Who Is Vanilla Ice?
Vanilla Ice is a famous rapper, TV host, and actor who is best known for his song hit Ice Ice Baby in the 1990s. This was the first hip-hop song that topped the Billboard Charts. A lot of things happened to him in his career, which drove him to attempt suicide. However, after he survived it, he made the decision to change his lifestyle and music. For many years, he lived a lowkey life but in 2009, he started hosting The Vanilla Ice Project, which aired on DIY Network.
Celebrity Name: Vanilla Ice
Full Name: Robert Matthew Van Winkle
Birth Date: October 31, 1967
Birth Place: Dallas, Texas, US
Weight: 76 kilos
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Wife: Laura Giaritta, married 1997 to 2016
Profession: American TV host, actor, and rapper
Net Worth: $20 million
The real name of Vanilla Ice is Robert Matthew Van Winkle and he was born on October 31, 1967, in Dallas, Texas. He never met his father and he is using the family name of the husband of his mother when he was born. When he was four years old, his mother and her husband got a divorce. Because of this, he and his mother moved between Dallas and Miami, since this is where his mother’s new partner worked as a car dealer.
At a young age, Vanilla Ice already expressed an interest in poetry, which hugely influenced his music career. When he was 13 or 14, he started to practice breakdancing. This was the time that his friends called him Vanilla since he was the only one who was white in the group. Initially, the nickname did not sit with him, but it grew on him and the name stayed.
After a short time, Vanille Ice began rap battling in parties. Because of his impressive rhymes, the people close to him called him MC Vanilla. But, when he joined a breakdance group, his name was changed to Vanilla Ice, a combination of his nickname, Vanilla, and his signature breakdance move called The Ice.
Vanilla Ice moved back to Texas when his stepfather received a better job offer. There, he learned to ride motorbikes and sometimes performed on the streets with his breakdance group called The Vanilla Ice Posse.
He composed the song Ice Ice Baby when he was only 16. According to him, the song was inspired on a weekend he spent with his friend, D-Shay, in South Florida.
From 1991 to 1992, Vanilla Ice and Madonna dated for eight months. In 1997, he tied the knot with Laura Giaritta. Together, they have two daughters, KeeLee Breeze and Dusti Rain. In 2016, Laura filed for divorce with reasons that their marriage was beyond repairable. Two years later, his new wife bore his third child.
Legal Issues Involving Vanilla Ice
Vanilla Ice was involved in numerous controversies. His first arrest was in August 1988 due to illegal drag racing. Two years after, he received a threat for copyright infringement involving David Bowie and Queen for the song Under Pressure. However, this case was settled in court.
In June 1991, he was arrested again in LA but this time, he was charged for threatening James Gregory, a homeless man, with a firearm. Two years after, he was arrested for the third time for assault of his wife. According to the complaint, he pulled his wife’s hair to keep her from jumping out the window of their truck.
In September 2007, he was arraigned for driving using an expired driver’s license. A year after, he was in trouble with the law again as he was charged for battery by his wife. In February 2015, he was arrested once again for grand theft and burglary. He allegedly stole bicycles, a pool heater, and furniture from a vacant home in Florida.
Vanilla Ice Career
Vanilla Ice was not always in the music industry. His first career was in motocross where he won three championships. When he injured his ankle while on a race, he shifted his focus and energy on dancing. He was noticed for his great skills in dancing and rapping, resulting in managing companies to hire him in performing in several tours. When he was 16, he wrote the song Ice Ice Baby which was a huge hit back in his time.
In 1990, he signed a contract with SBK Records, which released his hit album, To the Extreme. At that time, it had the fastest-growing sales among hip hop albums. The most popular songs of this album include Ice Ice Baby, Dancin, It’s a Party, and Play That Funky Music. With his popularity on the rise, Vanilla Ice was invited to perform the opening act of MC Hammer’s tour.
The next year, Vanilla Ice expanded his exposure to the industry. In January, he made a guest appearance at Saturday Night Live and was featured in the movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
In the next three years, he had more downs than ups both in his personal life and career. This led him to keep things low for a while. He shifted his interests back to motocross racing and jet skiing.
After that, he went to release other albums, made several appearances and performances, and worked with other notable people in the music industry. He is a true performer at heart, which is why he was able to get a lot of gigs.
In 2009, he became the host of DIY Network’s Vanilla Ice Project. In 2011, he published a book with the title Vanilla Ice Project – Real Estate Guide.
Vanilla Ice Total Net Worth 2020
As of July 2020, Vanilla Ice has a total net worth of more than $20 million. Most of his fortune came from his music career, where he sold countless copies of his various albums and his success in the entertainment industry. He has appeared in several TV shows and movies and he also has his own reality show.