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Celebrity Birthdays, June 17: Kendrick Lamar and Venus Williams

By Marie Blake,

Rapper Kendrick Lamar, tennis player Venus Williams and actor Greg Kinnear are all celebrating their birthdays today, June 17.

Kendrick Lamar, 27


image courtesy of INFphoto.com

Hip-Hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar turns 27 today. Lamar is also a member of West Coast hip hop group Black Hippy, alongside rappers Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul.

Lamar first gained major attention in 2010, after the release of his fourth mixtape Overly Dedicated. The following year he released his first independent album, Section.80. The album received critical acclaim and instantly ranked as one of the top digital hip hop releases of the year.

Though still early in his career, Lamar has already worked with prominent artists including Dr. Dre, Game, Drake, Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne and many others.

His debut studio album good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released Oct. 22, 2012, to great critical acclaim. Three singles from the album reached the top 40 including "Swimming Pools (Drank)," "B**ch, Don't Kill My Vibe" and "Poetic Justice." The album debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and was later certified Platinum. Lamar received a total of seven Grammy nominations at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Album of the Year and Best Rap Song.

Venus Williams, 34


image courtesy of INFphoto.com

Professional tennis player Venus Williams turns 34 today. Williams has won 22 overall Grand Slam titles consisting of seven in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She won five Wimbledon singles titles and is one of only four women in the open era to have won five or more Wimbledon singles titles. She is one of only five women in the open era to win 200 or more main draw Grand Slam singles matches.

Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women's doubles. She and her sister Serena have won more Olympic gold medals than any other female tennis players. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games.

Venus Williams has played against her sister Serena Williams in 24 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 14 of the 24 matches. They have played against each other in eight Grand Slam singles finals, with Serena winning six times. The pair have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles playing alongside each other.

 
 

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