the genre, before returning to solo rapping in 2007. He rapped in remixes such as Walk It Out, You, Throw Some D's, and Jay-Z's 30 Something.

He also contributed to original tracks such as UGK's International Players Anthem, Fonzworth Bentley's Everybody, Devin the Dude's What a Job, and Big Boi’s Royal Flush. He rapped in John Legend’s Green Light in 2008. In 2010, Benjamin appeared in Ciara's remix of her hit track Ride.

In January 2011, the song The Sleazy Remix, with Benjamin and Kesha in it, was leaked. In June 2011, Beyoncé's track Party, featuring Benjamin, was leaked. The collaboration bagged a Grammy nomination for the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2012.

In August 2011, Benjamin was featured on Lil Wayne's album Tha Carter IV. The same year, Benjamin was featured in the remix of Chris Brown's Deuces, Drake's The Real Her, and many other tracks. He has also collaborated with James Murphy, Gorillaz, Frank Ocean, and Rick Ross.

Acting career

Benjamin has appeared in several films and series, too, such as the daytime soap Families, the crime drama series The Shield, the 2005 crime-comedy film Be Cool, the 2005 action movie Four Brothers, the 2005 action-thriller movie Revolver, the 2006 movie Idlewild (as Percival), the 2008 sports comedy film Semi-Pro, and the 2018 sci-fi horror film High Life. He also appeared in the 2007 political action thriller movie Battle in Seattle.

Benjamin portrayed legendary musician Jimi Hendrix in the 2013 biographical drama All Is by My Side. The role got him nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead.

He has appeared as Fredwynn in the drama series Dispatches from Elsewhere and has voiced Sunny Bridges, a fictional award-winning musician, in the Cartoon Network animated series Class of 3000 (2006-2008). He voiced a crow in the 2006 fantasy comedy-drama film Charlotte's Web, which was adapted from the 1952 children's novel of the same name by author E. B. White.

Awards & Recognitions

His several Grammys include the 2002 Grammy for the Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for Ms. Jackson, the 2002 Grammy for the Best Rap Album for Stankonia, the 2003 Grammy for the Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group for The Whole World (with Killer Mike), the 2004 Grammy for the Best Urban/Alternative Performance for Hey Ya, the 2004 Grammys for the Best Rap Album and the Album of the Year for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, and the 2020 Grammy for the Best R&B Performance for Come Home (with Anderson .Paak).

In 2005, Benjamin was on Fade In magazine's list of 100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know. He was once named to GQ magazine’s 50 list of the most stylish men of the past 50 years.

Other Interests

Benjamin was part of the print advertising campaign of Declare Yourself, geared toward encouraging voter registration among the youth of the US for the 2008 presidential election. In 2008, he launched the clothing line Benjamin Bixby, inspired by college football of the 1930s. The line was short-lived, but in February 2012, he declared that he would return with another line.

He was also part of Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender's production company, A Band Apart, till it shut down in 2006. Following this, Benjamin launched his own production company, Moxie Turtle. He has also been a prominent animal rights activist.

Personal Life

From 1996 to 1999, Benjamin dated soul, R&B, and hip-hop singer Erykah Badu. On November 18, 1997, the couple had a son, Seven Sirius Benjamin.

Initially a vegan, Benjamin later turned vegetarian. In 2004, he was named the World’s Sexiest Male Vegetarian Celebrity by PETA.

He is known for his unique and outlandish dress sense and his Southern accent. His many nicknames include Cupid Valentino, Johnny Vulture, Dre, and Ice Cold.

Awards

Grammy Awards
2020 Best R&B Performance Winner
2004 Best Rap Album Winner
2004 Album of the Year Winner
2004 Best Urban/Alternative Performance Winner
2003 Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Winner
2002 Best Rap Album Winner
2002 Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group Winner

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