Vanilla Ice is an American rapper, songwriter, actor and television presenter who attracted people’s attention with his hits in the late 80s to early 90s. Without sounding insulting, it can be said that he is one of those who came to fame in the music industry, but also quickly lost importance. He fought hard to get back into the limelight but was unsuccessful with every effort he made. At one time he tried to commit suicide, but even that failed, and he is lucky to be alive today. Later he left music for other activities, where he regained his self-confidence and returned to music.
Well, his story is not quite so sad, some of his hits are still very popular today, and at least he should be credited for that. Here is everything there is to know about Vanilla Ice’s biography, wife and children, wealth and body statistics.
Vanilla was born on 31 October 1967 as Robert Matthew Van Winkle in Dallas, Texas. His mother’s name is Camilla Beth Dickerson, his father is not known. He took the name of his stepfather, who his mother was with when he was born. Sadly, it can be said that he came from a broken home, and that hit him hard. He grew up between different places because his stepfather, who was a car dealer, moved around a lot. Due to the numerous problems that weighed on his background, he was emotionally and psychologically not well organized, which was reflected in his poor school performance. He even dropped out of R. L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas, before graduating, but what he could not top academically, he made up for with his musical talent.
He was exceptional in poetry, knew how to rap and was also a good dancer. Hip-hop influenced Van Winkle at a young age when he said: “It is a very great passion of mine because I love poetry. I was simply strongly influenced by this whole movement, and it shaped me into what I am today”.
In his teenage years, Robert had perfected his breakdance movements, which led his friends, who were mostly black people, to nickname him “Ice” because he knew how to perform the ice movement excellently. He also received another nickname “Vanilla” because he was the only one among his friends who were not black. This is how his stage name “Vanilla Ice” was coined.
Vanilla Ice’s Venture into Music
At first, he was popular because of his dance steps, as he often defeated anyone who challenged him in them. In the nightclubs of Dallas he was often seen with his dance troupe The Vanilla Ice Posse or The V.I.P. His great performance caught the attention of City Lights nightclub owner Tommy Quon, who offered him the opportunity to perform regularly at his club. This was a win-win situation for both parties, as Vanilla already attracted attention and the club offered him an audience to perform regularly.
While performing in nightclubs, he also wrote songs and in 1989 his first album was released, which included his first hit, Ice Ice Baby. The song was then on the list of songs frequently played by most radio stations. The success of this song earned him a contract with SBK Records. In the same year, he released the single Play that Funky Music, which was no less successful than his first work.
Vanilla’s Decline in Music
His success, however, came with questions from people who asked about his background, and with all the questions he had not yet revealed at the time. It was said that SBK Records had invented a false biographical account of the star, which was supposed to be a depiction of his childhood, how he approached music, all the things people would like to read about a music star. But Ice was not aware of this, because later in an interview he would say something completely different than what people had read as his biography.
This discrepancy made many people angry, including his once-loyal fans who started to see mistakes in his lyrics. He was accused of making songs that were deprived of creativity and suffered from an acute lack of originality. It was said at the time that his lyrics were above all a mixture of the African-American musical style.
Vanilla tried in vain to bring his musical performances up to date, but with each attempt, he sank deeper into a state of musical oblivion. His single Mind Blowin from 1994 was not strong enough to bring him back to life musically, and in July of the same year, he found it comforting to stop living by taking a drug overdose. He was close to death but was lucky enough to escape with a near-death experience. That’s why we still have him today.
When he returned to the land of the living, where we are today, he decided to bury the former music star in him – Vanilla Ice – and take on his true identity, Robert Matthew Van Winkle.
After Van Winkle had seen it all, he began extreme sports. He rode jet-skis in competitions that he enjoyed outside the hustle and bustle of his former musical self. He even opened a department store for sporting goods called “2 The Xtreme” in Miami Beach. At this point, it should be mentioned that he actively participated in motorsports at a young age and is said to have won two championships.
With his recovered self-confidence, he felt ready to return to music. We saw him in 1998 on the album “My Much-Needed Therapy Session” in Hard to Swallow. In 2001 and 2003 he gave us Bipolar and Hot Sex. In 2005 his album “Platinum Underground” was released. In 2008 Ice Is Back: Hip Hop Classics was released and included cover songs by artists such as Public Enemy, Cypress Hill, and Bob Marley.
None of these later songs were able to stir up the wave that his songs caused at the beginning of his career. Well, he made a name for himself and we’re glad he had some glamour in his own time.
The net assets of Vanilla Ice are estimated at 18 million dollars. His fortune revolves around his musical success in the ’80s to ’90s, when he led the charts.
Family – Wife and Kids
Vanilla dated the famous singer Madonna in 1990 for 8 months. However, their relationship did not go beyond that, as they neither married nor had children together. None that we know or have heard of.
The once famous musician met Laura Giaritta in 1995 and they fell head over heels in love and decided to tie the wedding cord, so they got married in 1997. Their marriage has since produced two daughters: Dusti Rain, born in 1998, and Keelee Breeze, born in 2000.
In October 2016, his wife filed for divorce, citing an irretrievably broken relationship as the basis for the desire to break the marriage bond. Vanilla spent the next 6 months trying to talk her out of it, but it seemed as if the same fate that followed him in his music had also found its way into his marriage of over 20 years.
In May 2017, however, he touched hearts when he objected to the divorce petition. This drew more public attention to the crumbling marriage than people began to ask questions. It was learned that before Laura filed for divorce, the couple had been separated since then, but occasionally met when they felt like it. This means that they return to each other at times as husband and wife. This is not wrong, because they are married.
Ice’s lawyer, John T. Christiansen, filed a counterclaim that Ice wants to have custody of her children on a 50/50 basis, and if Laura “angrily sues this case”, he wants her to pay his legal fees. The lawyer also stated that Ice will not pay her alimony and said: “the woman can contribute to her maintenance”.
There is little information about the status of the divorce proceedings, as they are treated as private matters by both parties.
Height and Body Stats
The former star certainly looks younger than he already is. He has a healthy-looking muscular body structure like most men who exercise regularly. However, the exact numbers of his biceps, chest, etc. are not publicly known. You are the same height as him if you are over 1.80 m tall, while he weighs 86 kg or 189 pounds if you are over 1.80 m tall.