Robert Matthew Van Winkle was born on October 31, 1967, in Dallas, Texas. He went by the stage name Vanilla Ice. When he was born, his mom was married to a man. His mother left that man when Van Winkle was only four years old. He had never met his real father. His mother remarried a car salesman, so Van Winkle spent his childhood moving back and forth between Dallas and Miami, where his stepfather worked.
Van Winkle started getting into the early hip hop scene when he was 13 years old and learned how to break dance. Because he was the only white boy break dancing, his friends called him “Vanilla Ice.” Even though he didn’t like the name, it stuck. Soon, he started going to parties and rapping battles under the name “MC Vanilla.” Van Winkle started a group of breakdancers in Texas called The Vanilla Ice Posse. When he wrote “Ice Ice Baby,” he was 16 years old.
Ice finished high school in 1985 and went on to race motocross. He won three championships in the sport and was thinking about making it his career until he broke his ankle in a race and lost interest. He used the time he had to wait for his ankle to heal to get better at dancing. As a street performer in malls, he first beatboxed and brokedanced. One night, a friend dared him to take part in the open-mic night at a club called City Lights. The crowd liked him, so the club’s manager asked Ice if he wanted to play there more often. Ice agreed. While working at City Lights, he opened for N.W.A., Public Enemy, 2 Live Crew, Tone Loc, Paula Abdul, and more.
In early 1987, a fight outside the nightclub left Ice with five stab wounds. He spent 10 days in the hospital. Two years later, he opened for Ice-T, Sir Mix-A-Lot, and other artists on the Stop the Violence Tour.
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Vanilla Ice Personal Life
In 1991 and 1992, Vanilla Ice was with Madonna for eight months.
On July 4, 1994, Ice tried to kill himself by taking too much heroin, but his friends brought him back to life.
Ice took a break from music in 1995 and spent his time in Florida motocrossing and jet skiing. By the summer, Ice was the No. 6 sit-down jet ski racer in the world. He raced almost every weekend and got sponsored by Kawasaki.
Ice married Laura Giaritta in 1997, and they have two daughters: Dusti Rain (born in 1998) and KeeLee Breeze (born 2000).
Vanilla Ice Professional Career
During the Stop the Violence Tour, his manager saw that Ice had a lot of potential, so he and Ice started working on a demo tape. In 1989, “Play That Funky Music” and “Ice Ice Baby” were both released as singles by the independent record label Ichiban Records. A DJ at a radio station in Georgia accidentally played “Ice Ice Baby,” when he meant to play “Play That Funky Music.” “Ice Ice Baby” was a huge hit with the crowd.
“Ice Ice Baby” turned out to be a big hit. Then, one night, Van Winkle was eating at the same restaurant in West Hollywood as rapper Suge Knight and his bodyguards. Knight and his guards went to Ice’s table and sat down. Later that night, Knight went to Van Winkle’s hotel room on the 15th floor of the former Bel Age Hotel, now called the London Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard. Based on what Ice remembers. Knight pulled him out onto the balcony and threatened to throw him off if he didn’t sign the rights to “Ice, Ice Baby.” Van Winkle did hand over the rights. Knight used that money to pay for Death Row Records.
“To the Extreme,” Van Winkle’s first album, is the hip hop album that sold the most copies the fastest. The album was number one for 16 weeks. Van Winkle made five more studio albums: “Mind Blowin'” in 1994, “Hard to Swallow” in 1998, “Bi-Polar” in 2001, “Platinum Underground” in 2005, and “W.T.F. (Wisdom, Tenacity, and Focus)” in 2011. In 2008, he also put out an album called “Vanilla Ice Is Back,” which was made up of cover songs.
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Vanilla Ice performed the song “Ninja Rap” in the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze.” This song was part of the movie’s soundtrack. In 1991, he was paid $1 million to be the main character in the movie “Cool As Ice,” which was panned by critics. Vanilla showed up on the second season of the reality TV show “The Surreal Life” many years later. Since 2010, he has been on “The Vanilla Ice Project” on the DIY Network. In Florida, where the show is set, it shows how Ice flips houses. As of 2019, the show has been on for nine years.
What Is Vanilla Ice Net Worth?
Vanilla Ice is an American rapper, actor, and TV host with a $12 million fortune. His biggest hits were “Ice Ice Baby” in 1990 and “Play That Funky Music,” which he covered on his first album “To the Extreme.” “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop song to reach number one on the Billboard charts.