Rose is a model, rapper, actress and fashion designer who in the shortest time has risen from obscurity to infamy, taking the entertainment industry by storm. The dancer-turned-model started her career starring in music videos for different artists such as Nicki Minaj, Ludacris and Young Jeezy, before she got her big break in the modeling industry. She has graced the covers of various magazines and dated the who’s who of the entertainment scene.
Amber Rose was born ‘Amber Levonchuck’ in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father Michael Levonchuck is of Irish and Italian descent while her mother Dorothy Rose is Scottish and Cape Verdean descent. She has one sibling, a brother called Antonio Hewlett and the two grew up in south Philadelphia. Rose endured a tough childhood and was often attacked due to her light skin while growing up in the rough neighborhoods of South Philly. Her father, who served in the military for 20 years, divorced her mother when she was very young. Rose wanted to own a restaurant while growing up but due to her rough upbringing opted for dancing as it was the easier option.
At the tender age of 15, Rose began stripping under the stage name ‘Paris’ to support her family after her parents divorced. She worked at a Philadelphia strip joint known as Delilah’s Den where her job description was an exotic dancer for a while before quitting as she admitted she was too young for it. A few years later she tried it again and this time she felt more comfortable with the profession and until she was 25 that was her main job. She moved to New York where she lived in a housing project in the Bronx. Here she started supporting herself working as a stripper at Sue’s Rendezvous in Mount Vernon in Westchester.
Rose got discovered by chance in New York by a lady who worked for Def Jam Records. She got booked for a music video shoot and she has never looked back since. Her first appearances as a video vixen came when she appeared in two videos for rapper Young Jeezy, ‘Vacation’ and ‘Put On’. A more high profile role soon followed when rapper Ludacris enlisted her talents for the ‘What Them Girls Like’ music video. Rose was further thrust into the limelight when she posed for a Louis Vuitton print advertisement for Kanye West’s signature sneaker line. She followed this up by walking the runway for ‘Celestino’ in the New York Fashion Week. Aside from this, she was able to make cameo appearances in Fabolous’ ‘You Be killin’ Em’ and Wiz Khalifa’s ‘No Sleep’ music videos. Between 2009 and 2010 she was signed with top modeling agency ‘Ford Models’. That same year she started work on her own eyewear line.
In 2010 she made a guest appearance on Russell Simmons reality television series Running Russell Simmons about his two assistants. In the same year, she also took part in a public service announcement by NOH8 Campaign (No Hate) whose goal was to promote LGBT marriage, gender and human equality through education. The following year she served as a judge for two different shows, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Masters of the Mix. In 2011, she also became Smirnoff’s spokesperson where she appeared in television advertisements and billboards for the company’s new flavors Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow. Rose has been featured in various fashion magazines such as Complex, Elle, Vibe, Grazia and Gotham.
In January 2012, Rose’s debut single titled ‘Fame’ which featured rapper Wiz Khalifa was released by Taylor Gang Records. A month later she released her second single ‘Loaded’ which was produced by The Crew. She then lent her vocals to ‘Rise Above’ the eleventh track on Wiz Khalifa’s O. N.I.F.C album which featured rappers Tuki and Pharell Williams who also produced the song. During this period, she was managed by Letica ‘Tish’ Cyrus, Miley Cyrus’ mother who at that time was a close friend to Wiz Khalifa. In 2012, Rose partnered with makeup artist Priscilla Ono and opened Rose & Ono, a fashion boutique specifically geared to women of all sizes. Two years later, she guest starred on an episode of sketch comedy show, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out on MTV2 and followed that up with a role in comedy drama film School Dance where she portrayed MaryWanna. The two projects were both created and directed by her then manager Nick Cannon. In 2015, Simon and Schulster published Rose’s first book How To Be a Bad B**ch where she offers advice on different matters including life, love and success. The cover for the book was shot by acclaimed photographer David LaChappelle.
In March 2016, Rose tapped into her business sense and launched an emoji application called MuvaMoji which featured 900 different emojis that she personally curated. It was released to major success, shooting to number one on the App Store charts and earning her $4 million. In June later that year, Rose debuted her new talk show titled ‘The Amber Rose Show’ on VH1. Rose also took part in the 23rd season of Dancing with the Stars where she was paired with Russian professional dancer, Maksim Chmerkovsky eventually finishing in ninth position. She also has acting credits in various shows such as Inside Amy Schumer, Black-ish and Selfie. In 2016, she was made the face of makeup giant Estee Lauder’s new standalone company Flirt Cosmetics.
Rose has sported a bald look for the best part of a decade. She credits her unique hairstyle to her rebellious phase during her teenage years and her love for Sinead O’ Connor’s music video, ‘Nothing Compares To You’. She also credits rapper Eve for giving her the idea to go bald because at that time she was very popular and this made Rose consider the hairstyle.
Rose led the Los Angeles based SlutWalk in October 2015, which was meant to honor all the women who have been judged and criticized for their sexual behavior and promote female sexual empowerment. She made a statement at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards where she arrived at the event in a nude-colored body suit covered from top to bottom in graffiti insults. She did this to promote SlutWalk which was looking to put an end to victim shaming and blaming in sexual assaults. In September that year, she starred in a parody video whose main intention was to turn her upcoming ‘Walk of Shame’ into a ‘Walk Of pride’. During the actual SlutWalk she marched with a placard reading ‘strippers have feelings too’.
Rose has her own foundation, the Amber Rose Foundation, which aims to promote discussion about women’s rights and equality issues. Its main role is promoting female empowerment and taking a stand against victim blaming. In 2011, Rose flew to Ghana to promote the efforts of various charities. She helped feed some of the children and spent some quality time with the natives of the country.
After Rose’s divorce from Wiz Khalifa the two endured an ugly custody battle over their son, Sebastian. Khalifa even at one point accused Rose of not letting him see their son. The ‘Black and Yellow’ rapper took to Twitter to vent his frustrations even going as far as referring to Rose as a ‘foul creature’. He also pointed out that Rose was an unfit mother as evidenced by all the photos of all the herbage and dog feaces outside her home, claiming that the environment was therefore unsafe. He also referenced her habit of partying the whole night, claiming that she was neglecting their son. He further threatened to present all these claims before court so that he can fight for custody. However, as time progressed the two ended their feud and started spending time with each other. Rose proved that she was willing to kill the feud she had with her husband through an Instagram post where she admitted she would always love Khalifa.
Rose enjoys a keen following on social media; she has 3.9 million followers on Twitter while she enjoys an incredible following on Instagram with 13.5 million followers.
Back in February 2015, Rose initiated beef with the Kardashian sisters when during an interview on a radio show she referred to Kylie Jenner as a child, even as going as far as insinuating that she still has a bedtime. Kylie’s sister Khloe Kardashian came to her sister’s aid on Twitter alluding to the fact that Rose once worked as a stripper but Rose responded by calling Kim Kardashian a whore. In a later interview, Rose explained that she harbored no animosity towards Khloe but insisted that they should not overlook the fact that their family is only famous because of the questionable actions of their sister Kim, referring to the sex tape she shot with Ray J. This feud stretches all the way back to when Rose was still dating Kanye West where she blames Kim for ending her relationship with the rapper. She has on many occasions referred to as a home wrecker. The feud however took a new twist when Kanye West attacked Rose’s ex husband Wiz Khalifa and she was forced to intervene, exposing some alleged facts about her relationship with Kanye on Twitter. Rose then took to Instagram a few days later and posted a picture of her and Kim Kardashian showing that the two had quashed their differences.
Rose started dating rapper Kanye West in 2008 after he spotted her in the music video for Ludacris’ ‘What Them Girls Like’ and approached her. He got in touch with her but she allegedly hung up the phone thinking it was a prank caller. Kanye called back and convinced her that he was actually the real deal and asked her to fly to Los Angeles to shoot the music video for his song Robocop. The resulting video was however never released to the public. He then asked her to accompany him to the Grammys and they slowly started a steady relationship from then onwards. Being Kanye’s girlfriend helped boost Rose’s career even leading her to signing a contract with Ford Models. The two however decided to call it quits in 2010 after Rose alleged that Kanye was having an affair with socialite Kim Kardashian.
In 2011, Rose started dating rapper Wiz Khalifa and the two Pennsylvania natives married in 2013 before splitting up a year and a half later due to what they termed ‘irreconcilable differences’. They have a son together, Sebastian Taylor Thomaz who was born on February 21, 2013 who they share custody of. Rose had however planned to take full custody of their son but decided against it. In 2015, she started dating rapper Machine Gun Kelly before the two parted ways. At the moment she is romantically involved with her former Dancing with the Stars partner Maksim Chmerkovsky.
Rose has always been pretty vocal about her sexuality for years and she considers herself to be sexually liberated. In an interview with Curve Magazine, Rose confessed that she had always been attracted to girls ever since she was little but did not consider herself gay. She has never been completely open about her sexual orientation but is considered a bisexual mostly because of her different comments stating that she can be in love with either a woman or a man.
- How To Be a Bad B**ch
Written by: Emily Smith