1990s popular rapper who ushered in the hip-hop renaissance, known more widely under the name Common.
He was a business administration major at Florida A&M University where he was on scholarship.
He first took the stage name Common Sense when starting to perform in public.
He has dated singer Erykah Badu, actress and singer Taraji P. Henson, and tennis player Serena Williams.
He was briefly engaged to Erykah Badu and dedicated the award-winning song Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop) to her.