Kendrick Lamar Biography; Age, Career, Awards

Regarded as One of the Greatest Rappers of All Time

Birthday: June 17, 1987

Born In: Compton, California, United States

Kendrick Lamar, an acclaimed American rapper and lyricist, has garnered both critical and commercial success throughout his career. His journey in the music industry began during his teenage years, initially releasing mixtapes under the name K-Dot. At just sixteen, he signed his first record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment. Over time, he formed a hip hop group, released numerous albums and singles, and actively participated in stage performances and tours. Throughout his career, Lamar has collaborated with renowned artists such as Jay Rock, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, The Game, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna.

With around 135 award nominations and close to 45 wins, Kendrick Lamar’s accolades include prestigious awards like the Grammy Awards, BET Awards, Teen Choice Awards, MTV Awards, MOBO Awards, Soul Train Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Webby Awards, and YouTube Music Awards. Notably, he has been hailed as ‘The New King of the West Coast’ by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and The Game. In 2016, Time magazine honored him by naming him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Kendrick Lamar Duckworth
  • Age: 37 Years
  • Family:
    • Father: Kenny Duckworth
    • Mother: Paula Oliver
  • Born Country: United States
  • Height: 5’6″ (168 cm)
  • Notable Alumni: Centennial High School
  • U.S. State: California
  • City: Compton, California

Childhood & Early Life

Kendrick Lamar Duckworth was born on June 17, 1987, in Compton, California. His mother named him after the famous singer Eddie Kendricks. He completed his primary education at McNair Elementary in the Compton Unified School District and later attended Centennial High School in Compton. Known for his academic excellence, Lamar consistently earned A grades during his school years.


In 2004, at the age of 16, Kendrick Lamar released his first mixtape titled ‘Youngest Head Nigga in Charge’ under the pseudonym K-Dot. The mixtape gained local acclaim and led to a contract with Top Dawg Entertainment. In 2005, he released another mixtape, ‘Training Day,’ consisting of 26 tracks.

Between 2006 and 2007, Lamar collaborated with artists like Jay Rock and Ya Boy. He featured in songs by rapper The Game, including ‘The Cypha’ and ‘Cali Niggaz.’ In 2008, he appeared in Jay Rock’s single ‘All My Life (In the Ghetto),’ which was backed by Warner Bros. Records.

In 2009, he released another mixtape, ‘C4,’ inspired by Lil Wayne’s ‘The Carter III.’ Around this time, he started using his real name and released ‘The Kendrick Lamar EP.’ That same year, he formed the hip hop group ‘Black Hippy’ with Jay Rock, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul. The group frequently appeared in each other’s videos and tracks.

In 2010, Lamar released his first mixtape under his real name, ‘Overly Dedicated,’ which entered the Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The following year, he released his first official album, ‘Section.80,’ digitally, which reached the 13th position on the Billboard 200.

During this period, Lamar’s popularity soared with numerous guest appearances and album releases. In 2011, during a concert, he was proclaimed ‘The New King of the West Coast’ by Game, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre. He also collaborated with Windows Phone, creating an original song titled ‘Cloud 10.’

In 2011, he released two critically acclaimed albums, ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,’ which were later nominated for Grammy Awards. Between 2013 and 2014, Lamar remained active with tours and guest appearances in albums by artists such as YG, Tame Impala, and SZA. In 2014, he released the single ‘I’ from his album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly,’ which was released the following year to widespread acclaim.

In 2015, Lamar featured in Taylor Swift’s remix of ‘Bad Blood,’ which topped the Billboard Hot 100. The following year, he released a compilation album of unfinished demos titled ‘Untitled Unmastered.’

In 2017, Lamar released the promotional single ‘The Heart Part 4,’ followed by the lead single ‘Humble’ and its video. In April 2017, he released the album ‘DAMN.,’ featuring guest appearances by U2, Rihanna, and Zacari. The album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

Major Works

Kendrick Lamar is celebrated for his impactful contributions to the rap and hip-hop industry. His notable albums include:

  • ‘Section.80’
  • ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’
  • ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’
  • ‘DAMN.’

Awards & Achievements

Throughout his career, Kendrick Lamar has amassed numerous awards and accolades. Some of his most significant achievements include:

Grammy Awards

  • 2019: Best Rap Performance for ‘Black Panther’
  • 2018: Best Rap Performance, Best Music Video for ‘Humble,’ Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Performance
  • 2016: Best Rap Performance, Best Music Video for ‘Bad Blood’ with Taylor Swift, Best Rap Song, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, Best Rap Album
  • 2015: Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Short Form Music Video for ‘Bad Blood’ with Taylor Swift

BET Awards

  • 2012 and 2013: BET Hip Hop Award for ‘Lyricist of the Year’
  • 2013: Vanguard Award at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, BET Award for ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Male Hip-Hop Artist’
  • 2014 and 2015: BET Award for ‘Best Male Hip-Hop Artist,’ BET Hip Hop Awards for several categories including Album of the Year and Lyricist of the Year

Soul Train Music Awards

  • 2013: Album of the Year for ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’

Personal Life & Legacy

Kendrick Lamar is a devout Christian and often incorporates his faith into his music. In 2015, he became engaged to his longtime girlfriend Whitney Alford. NBA player Nick Young is his cousin.


Kendrick Lamar was named after the legendary singer and songwriter Eddie Kendricks.

Follow Kendrick Lamar on his journey through his impactful music and inspiring life story.

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