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Chance the Rapper Biography

Chancelor Bennett, known by his stage name, Chance the Rapper, is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and activist from Chicago. A key player in the music industry, Chance has been recognized on Forbes' "30 Under 30" 2015 music list and served as a coach on the twenty-third season of The Voice in the spring of 2023.

Bennett released his debut mixtape, "10 Day," in 2012. The aptly named mixtape was recorded while Bennett was serving a 10-day suspension from high school for possession of marijuana. He began to gain mainstream recognition in 2013 after releasing his second mixtape, "Acid Rap," which gained critical praise and led to his inclusion in XXL's annual freshman class in May 2014. He then released his third mixtape, "Coloring Book," in 2016, which garnered further critical acclaim and attention. It earned him three Grammy Awards, including the award for Best Rap Album; upon winning, it became the first streaming-only album to win a Grammy Award and peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200. His debut studio album, "The Big Day," was released on July 26, 2019.

Alongside his solo career, Bennett is a member of the Chicago collective SaveMoney, and is the vocalist for the band the Social Experiment; they released the album Surf in May 2015, led by trumpeter Nico Segal. He is also involved in social activism in the Chicago community where he resides. Bennett has actively fought to combat gun violence in Chicago and promoted the "#SaveChicago" campaign. His work to support Chicago youth includes hosting Open Mike nights for Chicago-area high school students and starting an initiative called Warmest Winter 2016. Additionally, Bennett co-created a new nonprofit called SocialWorks in September 2016, which aimed to create youth programs for residents of Chicago.

Bennett's father, Ken Williams-Bennett, was an aide to the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington and then-Senator Barack Obama. Bennett personally met President Obama in his youth and discussed his aspirations to be a rapper, to which Obama responded with "word." In his later career, he met with President Obama again at the White House to discuss the My Brother's Keeper Challenge initiative in April 2016.

Bennett's interest in music began with Michael Jackson, whom he exclusively listened to on cassettes until the fifth grade. Growing up, Chance's parents were constantly playing music, including Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, and other artists in the jazz and gospel genres. He began listening to hip-hop after hearing "Through the Wire" by Kanye West on the radio while walking through Hyde Park, Chicago. After finding out the song was on West's debut album, "The College Dropout," he purchased the album, making it the first hip-hop album that he listened to. Bennett considers West a huge influence on him and has said that he was inspired to begin rapping by West. He even co-wrote and appeared on several tracks on Kanye West's album "The Life of Pablo" in 2016.

Bennett is Christian and refers to Jesus in many of his songs. He believes that God is to thank for his blessings and success and has attended multiple dates for Kanye West's Sunday Service. His music often incorporates jazz-inspired melodies and gospel influences, and he often incorporates choirs into his music to maximize gospel undertones. Bennett has a light-lyric tenor voice with a vocal range spanning three octaves.

All American Speakers Bureau is a full-service talent booking agency providing information on booking Chance the Rapper for speaking engagements, personal appearances and corporate events. Contact an All American Speakers Bureau booking agent for more information on Chance the Rapper speaking fees, availability, speech topics and cost to hire for your next live or virtual event.

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