MC Hammer (Rapper)
 
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Updated: 3/19/09

Name: MC Hammer

Birth Name: Stanley Kirk Burrell

Born: March 30, 1962, Oakland, California

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Claim To Fame: The multi-platinum selling MC and dancer will probably always be remembered for his signature dance style, hit songs like U Can't Touch This, and of course, his trademark Hammer Pants. Sadly, he is also known for his rapid fall from fame and subsequent bankruptcy that made him a punch line in the music business throughout the mid-1990s.

Family Life: He has been married to Stephanie Fuller since 1985 and they have six children, three boys and three girls. His oldest, 20-year-old A'Keiba Burrell, was a contestant on MTV's Rock the Cradle in April, 2008.

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Info: Stanley Burrell, better known by the stage name MC Hammer, originally had ambitions to be a professional baseball player. From 1972-1980, he was a batboy for the Oakland Athletics under team owner Charlie Finley. Finley was the one who gave Burrell his famous nickname Hammer, because he said that he looked like Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Burrell was never chosen for a professional baseball team, and later served in the Navy as a Petty Officer Third Class Aviation Store Keeper. During this time, he added the MC to his name for being "Master of Ceremonies". After his honorable discharge from the military, he began performing in clubs and started his own record label, Bust It.

Hammer's debut album Feel My Power was released independently in 1987 on his Oaktown Records label. After signing with Capitol Records, it was then re-released as Let's Get It Started. The album eventually went triple-platinum, and several of the album's songs were played heavily on the radio throughout 1987 into 1988. His second release, 1990's Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, included the smash single "U Can't Touch This", and the album went on to become the first hip-hop album to reach diamond status, selling more than 10 million units. Although he began to receive criticism over his repetitive lyrics, his clean-cut image, and his reliance on others' music for the basis of his singles, he continued to enjoy a highly successful career.

During the early 1990s, Hammer continued to release albums, including Too Legit to Quit, The Funky Headhunter, and Inside Out. However, this last album sold poorly, and he was dropped by both Giant Records and Oaktown Records. Because of dwindling album sales and a lavish lifestyle, Hammer, who was $13 million in debt, filed for bankruptcy on April 3, 1996. Later that year, Burrell and Oaktown signed with EMI, which saw the release of a compilation of Hammer's chart topping songs. The album, Greatest Hits, featured 12 former hits and was released in October, only six months after his bankruptcy.

In 1998, he released his first album with EPI, titled Family Affair. Although it only sold 500,000 copies worldwide, it did feature a song originally by 2Pac that was given to Hammer which he did as a remake on the album called "Unconditional Love". Hammer released his 8th studio album, Active Duty, in 2001, as a tribute to those lost in the 9-11 terrorist attacks. This album, along with his 9th album, Full Blast, failed to chart. In 2006, he released Look Look Look, an album which sold much better than his previous release.

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Trivia: Established Oaktown Stable that would eventually have nineteen Thoroughbred racehorses.

Appeared on the first season of the reality show The Surreal Life.

In the 2005 MTV Music Video Awards, he made a surprise appearance in the middle of the show with best friend Jeremiah Jackson.

Claimed to have had 200 outfits.

Attended Castlemont High School in Oakland, California.

Spoke at the graduation ceremony for the class of 2008 at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California.

Had an entourage of over 200 people of which most were on his monthly payroll of $500,000.

Was on the Forbes list as the 19th highest-paid-entertainer of the world when he made $33 million.

Friends with athlete/rapper Deion Sanders.

In 1991, Mattel released the MC Hammer Doll.

Friends with boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.

In August 1997, approximately 1 year after his bankruptcy, he sold his famous 11,000 square foot mansion in the Fremont, California hills for $5.3 million dollars.

Officiated at the celebrity weddings of actor Corey Feldman and Susie Sprague in October 2002 and Motley Crue's Vince Neil and Lia Gerardini in January 2005.

Used the moniker "Holy Ghost Boy" prior to being known as MC Hammer.

His 1990 hit single "Pray" set a new record for the number of times its title was repeated during the song, at well over 100.

Passionate about boxing. Frequently puts on the gloves to spar.

Was given a Ferrari Testarossa by Capitol Records after he bet the label that Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em (1990) would become the biggest-selling rap album ever.

Donated a portion of the proceeds from his 2001 album "Active Duty" to 9/11 charities.

Had to film two versions of the music video for his hit single "Pumps and a Bump" in 1994. The first version was banned from MTV claiming it was too graphic for heavy rotation with Hammer in Speedos.

Won a Living Legends of Hip Hop award from Hip Hop International.

Was inducted into the Soul Train Hall of Fame.

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Where Are They Now: Hammer recently became co-founder of DanceJam.com (www.dancejam.com), an exclusive community site dedicated only to dancing videos, competitions and styles. He was featured in a new ESPN ad during last year's football season showcasing his new single I Got Gigs. During this year's Superbowl game, he was featured with Ed McMahon in a commercial for Cash4Gold.com. On February 11, he appeared at the Shorty Awards, which honor the top short-form content creators on Twitter. Earlier this month, Hammer and Vanilla Ice had a one-off concert in the McKay Events Center, Orem, Utah. It has also been confirmed that he will appear in Hammertime on the A&E network.

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