Background information Birth name Jonathan Lyndale Kirk Also known as Baby Jesus Born (1991-12-22) December 22, 1991 (age 32)Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. Origin Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. Genres Occupation(s) Rapper Years active 2014-present Labels Children 4

Jonathan Lyndale Kirk (born December 22, 1991), known professionally as DaBaby (formerly known as Baby Jesus), is an American rapper. After releasing several mixtapes between 2014 and 2018, he rose to mainstream prominence with his debut album Baby on Baby (2019), which included the Billboard Hot 100 top ten single “Suge”.

His second studio album, Kirk (2019), debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) multi-platinum singles “Intro” and “Bop”. Dababy’s third studio album, Blame It on Baby (2020), became his second consecutive number-one album in the US. The album included his highest-charting song, “Rockstar” (featuring Roddy Ricch), which spent seven non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year nomination.

In 2020, he was featured on the remix of “Whats Poppin” by Jack Harlow, and the single “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, both of which peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. That same year, he was also featured on single “For the Night” by Pop Smoke and was awarded two iHeartRadio Music Awards. In 2022, he released the collaborative mixtape with YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Better than You in addition to his fourth studio album, Baby on Baby 2.

Early life

Jonathan Lyndale Kirk was born on December 22, 1991, in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Charlotte, North Carolina at age six, where he spent most of his early years. He attended Vance High School, now called Julius L. Chambers High School, where he graduated in 2010.

He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for two years. He did not complete his studies, saying he only went to college for his parents’ sake. He grew up listening to Eminem, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne with his two older brothers.

Career

2014-2018: Early mixtapes

Kirk began taking music seriously between 2014 and 2015. In 2015, he started off his music career by releasing Nonfiction, his debut mixtape. He followed this up with his God’s Work mixtape series, Baby Talk mixtape series, Billion Dollar Baby, and Back on My Baby Jesus Sh*t. He initially performed under the name Baby Jesus, which he eventually changed out of concern that it had become a distraction.

Kirk got his big break after signing to Arnold Taylor, the president of the South Coast Music Group label, a big radio promoter. Taylor saw Kirk perform around North Carolina clubs at the time he [Taylor] was launching his label. Taylor had been responsible for the early rise of Southern rap stars including Yo Gotti and Future. Once they started working together, the team kept building buzz around the South with mixtapes and club shows, while Kirk was finding his sound.

Through his deal with South Coast, Kirk signed a short-lived distribution deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for his Blank Blank mixtape that would prove to be his breakout in late 2018. Thanks to the guidance of Taylor, and following major label bidding wars, Kirk landed a seven-figure recording deal with Interscope.

2019: Baby on Baby and Kirk

In January 2019, upon being signed to Interscope, Kirk launched his own imprint, Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment. In March 2019, Kirk’s debut studio album Baby on Baby, was released via Interscope Records and South Coast Music Group in a joint venture with both labels. The thirteen-track project features guest appearances from Offset, Rich Homie Quan, Rich the Kid and Stunna 4 Vegas.

Baby on Baby debuted at number 25 on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the US. The song “Suge” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 87 on the chart, dated April 13, 2019, and reached the top 10 on the chart, dated June 8, 2019. Kirk was featured on the cover of XXL as part of the Freshman Class of 2019.

Kirk featured on various hit songs throughout mid-2019. In July 2019, Kirk was featured on Dreamville’s compilation album Revenge of the Dreamers III, on the opening track, “Under the Sun”. He received acclaim for his guest feature, with various publications ranking it as his best verse of 2019, including Complex magazine calling it a “defining breakout moment for a new rap superstar”.

In August 2019, he announced that his second album would be titled Kirk, named after his surname. It was released in September, and debuted atop the US Billboard 200. Its lead single, “Intro”, was successful, peaking at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Around that time, Kirk also made notable appearances on singles such as Post Malone’s “Enemies”, which peaked at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100, and on the remixes to YG’s “Stop Snitchin”, Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”, and Lil Nas X’s “Panini”, released in May, August, and September 2019, respectively. In October, he made a cameo appearance in the music video for his protégé, Rich Dunk’s single “High School”.

Kirk closed 2019 having 22 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 for the year, the most of any artist that year.

2020-present

At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, held in 2020, Kirk received two nominations, both for “Suge”, in the categories Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song. His third studio album, Blame It on Baby, was released in April 2020. The album received mixed to positive reviews, and achieved commercial success, debuting atop the Billboard 200 with 124,000 album-equivalent units, becoming Kirk’s second number-one album. It produced his highest-charting song, “Rockstar”, featuring Roddy Ricch, which spent seven non-consecutive weeks at number-one on the Billboard Hot 100, and reached number-one in the United Kingdom.

In June, Kirk was featured on the remix for the Jack Harlow song “Whats Poppin”, which peaked at number two on the Hot 100 while “Rockstar” was still at the top. This made DaBaby the 20th act to occupy the chart’s top 2 positions, and the first since Ariana Grande in 2019. In July, Kirk was featured on “For the Night” by Pop Smoke and Lil Baby, which debuted at number six on the Hot 100. As a result, DaBaby became the seventh act to chart at least three songs in the top six simultaneously.

In July 2020, Kirk released a single with his signee Stunna 4 Vegas, titled “No Dribble”, included on the deluxe edition of Blame It on Baby, which was released in August 2020, and described by DaBaby as a “brand new album”. In November 2020, DaBaby released his debut EP, My Brother’s Keeper (Long Live G). It pays tribute to his late brother, Glenn Johnson, and features appearances from Meek Mill, NoCap, Toosii, and Polo G. Kirk contributed a feature on the remix of “Levitating” by English singer Dua Lipa. Though the remix was released in late 2020, the song began climbing up the charts and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2021.

In January 2021, DaBaby released the single “Masterpiece” alongside a music video for the track directed by Gemini Visions. The track includes references to his relationship with DaniLeigh and to his past legal troubles. In February, DaBaby released a remix to SpotemGottem’s single Beat Box, along with a music video. He released the June singles “Ball If I Want To”, and “Red Light Green Light”, and “Giving What It’s Supposed To Give” in July.

In March 2022, he released mixtape Better than You with YoungBoy Never Broke Again. In September, he released his fourth studio album Baby on Baby 2.

Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment

Billion Dollar Baby Founded 2017 Founder DaBaby Status Active Distributor(s) Interscope Genre Country of origin U.S. Location Charlotte, North Carolina

Billion Dollar Baby Entertainment is an American record label founded by DaBaby in 2017, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Billion Dollar Baby currently has signed 5 artists to the label. DaBaby spoke about intending to focus on the record label saying “I won’t be rapping in five years; I won’t be rapping. I’ll be creating other superstars.”

Roster

  • Stunna 4 Vegas
  • DJ K.i.D
  • Rich Dunk
  • KayyKilo
  • Wisdom

Personal life

Kirk has one stepson born in 2014 and three daughters born 2017, 2020, and 2021 respectively.

Kirk’s father died in 2019 shortly after the release of his debut studio album. His second album is a tribute to his last name, with the cover being his father holding him as an infant. Kirk’s brother, Glen Johnson, died in November 2020, at age 34.

He dated fellow American rapper and singer DaniLeigh in 2020. The couple split in February 2021. Months after the split, it was reportedly confirmed that Kirk had fathered a child with her after a viral incident of the two was recorded and posted on Instagram.

Discography

  • Baby on Baby (2019)
  • Kirk (2019)
  • Blame It on Baby (2020)
  • Baby on Baby 2 (2022)

Awards and nominations

List of awards and nominations received by DaBaby Award Year Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref. ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards 2020 “Baby Sitter” Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Won “Cash …” (with Megan Thee Stallion) Won “Suge” Top R&B/Hip-Hop Song Won BET Awards 2020 Kirk Album of the Year Nominated “Bop” Video of the Year Nominated Viewers’ Choice Award Nominated Himself Best Male Hip Hop Artist Won 2021 Blame It on Baby Album of the Year Nominated “Rockstar” (feat. Roddy Ricch) Viewers’ Choice Award Nominated Best Collaboration Nominated “Whats Poppin (Remix)” (with Jack Harlow, Tory Lanez, and Lil Wayne) Nominated “Cry Baby” (with Megan Thee Stallion) Nominated “For the Night” (with Pop Smoke and Lil Baby) Nominated Himself Best Male Hip Hop Artist Nominated BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 “Suge” Best Hip Hop Video Nominated Himself Hot Ticket Performer Nominated Best New Hip Hop Artist Won 2022 DaBaby & YoungBoy Never Broke Again Best Duo/Group Nominated 2023 “Shake Sumn” Best Hip-hop Video Nominated Himself Best Live Performer Nominated DaBaby & Reel Goats Video Director of the Year Nominated Billboard Music Awards 2021 Himself Top Hot 100 Artist Nominated Top Streaming Songs Artist Nominated Top Rap Artist Nominated Blame It on Baby Top Rap Album Nominated “Rockstar” (feat. Roddy Ricch) Top Hot 100 Song Nominated Top Streaming Song Won Top Collaboration Nominated Top Rap Song Won Grammy Award 2020 “Suge” Best Rap Performance Nominated Best Rap Song Nominated 2021 “Rockstar” (feat. Roddy Ricch) Record of the Year Nominated Best Melodic Rap Performance Nominated Best Rap Song Nominated “Bop” Best Rap Performance Nominated 2022 Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe) (Justin Bieber) Album of the Year Nominated Donda (Kanye West) Nominated iHeartRadio Music Awards 2020 Himself Best New Hip-Hop Artist Won “Suge” Hip-Hop Song of the Year Won 2021 Himself Hip-Hop Artist of the Year Nominated “Rockstar” (featuring Roddy Ricch) Song of the Year Nominated Hip-Hop Song of the Year Nominated iHeartRadio Titanium Awards 2021 “Rockstar” (featuring Roddy Ricch) 1 Billion Total Audience Spins on iHeartRadio Stations Won MTV Video Music Awards 2019 “Suge” Song of Summer Nominated

See also

In Spanish: DaBaby para niños

  • List of artists who reached number one in the United States
About Author

Kay Adams