Born in Rockingham, North Carolina, The-Dream moved with his mother Reva Nash to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of two. Reva raised him until her untimely death at the age of 35. After his mothers passing, Dream was raised by his grandfather in the Bankhead section of Atlanta, Georgia. Influenced at a young age by his grandfather's appreciation of music and the soulful sounds of Sam Cooke and Al Green, Dream enrolled in trumpet classes at Grove Park Elementary School. He continued playing the trumpet throughout high school and later added to his musical repertoire by learning to play the drums and guitar. His musical influences also broadened to include artists such as Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah and Tupac Shakur. Before officially becoming a musician, Dream made ends meet doing everything from working at Checkers to becoming a collections agent. Dream married girlfriend Nivea in 2004, who later gave birth to their daughter Navy Talia on May 10, 2005. However, Nivea filed for divorce in December 2007. In addition to music, Dream is also an accomplished artist who has created many paintings and sculptures, some of which have been shown at various art galleries throughout Atlanta.