Machine Gun Kelly is the stage name of American musician and actor Colson Baker, whose combination of hip-hop, hard-rock, and pop influences resulted in a slew of platinum awards throughout the 2010s and beyond. Baker was born in Houston, Texas, on April 22, 1990, and grew up loving hardcore rock bands, punk icons, and rappers. He received his big break in 2009, when he became the first white rapper to win a talent contest at Harlem's notorious Apollo Theatre. After releasing mix tapes like 2010's 100 Words and Running and 2011's Rage Pack, he reached Number 9 on Billboard's Top Hip-Hop Albums chart with 2012's Half Naked & Almost Famous EP, then climbed to Number 4 on the Billboard 200 with his full-length album, Lace Up, later that year. General Admission followed in 2015, debuting at Number 4 on the Billboard 200 and Number 1 on the R&B Charts. Both albums earned gold certifications in the US, as did 2016's Bloom, which featured the quintuple-platinum hit "Bad Things." A duet with pop star Camila Cabello, "Bad Things" became a Top 40 single in seven additional countries. The follow-up singles "At My Best," "The Break Up," and "27" all went platinum or gold, as well, confirming Machine Gun Kelly's status as one of the decade's biggest stars. He maintained his success with 2019's Hotel Diablo, then earned his first platinum plaque for a studio album with 2020's Tickets to My Downfall. Its popularity boosted by the triple-platinum single "My Ex's Best Friend," the album debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200, as did its follow-up, Mainstream Sellout, in 2022.