Chancelor Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper, grew up in the middle-class neighborhood of West Chatham in Chicago's South Side.
His father, Ken Williams-Benne served as an aide to former Chicago mayor Harold Washington and then worked for Barack Obama, who was a senator at the time. Chance himself interned for Barack Obama's during his presidential campaign. He recalled to The Chicago Reader: "I was kind of, 'I'm not just gonna do a one-party type thing,' but then I got to thinkin' about it. I mean, I really value our president because I know him personally, he's just like, literally, a genuine nice guy."
"But beyond just the election itself, I've thought about the value of my family and my dad, cause a lot of people would've lost their jobs - that's obvious, once that administration was gone. So like, just valuing my dad to a certain extent I had to do something for him."
Chance was originally more into soul and jazz. The first hip-hop album that he ever purchased and listened to was fellow Chicago native Kanye West's 2004 debut LP The College Dropout.
Bennett's first full-length project, a mixtape titled 10 Day, was conceived while he was serving out a ten day suspension from school for possessing marijuana on campus - hence the name. It gained him recognition within the local scene.
Chance followed it up in 2013 with another free mixtape named Acid Rap. Despite the fact it wasn't released commercially, Acid Rap has garnering over 1,000,000 downloads. It was voted at #5 on Rolling Stone's 'Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2013' list.
Chance made his first appearance on the pop charts in 2013 by contributing featured raps to Justin Bieber's final Music Mondays single "Confident
Chance was named 2013's Hot MC by Rolling Stone and Rapper of the Year by Spin magazine.
In May 2014 Chance and his father promoted the #SaveChicago campaign, which resulted in Chicago going 42 hours without a gun-related homicide. The rapper was presented later in the year Chicago's "Outstanding Youth of the Year Award" by Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his "outstanding contributions to the youth of the state of Illinois."
Chance The Rapper is also lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. They began as Chance's backup band on his 2013 Social Experiment tour.
He performed two songs during his debut Saturday Night Live appearance on December 12, 2015. The Chicago rapper made history by becoming the first unsigned artist to perform on the show.
Chance's daughter, Kinsley, was born with a frightening condition and the health scare made the Chicago musician turn to God. "I think it was the baby that, you know, brought my faith back," he told GQ.
"My daughter, when she was still in utero, she had, they call it atrial flutters," he explained. "It's kind of an irregular heartbeat. But when you're in utero, it's real hard to detect and also to treat. Sometimes you have to get a C-section so they can operate on the baby."
"And it made my pray a whole lot, you know, and need a lot of angels and just see s--t in a very, like, direct way," Chance continued. "God bless everything, it worked out well."
He won for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 2017, beating out The Chainsmokers and Kelsea Ballerini.
Chance The Rapper first saw Kirsten Corley when he was nine years old. He was at a Christmas party for his mom's real estate company when he was lovestruck by the young Kirsten, who did a flawlessly choreographed lip-synch performance of a Destiny's Child song with two friends. Though he was too shy to introduce himself, Chance knew she was the girl he as going to marry.
Chance and Kirsten began dating in 2013 and they welcomed their daughter Kensli two years later. They formally got married at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California on March 9, 2019, two months after taking part in a civil ceremony in Chicago, Illinois.
Chancelor Bennett used to call himself "Chano" before reverting to Chance The Rapper. His stage name has an uneventful origin; it comes from his Twitter handle @chancetherapper.
Dionne Warwick seems confused by Chance's moniker. "Hi, Chance the Rapper," she tweeted him in 2020. "If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name? I cannot stop thinking about this."
"I am now Dionne the Singer," she added.
Chance didn't take offense at the legendary singer questioning the obviousness of his rap alias: "Sorry I'm still freaking out that you know who I am. This is amazing!" before adding: "I will be whatever you wanna call me Ms Warwick. God bless you."