Don Benjamin Biography
Don Benjamin is an American model, TV personality, actor, and musical artist. He first gained prominence as one of the contestants in the 20th season of ‘America’s Next Top Model’. After spending the early years of his life in the rough neighbourhood of Chicago’s South Side, Benjamin, along with mother, bounced around from Florida to Mississippi to Minneapolis. He developed a passion for music pretty early in life. In 2005, Benjamin moved to Los Angeles where he gained fame as a model, which eventually got him the opportunity to appear on ‘America’s Next Top Model’. He later won in the inaugural season of the horror reality show ‘Scared Famous’. In 2012, he started off his music career with the track ‘Across the Sky’. Since then, his music has been featured on ‘Big Brother’, ‘America's Next Top Model’, and various MTV programs. Benjamin made his acting debut in an episode of ‘One Ten’ in 2014. In 2016, he worked with pop star Ariana Grande in the music video for her single ‘Into You’.
- In 2005, Don Benjamin came to Los Angeles. His natural good looks landed him several modelling gigs. In 2014, he appeared in an episode of CBS’ ‘The Insider’. A year later, he was featured on ‘Minay TV’.
- Benjamin got his big break in 2013 when he earned a spot as a contestant in the 20th season of ‘America’s Next Top Model’, which aired on The CW back then. He made it to episode 12 before being eliminated. He came eighth in the overall standings in the season. The show served as the perfect launchpad for Benjamin’s career, who went on to model for notable brands, such as Guess, Tillys, and Pink Dolphin. In 2015, he made a guest appearance in a 22nd season episode of the show ‘America's Next Top Model’ as part of Team Marvin.
- In 2017, he joined the first season of VH1’s horror reality series ‘Scared Famous’, which he eventually won and donated the $100,000 prize money to Peace over Violence, one of his favourite charities.
- Over the course of the past few years, Benjamin has established himself as a hip-hop artist. In 2012, he collaborated with Photronique in her track ‘Across the sky’ and also released his debut single ‘Real’. In October 2014, he put out ‘Jealous’, a track in which he worked with Eric Bellinger. His next song was ‘Tonight’, which was released in September 2015. In 2016, he put out two songs, ‘Touch My Body’ and ‘Hit the Snooze.’
- On February 22, 2018, Benjamin released his debut extended play, ‘M.P.L.S. - EP’, independently. It has five songs, ‘Hometown’, ‘No One’, ‘Plane Jane’, ‘Millions’, and ‘Doin Something’.
- Benjamin made his acting debut in the episode ‘A Mother’s Love’ of ‘One Ten’ in 2014. He made his cinematic debut in the same year, portraying a character named Nathan in the thriller film ‘Matthew 18’. In 2015, he was cast as Jason in the drama film ‘Supermodel’. Benjamin is now set to appear in the drama film ‘3am in Hollywood’, action-drama ‘Bunny and Clyde’, and horror ‘Judgment’.
- Don Benjamin was born on May 5, 1987 in the South Side neighbourhood of Chicago, Illinois. South Side is notorious for its rampant crime, gun violence, and poverty and as an impressionable child, Benjamin experienced all that. However, he never got involved with any gang as he and his mother moved to Florida, where they stayed for a brief period before moving to Mississippi, and then finally to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he finished his high school.
- Music has always been part of Benjamin’s life. He grew up listening to Jay Z, Nas, LL Cool J, Boyz II Men, and Jagged Edge. In high school, he played basketball and started rapping in between his duties as the varsity basketball team captain.
- Benjamin is one of the most active mainstream celebrities on social media. In addition to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, he also has a YouTube channel. He has garnered 2.2 million, 195 thousand, and 469 thousand followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, respectively. On his self-titled YouTube channel, he has 21 thousand followers and 453 thousand views. The channel was set up on May 2, 2011, and the first video was uploaded on December 16, 2013.
- In 2015, Benjamin started dating Musical.ly (now known as TikTok) star and social media influencer Liane Valenzuela. They decided to document the progress of their relationship and as a result, set up the YouTube channel ‘Forever Us’ on October 31, 2017. As of June 2018, the channel has accumulated over 67 thousand followers and 1.8 million views. The first video was posted on the channel on the very day it was created. Titled ‘Welcome To Our Channel’, it features both Benjamin and Valenzuela explaining why they set up the channel. In January, they released a song together, titled ‘No One’, which later was released as part of his debut EP.
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