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Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa (Cameron Jibril Thomaz) is a rapper, singer-songwriter, actor, and Pittsburgh native. His Pittsburgh-themed single, “Black and Yellow” launched his already developing career to stardom. He has been awarded with Billboard's Top New Artist and BET's Best New Artist in 2012 and 2011, respectively, and has been nominated for several Grammys among other awards.

Khalifa moved often during his youth due to his father's enrollment in the army, living in South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma, Germany, Japan and England before settling in Pittsburgh. Khalifa attributes his travel experience and location in diverse Pittsburgh for his versatile rapping style. His stage name is a combination of wisdom, shortened to Wiz, and Khalifa, an Arabic word that means successor.

Khalifa began his career by generating hype in his hometown. His name reached local label Rostrum Records by word of mouth, and Wiz Khalifa signed on at the age of sixteen.  His discography includes four studio albums with another underway, thirty-eight singles, eleven mixtapes and thirty-four music videos. Another of his most popular songs, “Say Yeah” samples “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay. Khalifa has collaborated with Snoop Dog, Maroon 5, Mac Miller, Currensy and many other artists. He has toured several times, including the Waken Baken tour with Yellawolf and the Under the Influence of Music tour with other Pittsburgh prodigy, Mac Miller.

Khalifa is married to model Amber Rose and they have a son, Sebastian Taylor Thomaz. The Pittsburgh City Council declared December 12, 2012 as Wiz Khalifa Day in the city. He is a fan of Pittsburgh sports teams, including the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. 

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Ned Schano
Heinz History Center

“I believed in the energy and potential of Pittsburgh. That’s why I stayed.”