DJ Khaled is a self-made DJ who gained commercial success through his ability to organize recordings between A-list rappers and producers.
Khaled is the son of Palestinian immigrants, and grew up in New Orleans and Orlando, Florida, where he learned how to DJ in his parents’ garage at age 13. Khaled worked at Odyssey record store in New Orleans, where he networked with rap artists like Lil Wayne and Birdman, and racked up the store’s phone bill making long-distance calls to record labels.
Moving to Miami, Khaled began attempting to establish himself as a DJ. He soon secured a slot on Mixx 93, and began releasing mixtapes and booking club gigs, before being given a slot as a regular DJ on WEDR’s The Luke Show. Khaled’s growing popularity and connections led to his first commercially successful full album, Listennn: The Album, in 2006, which hit Billboard’s Top 20 rap chart, and featured various rappers. Continuing his strategy of extreme collaboration, Khaled followed up with three more albums which included four singles in the pop Top 40 and earned him several gold and platinum certifications.
Khaled released one album with Sony, I Changed a Lot, in 2015 before moving to Epic to release 2016’s Major Key. The album reached the top of the Billboard 200, and included two more Top 40 singles in “For Free,” and “I Got the Keys.” Khaled collaborated with Beyonce and Jay-Z a year later on “Shining,” the first single off his next album, Grateful. The song was an unsurprising number one hit, and the second single off the album, “I’m The One” launched Khaled to the top of the Hot 100. “Wild Thoughts,” the third single, which featured Rihanna and Bryson Tiller, peaked at number two on the Hot 100.
In 2018, Khaled partnered with Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Chance the Ripper for “No Brainer,” his fourth Top Ten pop hit. He released Father of Asahd in 2019, which also entered the Billboard 200 at number two, and featured one of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s last recordings. DJ Khaled can be found performing internationally, and he is regularly booked for private parties and corporate entertainment events.