Inspired at 12 years old by producer Teddy Riley, Jermaine Dupri Mauldin wrote his first song for the female rap group Silk Tymes Leather at 14. In his teens, he was also a dancer for Run DMC and Whodini, and worked as a DJ for the rappers of Fresh Set.
Later, Dupri would become most known for creating the record label So So Def and launching or furthering the careers of many artists such as Kris Kross, Da Brat, Xscape, Janet Jackson, Bow Wow and TLC among many others. As a producer, he’s been the man behind several chart-topping singles for Jay-Z, Mariah Carey, Usher, Nelly, Ashanti, Ludacris and Fabolous. Dupri also has many successful singles as a solo artist including “Welcome To Atlanta” (featuring Ludacris) and “Money Ain’t A Thing” (featuring Jay-Z).
Dupri won a Grammy in 2006 for his work on the Mariah Carey song “We Belong Together”. In 2018, he became the second hip-hop artist ever to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.