Common debuted in 1992 with the album Can I Borrow a Dollar? and maintained an underground following into the late 1990s, after which he gained mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians.
In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song for the Erykah Badu single "Love of My Life". Common received his second Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for "Southside" (featuring Kanye West), from his 2007 album Finding Forever. His best-of album, Thisisme Then: The Best of Common, was released in late 2007. Common won the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and the Academy Award for Best Original Song, for his song "Glory" from the 2014 film Selma, in which he co-starred as Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel. Common's acting career includes numerous roles including American Gangster, Wanted, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright, and Happy Feet Two.
Common is a sought after motivational guest speaker who can often be found speaking at well known universities. In 2000, he launched his own philanthropic effort, The Common Ground Foundation, whose mission is dedicated to the empowerment and development of disadvantaged youth in urban communities by mentoring in three areas: character development, creative expression and healthy living. Whether inspiring audiences through music, movies, television, books or his foundation, Common continues to break new ground, and remains to be one of hip-hop’s most innovative, positive voices.