Kanye Omari West was born 8th June 1977 is an American hip-hop recording artist and fashion designer. He first started off in the music industry where he worked as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records. He eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as working on hit singles for artists such as Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style subsequently uses a palette of expressive influences encompassing 70’s R&B, arena rock, alternative, synthpop, and classical music. Since 2004 he has released 5 studio albums The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, 808’s & Heartbreak and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In 2011 he released a collaborative album with Jay-Z entitled Watch the Throne 8th, each of his albums have all gone platinum and, to date Kanye has received a total of 18 grammy’s to date making him one of the most awarded artists of all time. He has had 5 songs exceed 3 million in digital sales as of July 2011, with Gold Digger, Stronger, Heartless, E.T. and Love Lockdown which places him third in overall digital sales of the past decade. He has sold over 30 million digital songs in the US making him one of the best selling digital artists of all time. Along with all of that he also owns “Good Music” record label which is home to a list of artists that including John Legend, Common and Kid Cudi. The mascot for his label is the “Dropout Bear” a teddy bear that has appeared on the covers of three of his five albums as well as various single covers and in his music videos. Kanye was ranked at No. 8 on the “Top 50 Hip Hop Producers” About.com list.. His sixth full-length studio album entitled Cruel Summer is due to be released with Good Music records sometime throughout 2012.