A quick look at the history of your favorite rappers and singers proves most headed to the spotlight before putting on a cap and gown to get their diploma or degree. We all know Michael Jackson was thrust into the Jackson 5 at a young age and while we appreciate his timeless songs, it'd be interesting to see how life would've been for him had he gone to college.

Since many artists start their music careers early on in life, this means balancing school with their late-night recording sessions, round-the-clock touring and endless press junkets -- not an easy schedule to handle. The demands of the job sometimes means school has to be put on the back burner to achieve dreams that come with fame and fortune.

Diddy (Howard University), Common (Florida A&M University) and Alicia Keys (Columbia University) are all great examples of artists whose talents took them to the top, which meant they had to leave their college life behind. But there are a number of singers and rappers who decided to stay in school and graduate while focusing on a music career. Some found fame after they graduated while others juggled classes during the day with performing or recording at night.

Since September is here and the first days of school have begun, The Boombox looked through college archives to find out which of hip-hop and R&B's major players walked away with a degree. Check out 10 Rappers & Singers Who Put School First.

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