Nasir Jones was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 14th of 1973. Meaning "helper and protector" in Arabic, "Nas" was the first child of Charles Jones III, a.k.a. Olu Dara, and Fannie Ann Little. Olu was an aspiring jazz musician and Ann a hardworking postal worker. The couple moved with their child from Brooklyn to the Queensbridge Projects in Long Island City, where Nas settled into a rugged life just across the river from Manhattan.
Flavor Flav was born William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. on March 16, 1959 in Roosevelt, Long Island. As a young boy, he loved candy, sweets and sodas and was so-often seen with flavorful treats in hand that a friend nicknamed him "Crazy Flav."
The early career development of actress Lindsay Lohan is examined through archival clips and interviews with those close to her as a youngster.
Green Day's road to stardom is charted. The trio began as an underground punk band with a cult following before becoming a mainstream group selling millions of records.
A look at the early career development of rapper and producer Kanye West.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll was born in the coastal town of Barranquilla, Colombia to a Lebanese father and devout Catholic mother. The youngest of 9 half brothers and sisters from her father's first marriage, Shakira early on showed incredible talent as a writer and performer. At four years old, she surprised her family by belly dancing at an Arabian restaurant without any training or lessons. It was clear that performing was in her soul. When her family was shattered by the sudden death of older brother, Shakira observed her father's tears behind his dark glasses and wrote her first song "Tu Gafas Oscuras" (Your Dark Glasses).
Eric Bishop, aka Jamie Foxx learned rejection at an early age. His birth parents relinquished responsibility for him when he was 7 months old at which time he was legally adopted by his grandparents. From that point on, Eric was determined to excel at everything he did in an effort to prove his worth to his birth parents - and to himself. His grandmother, who raised him with a strict, Southern hand, turned out to be his biggest supporter. She was a stern but loving motivator who encouraged Eric to develop his talents. She gave him piano lessons from the age of three, put him in the church choir and taught him how to treat people with respect. Eric loved and respected his grandmother and flourished under her care. Eric's comedic talent became evident early on when in 2nd grade; his teacher put him in front of the whole class to tell jokes. By the age of 13 he was director of music at his church. During high school, Eric was the star quarterback and excelled academically. He started his own rock band and began entering talent shows, playing the piano and often singing Lionel Richie songs. Eric was on top of the world, but then had the rug pulled out from under him when his grandfather died during his junior year in high school. His grandfather was "the backbone of the family" and after that, Eric stepped it up another notch, taking on the role of man of the house.
LL Cool J grew up poor and endured a rough family situation as a child, however, he emerged through it all to become a hugely successful self-made man. LL began his career as a pioneer in hip-hop, and moved on to also become a successful actor. Born in 1968, James Todd Smith was raised in Queens. In his youth, he sang in a church choir, and even got to perform with the choir for the pope in Shea Stadium.
He began rapping as a hobby at the age of 9, and at 13, his grandfather bought him music equipment. In 1984 at age 16, LL mailed a demo tape to local hip-hop producer Rick Rubin of the upstart label Def Jam Records. A young Adam Horowitz (aka AD ROCK) found LL's demo while rummaging around Rubin's dorm room. He liked LL's sound and brought the demo to Rubin's attention, thus setting off a chain of events.