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Who is Travis Scott? Everything to know about the Houston-born 'Astroworld' rapper

Elise Brisco
USA TODAY

Crowd surging at Travis Scott's Astroworld music festival led to at least eight deaths and "scores" of injuries, according to authorities. 

Officials declared the Houston concert a "mass casualty incident" at 9:38 p.m. Friday local time during the festival at NRG Park An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance, according to Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña. 

The surge began around the time that Scott, the festival headliner, took the stage.

The 29-year-old rapper launched the Astroworld festival in 2018, months after the release of his third studio album of the same name. Since then the concert has occurred every year, except for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, at Houston's NRG Park – the former location of Six Flags AstroWorld theme park.

Everything we know about the Astroworld tragedy:Witnesses describe what they saw 

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park.

Scott's fans sold out this year's Astroworld festival in less than an hour, according to a press release from festival organizers. 

He is scheduled to headline the Day N Vegas Festival next Saturday. USA TODAY has reached out to festival representatives for comment.

Here's everything we know about the "Astroworld" rapper. 

Who is Travis Scott? 

Scott, born Jacques Berman Webster II, was born and raised in the "Space City." The rapper revealed the source of his stage name during a 2018 appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," saying it was a combination of his "two superheroes": His uncle Travis and his favorite artist Kid Cudi, whose real name is Scott Mescudi. 

The rapper released his first album "Rodeo" in 2015, but before releasing the project that housed his quadruple-platinum hit "Antidote," the rapper released several singles from his previous projects like "Upper Echelon" and "Mamacita."

After "Rodeo" the rapper went on to release albums "Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight" and  "Astroworld." 

"Astroworld" led Scott to receive multiple Grammy nominations including best rap album and best rap song for his collaboration with Drake for "Sicko Mode." He has been nominated eight times throughout his career. 

The rapper announced plans to release his fourth project in 2021 called "Utopia." The same day as the tragic Astroworld concert, Scott released two singles "Escape Plan" and "Mafia."  

'I am absolutely devastated':Travis Scott responds to fatal Astroworld concert

He has a reputation for rowdy concerts

Scott's high-energy performances are synonymous with mosh pits and crowd surfing. In 2015, the rapper compared his shows to professional wrestling, telling GQ, "I always want to make it feel like it’s the WWF or some (expletive). You know, raging and having fun and expressing good feelings is something I plan on doing and spreading across the globe."

But sometimes the raging can go too far. Often times, the rapper encourages it. Scott has been arrested at least two times for inciting riots and disorderly conduct at his shows. 

In 2015, the rapper was arrested after encouraging fans to jump security barricades during his Lollapalooza set, which was promptly shut down. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation, according to Billboard. 

In 2017, Scott was charged with inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and endangering the welfare of a minor after he encouraged concertgoers at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion to rush the stage, injuring a security guard, a police officer and several others. He pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and the other charges were dropped, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He was ordered to pay court fees and restitution to two injured people. 

Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner romance 

Scott has made many headlines for his romance with pop culture star Kylie Jenner. 

The couple began dating in 2017 and a year later welcomed their first child Stormi, now 3. 

In 2019 rumors swirled that the couple was splitting up because of cheating allegations against Scott. The rapper cleared those up in a statement to Instagram a day after Jenner said the two were focusing on their "friendship." 

More:Travis Scott addresses 'what's real' following Kylie Jenner breakup rumors

(It's) really affecting when u see false things said about u," Scott wrote on his Instagram Story at the time.  "Once again, these false stories about me cheating are simply not true. Focusing on life, music, and family at this moment is what's real."

Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner attend the Travis Scott: "Look Mom I Can Fly" Los Angeles Premiere.

The couple, along with their daughter, stepped out on the red carpet as a unit this June for the annual Parsons Benefit in New York City. 

Jenner later shared a shot of her and Scott cozying up together and dubbed the night "one for the books." 

Three months later Jenner announced that she and Scott would be expecting their second baby with an Instagram of an emotiona home video simply captioned: "@travisscott." 

'Stormi, we're going to have a baby':Kylie Jenner announces her second pregnancy

Travis Scott's Cactus Jack brand

In 2017 Travis Scott launched his own record label, Cactus Jack Records, which later became the brand name for the rapper's other endorsements and ventures. 

The record label has signed names like Sheck Wes, Don Toliver and was the label behind 2018's "Astroworld," along with T.I.'s Grand Hustle and Epic Records. 

McDonald's teamed up with the rapper in 2020 to create the Cactus Jack meal which launched a series of recent celebrity collaborations with the fast food chain, including Saweetie and J Balvín. 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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