Stanley Kirk Burrell (born March 30, 1962), better known by his stage name MC Hammer (or simply Hammer), is an American rapper, entertainer, business entrepreneur, dancer and actor. He had his greatest commercial success and popularity from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. Remembered for a rapid rise to fame before losing the majority of his fortune, Hammer is also known for his hit records, including "U Can't Touch This", flamboyant dance movements and trademark Hammer pants. Hammer's superstar-status made him a household name and pop icon. He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide, demonstrating hip hop's potential for mass market success.
Burrell also became a preacher during the late 1990s, was a television show host and dance judge, is a record label CEO, and as of 2008 works as a co-creator of a dance website called DanceJam, while still performing concerts at music venues and assisting with other social media, ministry and outreach functions. In addition, he was executive producer of his own reality show called Hammertime which aired on the A&E Network during the summer of 2009. Prior to becoming ordained, Hammer signed with Suge Knight's Death Row Records by 1995.
M.C. Hammer is considered a "forefather" and innovator of pop rap, and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. Hammer was later considered a sell-out rapper due in part to over-exposure and as a result of his increasingly gritty image as the landscape of rap changed. Nonetheless, BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time". Vibe's "The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared him the 17th favorite of all-time during the first round.
Throughout his career, Hammer has managed his own recording business. As a result, he has created and produced his own acts including Oaktown's 3.5.7, Common Unity, Special Generation, Analise, One Cause One Effect, Teabag, Dom Kimberley, Geeman, Pleasure Ellis, B Angie B, Stooge Playaz, Ho Frat Ho and Wee Wee, among others. Apart of additional record labels, he has associated/collaborated/recorded with VMF, Tupac Shakur, Teddy Riley, Felton Pilate, Tha Dogg Pound, Deion Sanders, Big Daddy Kane and Jon Gibson, as well as others. In 1992, Doug E. Fresh was signed to M.C. Hammer's Bust It Records label.
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