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COMMON (Barnes) is a Grammy-winning music artist who is now becoming wellknown as a film actor. He most recently co-starred in last summer's actioner "Wanted,” with Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman. He was previously seen in David Ayer's "Street Kings,” starring Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker; Ridley Scott's acclaimed true-life drama "American Gangster,” with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. He had made his acting debut as part of the ensemble cast of "Smokin' Aces,” under the director of Joe Carnahan. He first appeared on the big screen as a musical performer in the 2006 release "Dave Chappelle's Block Party.” Currently, Common is filming the comedy "Date Night,” with Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg and James Franco, under the direction of Shawn Levy.

Prior to starting his acting career, Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop's most poetic and respected lyricists. He released his first album, Can I Borrow a Dollar?, in 1992, followed by Resurrection, One Day It'll All Make Sense, Like Water For Chocolate, and Electric Circus. In 2004, he partnered with rap music mega-star Kanye West to produce BE, which went on to garner four Grammy Award nominations. In 2006, his video for the single "Testify” was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards, including Best Hip Hop Video.

In 2007, Common released his critically acclaimed seventh album, Finding Forever, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and went on to win a Grammy Award. His eighth album, Universal Mind Control, was released in 2008. Utilizing the cultural relevance of hip hop, Common has also written children's books that offer the younger generation an understanding of self-respect and love. The first one, entitled The Mirror and Me, teaches lessons of life, the human spirit, and human nature. Common's next book, I Like You But I Love Me, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. His third book is entitled M.E. (Mixed Emotions).

In addition to his music, film, and literary pursuits, Common was announced as the face of the new Diesel men's fragrance, Only the Brave. In addition to starting his own hat line, called Soji, he is also partnered with Microsoft on their Softwear clothing line and AMP Energy Drink. In 2007, he launched the Common Ground Foundation, an organization dedicated to the empowerment and development of urban youth in the United States.

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