Stanley Kirk Burrell (born March 30, 1962), best known by his stage names MC Hammer, Hammer and Hammertime, is a rapper, entertainer and dancer most popular during the late 1980s until the mid-1990s. Remembered for a rapid rise to fame before losing the majority of his fortune, he is also known for his hit records, including "U Can't Touch This", flamboyant dance techniques and trademark Hammer pants.
Hammer became a preacher during the late 1990s, was a television show host and dance judge, is a record label CEO, and as of 2008 works as a co-creator of a dance website called DanceJam, while still performing occasionally at concerts and other social media, ministry and outreach functions. In addition, he is executive producer of his own reality show called Hammertime which airs Sundays at 10 PM EST on the A&E Network.
Hammer is considered a forefather and hippy innovator of pop rap, and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. However, due to his mainstream appeal since the late 1980s, Hammer would later be considered a sell-out rapper by many due in part to over-exposure and as a result of his changing to a grittier image as the landscape of rap changed. Nonetheless, BET ranked Hammer as the #7 "Best Dancer Of All Time". While his talent may be denied, disputed, and debated, "Vibe Presents The Best Rapper Ever Tournament" declared Hammer the 17th most favorite of all-time during the first round.
While giving numerous interviews on radio stations and television channels through the years, Hammer is still questioned about his 1996 bankruptcy. During one such interview by WKQI-FM (95.5) for the promotion of his "Pioneers Of Hip Hop 2009" gig at the Fox Theatre (Detroit, Michigan) which featured 2 Live Crew, Naughty by Nature, Too Short, Biz Markie & Roxanne Shanté, Hammer was subject to inquiries about his finances by the "Mojo in the Morning" host which led to a response on Twitter that Mojo was a 'coward', with Hammer threatening to cancel commercials surrounding his show.
Originally from Oakland, Hammer currently resides in Tracy, California with his wife (Stephanie) of 23 years, his nephew (Jamaris) and Stephanie and Hammer's five children: three boys (Bobby, Jeremiah, Sammy) and two girls (Sarah, A'keiba). Throughout his career, MC Hammer has managed his own recording business, Oaktown Records.