Rick Ross is one of the biggest names in the rap game. He founded the record label Maybach Music Group, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap in 2009. Ross was the first artist signed to Diddy’s management company Ciroc Entertainment.
Read on to find out fascinating facts about Ross:
1. Born William Leonard Roberts II on January 28, 1976, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, however, he was raised in Carol City, Florida.
2. Graduated from Miami Carol City Senior High School.
3. Attended historically black college, Albany State University on a football scholarship.
4. Made his debut under the pseudonym Teflon Da Don. He made his recording debut on the song “Ain’t Shhh to Discuss” on Erick Sermon’s lone album for DreamWorks, Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis.
5. Changed his name to Rick Ross in the mid-2000s, his stage name derived from the former drug kingpin “Freeway” Rick Ross, no connection between the two.
6. After being signed to Suave House Records, former label for rap duo 8Ball & MJG, he eventually signed a deal with Slip-n-Slide Records, which has been under the Def Jam label since 2006.
7. His debut album Port of Miami was released in August 2006 and debuted at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, with sales at 187,000 units during the first week.
8. Signed to Diddy’s Ciroc Entertainment in 2009.
9. Named the Hottest MC in the Game in early 2012.
10. While celebrating his 37th birthday, Ross and his girlfriend were the targets of a drive-by shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, no one was hurt.
11. Dated fashionista Shateria Moragne-El for a few years. They broke up in 2013.
12. Dated and became engaged to hip-hop model Lira Mercer, also known as Lira Galore. They ended their engagement in November 2015.
13. Struggled with his weight and had a health scare in 2011 when he suffered multiple seizures on two separate flights on the same day; he has since lost weight.
14. Worked as a correctional officer for 18 months, until his resignation in June 1997.
15. Spent a large part of 2015 under house arrest.
16. Ross currently owns several different Wingstop restaurant locations.