Who Is DJ Khaled?
Originally known as Arab Attack, DJ Khaled is a record producer, radio personality and DJ who has produced 11 studio albums of his own since 2006, including Grateful (2017), which spawned his first no. 1 single, “I’m the One,” and Father of Asahd (2019). As a music producer, he’s collaborated with artists such as Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, Kanye and Nicki Minaj. As a Louisiana native, he became president of Def Jam Records South in 2009 and also co-founded the record label We the Best Music Group. Khaled has also served as a judge on the singing competition series The Four.
Born and Raised in Louisiana
Born as Khaled Mohamed Khaled on November 26, 1975 in New Orleans, Louisiana, DJ Khaled was exposed to music at a young age. His Palestinian parents were musicians who encouraged their son’s love for rap and soul music. He has a brother, Alec Ledd (Alla Khaled), who is an actor.
Wife and Son
Khaled has been tight-lipped regarding the details of when he began dating longtime partner Nicole Tuck and when they got married, but he was as open as can be when it came time for the birth of son Asahd Tuck on October 23, 2016, documenting the process via Snapchat.
How DJ Khaled Became Famous
Khaled began working in record stores, helping artists like Lil Wayne and Birdman in their music careers before they made it big. After jumping into the DJ circuit, Khaled moved to Miami in 1998 where he began working in radio, co-hosting with Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew on The Luke Show on WEDR “99 Jamz.” A few years later he snagged his own weeknight radio show at the station. Throughout his career, he has gone through many monikers: Arab Attack, Terror Squadian, Beat Novacane, Big Dog Pitbull and Mr. Miami, to name a few. As a music producer, he’s worked on rap and hip-hop albums like True Story by Terror Squad, Real Talk by Fabolous, and All or Nothing by Fat Joe .
From ‘Listennn… the Album’ to No. 1’s ‘Major Key’ and ‘Grateful’
In 2006 Khaled released his debut album entitled Listennn… the Album, which successfully reached no. 12 on the Billboard 200 charts. A year later he also received attention for the release of his sophomore album We the Best, which featured chart topping singles like “I’m So Hood” and “We Takin Over,” collaborating with notable artists like Rick Ross, Akon, T.I., Fat Joe and Lil Wayne. Riding on a wave of success, Khaled launched his own record label, We the Best Music Group, and became president of Def Jam South in 2009.
In 2010 Khaled’s single “All I Do I Win,” featuring the likes of Ludacris and Snoop Dogg, went double platinum. He continued to work his magic collaborating with big stars and churning out albums, including We the Best Forever (2011), Suffering from Success (2013), I Changed A Lot (2015) and Major Key (2016), which gave him his first no. 1 album in his career. In 2017 his tenth studio album, Grateful, became his second album to hit no. 1 and included his very first no. 1 single “I’m the One,” featuring Justin Bieber and rappers Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne. The album’s follow-up single, “Wild Thoughts,” featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, peaked at no. 2.
‘Father of Asahd’
March 2018 brought the release of the Khaled-Jay-Z-Beyoncé-Future song “Top Off,” the lead single from the DJ’s 11th album, Father of Asahd. He followed with “I Believe,” a pairing with Demi Lovato that appeared on the soundtrack for A Wrinkle in Time, and then rejoined Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo for the summer hit “No Brainer.” Along with finally releasing Father of Asahd in May 2019, Khaled unveiled the video for “Higher,” his collaboration with Nipsey Hussle and John Legend. The video had been shot days before Hussle was gunned down in Los Angeles in late March, and Khaled announced that proceeds from sales of the song would go to Hussle’s children.
Snapchat Turns Khaled into a ‘Living Meme’
Khaled’s larger-than-life personality made him an Internet sensation. In 2015-16 his Snapchat videos went viral via a YouTube channel, in which he discusses how to achieve success.
‘The Four’ Judge
In January 2018 Khaled joined the ranks of singing competition series judge alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mehgan Trainor and host Fergie when The Four: Battle for Stardom debuted on Fox. The series weathered the loss of its original fourth judge, music executive Charlie Walk, to sexual misconduct accusations, and returned for a second season with Khaled and the rest of the gang in June 2018.
Book and Films
Along with becoming a father, Khaled in 2016 became a best-selling author with the release of his book The Keys, in which he recounts personal anecdotes and shares his philosophy on how to realize one’s goals in life.
Having achieved success in music, TV and publishing, Khaled is naturally ready to expand his reach into film. He is slated to provide voice work for the animated Spies in Disguise (2019), featuring Will Smith and Tom Holland, and will rejoin Smith in Bad Boys for Life in early 2020.
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