Overcoming the Odds
Rapper Kanye Wes
Kanye West's debut album, College Dropout, catapulted him from a Chicago hip-hop producer to a multiplatinum artist with 10 Grammy® nods and three wins. But what fans may not know is Kanye made his wildest dreams come true after surviving a near-fatal nightmare.

In 2002, on his way home from a late-night recording session, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel of his car and crashed head-on into an SUV. His face was crushed by the steering wheel, and his jaw was broken in three places. Using music as his medicine, he began writing songs inspired by the ordeal. He recorded the smash hit Through the Wire while his jaw was still wired shut. Kanye's brush with death became his defining moment.

"When I had my accident, I found out at that moment nothing in life is promised except death," Kanye says. "If you have the opportunity to play this game of life, you need to appreciate every moment."