Birdman in May 2010
Bryan Christopher Williams|
February 15, 1969
|Net worth||US$100 million (2018)|
|Toni Braxton (2016-present)|
Ronald "Slim" Williams (brother)|
BenJarvus Green-Ellis (nephew)
Bryan Christopher Williams (born February 15, 1969), known by his stage name Birdman (also known as Baby), is an American rapper, record executive and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder and public face of Cash Money Records which he founded with his older brother Ronald "Slim" Williams in 1991. Birdman released his eponymous debut album in 2002, and has gone on to release four solo studio albums in total. Aside from his solo career, he is also a member of the hip-hop duo Big Tymers, along with producer Mannie Fresh.
Along with his solo work and numerous releases with the Big Tymers, Birdman has released a collaboration album and numerous tracks with fellow rapper and protégé Lil Wayne, whom he discovered and took under his wing at an early age. Birdman has also made his name by contributing to the making of YMCMB (Young Money Cash Money Billionaires), a combination of the former's "Cash Money" and Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment imprint under the label.
Williams was born on February 15, 1969 at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. His mother, Gladys, became ill and died when he was five years old. Birdman then spent a small stint in Canada and then 2 years in foster care before he and his brothers were reclaimed by their father after a long legal battle in the mid-'70s. He then lived in the Magnolia Projects in Central City, New Orleans. While living in the Magnolia, he began committing robberies and sold heroin before getting arrested at the age 16. At 18 he was again arrested for drug possession and was sentenced to 3 years in Elayn Hunt Correctional Center. He served 18 months before he was acquitted of all charges.
In 1998 to 2002, he joined producer and DJ Mannie Fresh to form the duo Big Tymers. Big Tymers debuted in 1998 with the album How Ya Luv That? and went on to release I Got That Work in 2000 and Hood Rich in 2002, respectively. I Got That Work had the singles "Get Your Roll On" and "#1 Stunna". Although the singles failed to debut on The Billboard Hot 100 music chart, I Got That Work was certified Platinum by the RIAA for selling over 1 million copies in the United States. Hood Rich had "Still Fly", which was nominated for a Grammy, and "Oh Yeah!" Hood Rich was also certified Platinum in the US. Big Money Heavyweight followed in 2003. "Big Money Heavyweight was certified Gold in the US. In 2005, Mannie Fresh left the group and resigned from Cash Money. After his group Big Tymers broke up he changed his name from "Baby" to "Birdman".
Lil Wayne and Birdman released an album titled Like Father, Like Son. It was certified gold and spawned two singles, which were "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" and "Leather So Soft". He was also featured on the remixes of high selling rap singles such as "We Fly High" by Jim Jones and "Make It Rain" by Fat Joe. In 2007, Birdman released his fourth studio album, 5 * Stunna. The first single, "Pop Bottles", featuring Lil Wayne, was a hit, as was the second single "100 Million", featuring Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. The third single, featuring Lil Wayne, titled "I Run This", was a hit as well. Birdman refers to Lil Wayne as his son, not biologically, but emotionally. He had known Wayne since he was a child. He was definitely a father figure to Wayne. He expressed his feelings for Wayne in an interview in Tim Westwood's radio show, where he also addressed the innocent photo of them kissing mouth to mouth like a father and son.
Birdman's first single from his album Pricele$$ was "Always Strapped", featuring Lil Wayne, and the second was "Written on Her", featuring British singer Jay Sean. "Southside", featuring Lil Wayne, was the third single. "Money to Blow" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne was the fourth single. "4 My Town (Play Ball)" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne was the fifth single. "Written on Her" also became Birdman's first UK release in December 2009.
In 2010 he was going to release an album titled Priceless 2, a sequel to his previous album, but changed it to Bigga Than Life. The first promotional single was titled "Loyalty" and featured Lil Wayne and Tyga. Other collaborations will come from Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Bun B and Drake. The album was scheduled to be released in early 2011. He released a music video for a possible future single, "My Jewel", which featured Bun B and Young Jeezy. On November 22, 2010, he released the first official single, "Fire Flame", which featured Lil Wayne. Birdman released another single called "I Get Money" featuring T-Pain, Young Money artist Mack Maine and Lil Wayne. On September 13, 2011, Birdman released "Y.U. MAD", featuring Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. He collaborated with Mack Maine as a duo named White Boys to release a mixtape titled Billionaire Minds on November 2, 2011. On May 22, 2012, he released "Born Stunna", featuring Rick Ross. The remix, featuring Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, was released July 10, 2012. The most recent single, "Shout Out" featuring Gudda Gudda and French Montana, was released October 16, 2012.
During 2008 it was announced Birdman was set to release a mixtape with his long-time friend Rick Ross titled The H. On May 16, 2013 Birdman and Rick Ross announced that The H would be released as a mixtape hosted by DJ Khaled on May 23, 2013. The project was recorded during a couple days in 2008. A new compilation album, entitled Rich Gang: Flashy Lifestyle, hosted by Birdman, was previously set to be released June 25, 2013. The album would feature appearances from the many members of Cash Money Records and Young Money Entertainment among others such as Meek Mill, French Montana and Future. A mixtape titled Rich Gang: Allstars was released prior to the release of that album. This mixtape included singles from artists of Rich Gang, such as "Started From the Bottom" by Drake, "Bugatti" by Ace Hood featuring Rick Ross and Future, "Karate Chop" (Remix) by Future, "Love Me" by Lil Wayne featuring Drake and Future, "Freaks" by French Montana featuring Nicki Minaj, "Rich As Fuck" by Lil Wayne featuring 2 Chainz, and "Champions" by Kevin Rudolf featuring Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit, Birdman, and Lil Wayne.
In 2014, Birdman began promoting Atlanta-based rappers Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. The two had already collaborated extensively with each other. Birdman released a single titled "Lifestyle" featuring Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan from a Rich Gang album. He also released a second Rich Gang mixtape titled Rich Gang: Tha Tour Pt. 1 featuring new music from Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan. The mix-tape featured no music from Young Money or Cash Money artists except Birdman himself, and instead had guest features from artists such as PeeWee Longway, Nipsey Hu$$le, Jacquees and Yung Ralph. Birdman, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan had a joint tour planned.
Forbes magazine estimated his personal fortune at US $125 million in 2012. In 2013 he was listed by Forbes.com as the fifth highest-earning star in hip hop, taking in $21 million in the year to September 2013.
Birdman and Lil Wayne had supposedly reconciled from their beef in 2016 after being seen at Drake's NYE Party, at Miami's Club Liv, and in studio. However, a contract dispute still exists between them, with the latter trying to get out of the contract; in 2016, Birdman called off the negotiations to settle their lawsuit.
Birdman's mother, whom he exclusively refers to as Ms. Gladys, died when he was 5 years old. Birdman has made numerous references to her in his music, including releasing a song named after her. His father, Johnny, owned a number of small businesses in the New Orleans area, including multiple bars and a laundrette.
Birdman has two siblings, a sister named Tamara and an older brother named Ronald. Ronald is the co-founder of Cash Money Records, alongside Birdman. Tamara was killed in a car accident in 2006. Due to their mother passing away at a young age, Birdman primarily raised his younger sister and referred to her as his "daughter".
Birdman has two children, Bryan Jr. (born 1997) and Bria (born 1998).
In October 2009, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Cash Money Records and various music distribution outlets were sued for copyright infringement by Thomas Marasciullo, who claims his voice was used without permission. Both rappers asked him to record some "Italian-styled spoken word recordings" in 2006. The lyrics were allegedly used on "Respect" and other tracks from the rappers' collaboration album Like Father, Like Son and Birdman's 5 * Stunna.
In early 2010, Birdman formed an oil and gas exploration company, Bronald Oil and Gas, LLC. The company was a joint venture founded by Birdman and his brother Slim, and the name was a combination of the brothers' first names, Bryan and Ronald. Evidence of the company's actual business operations was scant, limited mostly to a website and the appearance of a "pumpjack" tattoo on the side of Birdman's head. The website indicated that the company's strategy would be to first develop existing land holdings and seek out new oil and gas leases. In February 2010, Birdman told Ozone magazine that he had been in the oil business for "4 or 5 years" and was "making very good money off that".
However, by March 2010, Birdman had almost completely covered the pumpjack tattoo, which sparked speculation that the Bronald Oil project had stalled. An investigative report from Bloomberg revealed that official regulators in charge of oil and gas permits had never heard of Bronald.
On April 22, 2016, Birdman disparaged the hosts of hip-hop radio show The Breakfast Club during a live interview, telling them to "stop playing with my fucking name" and to "put some respek on my name". He later issued an apology for his outburst after being awarded the "Donkey of the Day" appellation from one of the hosts, Charlamagne Tha God. The video went viral, and on April 27, 2016, Birdman launched a merchandise line, "Respek", featuring catchphrases from the interview.
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