Born Robert Van Winkle. Rap star who occasionally acts, onscreen from 1991.
- Earned the nickname "Vanilla" while taking a breakdancing class as a teenager.
- Was an accomplished motocross racer while in his teens.
- Opened for acts including Ice-T and Sir Mix-A-Lot on the Stop the Violence Tour in 1989.
- Released "Ice Ice Baby" in 1989; it became the first hip-hop single to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
- Performed a hip-hop cover version of Wild Cherry's 1976 single "Play That Funky Music," which rose to the fourth spot in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
- Reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart with his major-label debut album, To the Extreme (a 1990 album reissued by SBK Records after being originally released one year earlier by Ichiban Records), and held the top ranking for 16 weeks.
- Was a spokesperson for Nike and Coca-Cola in the early 1990s.
- Competed on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, partnered with Witney Carson.