Khalid was born Khalid Robinson on February 11, 1998 in Fort Stewart, Georgia. Raised in a military family, he spent his childhood in various locations. He lived in Germany and upstate New York before settling in El Paso, Texas during his senior year of high school. Khalid was first inspired to make music by his mother, who was a singer in the U.S. Army Band and loved '90s R&B artists such as Brandy and TLC.
He began making music in 2015, citing A-list stars such as Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, Father John Misty and Chance the Rapper as his influences. Producer SkySense eventually took notice of him. He produced and worked on Khalid's bittersweet breakout single "Location". The song was released in 2016 and bowed in the top 10 of Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart in January 2017.
The music video for "Location" was watched more than 6 million times in its first four months on YouTube, while the song has been streamed over 35 million times on Spotify. In the first week of February 2017, Khalid was named Artist of the Week by Apple Music.
Following the big success of "Location", Khalid embarked on "Location Tour" in January through February. He sold out every venue on the 21-city North American trek. After unleashing another single titled "Hopeless", Khalid released his debut album "American Teen" on March 3, 2017.
The effort landed at No. 9 on Billboard 200 chart in its first week with 37,000 equivalent album units. Khalid became one of two solo teenage artists to reach the top 10 on the tally in the last 12 months, following Shawn Mendes' "Illuminate", which debuted at No. 1 in October 2016.
Khalid made the TV debut of "Location" on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on March 15. Additionally, his new song "Angels" was featured on the ABC series "Grey's Anatomy" in the episode titled "Don't Stop Me Now", which aired on April 27.