Lonnie Rashied Lynn, Jr. (born March 13, 1972), better known by his stage name Common (previously Common Sense), is an American hip hop artist and actor.
Common debuted in 1992 with the album “Can I Borrow a Dollar?” and maintained a significant underground following into the late 90s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians.
His first major label album, “Like Water for Chocolate,” received widespread critical acclaim and tremendous commercial success. The album was certified Gold on August 11, 2000 by the Recording Industry Association of America. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the album has sold over 748,000 copies. The album's hit single, "The Light" received a 2001 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance.
His first Grammy award was in 2003 for Best R&B Song for "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)" with Erykah Badu. The song was featured in the 2002 film “Brown Sugar” and is found on the film's soundtrack.
Its popularity was matched by May 2005's “Be,” which was nominated at the 2006 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album. Primarily produced by hip hop artist Kanye West, the album peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart and became Common's second album to sell over 500,000 copies (over 800,000 copies).
Common was awarded his second Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group, for "Southside" (featuring Kanye West), from his July 2007 album “Finding Forever.” His best-of album “Thisisme Then: The Best of Common” was released on November 27, 2007.
“Universal Mind Control” was released December 9, 2008 and the album's first single, titled "Universal Mind Control", was officially released on July 1, 2008. In its first week, Universal Mind Control sold 81,663 in the United States. To date, the album has sold over 211,781 copies. In 2010, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album
To date, he has sold more than 2.8 million albums in the U.S. Common has also initiated a burgeoning acting career, starring significant roles in such films as "Smokin' Aces," "Street Kings," "American Gangster," "Wanted," "Terminator Salvation," "Date Night," and "Just Wright."