Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., in Chicago on March 13, 1972, the son of a teacher and former basketball pro. Anything but common, he set himself apart as a positive, consciousness-raising artist. His debut album, Can I Borrow A Dollar?, with its spoken-word-type lyricism, pioneered a new, socially-engaged genre of hip-hop. A Grammy Award winner, Common has also turned to acting, as seen with roles in projects like Just Wright, The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Selma. For the latter film, he and vocalist/musician, John Legend, won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the song "Glory." In 2006, he started the Common Ground Foundation.