Bryan Williams (born February 15, 1969), better known by his stage name Birdman or Baby, is an American rapper, businessman, and record producer. He is the co-founder of Cash Money Records and one half of the duo Big Tymers. Along with his releases with Big Tymers and for his solo career, Birdman recorded a collaboration album and numerous tracks with his adopted son Lil Wayne. According to Forbes, he grossed an estimated $15 million from May 2010 to May 2011 with a net worth estimated at $100 million in 2011.
In 1997, he joined producer and DJ Mannie Fresh to form the duo Big Tymers. Big Tymers debuted in 1998 with the album How Ya Luv That? and went on to release I Got That Work in 2000 and Hood Rich in 2002. I Got That Work had the hit singles "Get Your Roll On" and "#1 Stunna"; Hood Rich had "Still Fly", which was nominated for a Grammy, and "Oh Yeah!" Big Money Heavyweight followed in 2003; the group disbanded in 2004. His son was born in 1997; his daughter in 1998.
2005-2007: Like Father Like Son and 5 * Stunna:
Lil Wayne and Birdman released an album titled Like Father, Like Son. It was certified gold and spawned three singles, including "Stuntin' Like My Daddy" and "Leather So Soft". He was also featured on the remixes of the best-selling rap singles "We Fly High" by Jim Jones and "Make It Rain" by Fat Joe. In 2007 Birdman released his fourth studio album, 5 * Stunna. The first single, "Pop Bottles", featuring Lil Wayne, was a hit, as was the second single "100 Million", featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Dre, and DJ Khaled. The third single, featuring Lil Wayne, titled "I Run This", was a hit as well.
Birdman's first single from his album Pricele$$ was "Always Strapped", featuring Lil Wayne, and the second "Written on Her", featuring British singer Jay Sean. "Southside", featuring Lil Wayne, is the third single. "Money to Blow" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne is the fourth single. "4 My Town (Play Ball)" featuring Drake and Lil Wayne is the fifth single. "Written on Her" also became Birdman's first UK release in December 2009.
2010-present: Bigga Than Life and future collaboration plans:
In 2010 he was going to release an album titled Priceless 2, a sequel to his previous album, but changed it to Bigga Than Life. The first promotional single was titled "Loyalty" and featured Lil Wayne and Tyga. Other collaborations will come from Rick Ross, Young Jeezy, Bun B and Drake. The album was scheduled to be released in early 2011. He released a music video for a possible future single, "My Jewel", which features Bun B and Young Jeezy. On November 22, 2010, he released the first official single, "Fire Flame", which features Lil Wayne. Birdman released a single called "I Get Money" featuring T-Pain, Young Money artist Mack Maine and Lil Wayne.
Birdman is set to release an album with his long-time friend, Rick Ross titled The H sometime in the near future. A second Like Father, Like Son album, titled Like Father Like Son 2: Tha Last MOB, with Lil Wayne is scheduled to be released in 2012.
Forbes magazine estimated his personal fortune at 100 million dollars in 2012.
Birdman was arrested and charged with possession of nearly half an ounce of marijuana in November 2007. He was released on $1,500 bond.
In July 2008, Birdman was arrested for firing a pistol into the air while throwing cash at a party, but the charges were later dropped.
In October 2009, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Cash Money Records and various music distribution outlets were sued for copyright infringement by Thomas Marasciullo, who claims his voice was used without permission. Both rappers asked him to record some "Italian-styled spoken word recordings" in 2006. The lyrics were allegedly used on "Respect" and other tracks from the rappers' collaboration album Like Father, Like Son and Birdman's 5 * Stunna.
In early 2010, Birdman formed an oil and gas exploration company, Bronald Oil and Gas, LLC. The company was a joint venture founded by Birdman and his brother Slim, and the name was a combination of the brothers' first names, Bryan and Ronald. Evidence of the company's actual business operations was scant, limited mostly to a website and the appearance of a "pumpjack" tattoo on the side of Birdman's head. The website indicated that the company's strategy would be to first develop existing land holdings and seek out new oil and gas leases. In February 2010, Birdman told Ozone magazine that he had been in the oil business for "4 or 5 years" and was "making good money off that". However, by March 2010, Birdman had almost completely covered the pumpjack tattoo, which sparked speculation that the Bronald Oil project had stalled. As of January 22, 2012, the Bronald Oil website is no longer operational.