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B.o.B., aka Bobby Ray

By

2010 MTV Video Music Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Out of Atlanta:

B.o.B. was born Bobby Ray Simmons on November 15, 1988 in North Carolina. However, he grew up in Atlanta, Georgia surrounded by the fertile Atlanta "Dirty South" rap scene. Influenced by Eminem and DMX, B.o.B. began rapping at the age of 13. While still in junior high he formed a group called The Klinic with his cousin Swag. They continued to collaborate into high school until Swag had to leave for college. At that point B.o.B. decided to pursue a solo career.

Major Label Recording Contract With Atlantic:

B.o.B. gained local attention in Atlanta performing the hazy drug influenced "Cloud 9." Prominent DJ TJ Chapman took notice and flew young B.o.B. to Florida to meet with rap producer Jim Jonsin. The fruitful meeting soon resulted in a signing to Jonsin's Rebel Rock label, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, in October 2006. The first single was "Haterz Everywhere" which reached the top 5 of the Bubbling Under portion of Billboard's Hip Hop and R&B singles chart in 2007.

"Nothin' On You" Hits the Top:

B.o.B. headed back into the studio and spent much of the next two years working on his debut album The Adventures Of Bobby Ray. While B.o.B. is the primary producer on the album, he also worked with Dr. Luke, Alex Da Kid, and the Smeezingtons among others. Guest artists on the album include Bruno Mars, Lupe Fiasco, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, and Eminem. The first single "Nothin' On You" was released in February 2010 and swiftly began climbing the pop charts. It was certified platinum for sales in April and #1 by May.

Breakout Pop Artist:

B.o.B.'s success did not stop with "Nothin' On You." He followed it with two more smash top 10 hit singles "Airplanes" and "Magic." The album The Adventures of Bobby Ray debuted at #1 on the album chart. B.o.B. has been nominated for five MTV Video Music Awards in 2010 including Video of the Year for "Airplanes."

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