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Kanye West Engaged to Girlfriend Alexis

08/11/2006 at 11:15 AM EDT

Kanye West Engaged to Girlfriend Alexis
Kanye West
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Kanye West

Kanye West

Rapper and producer Kanye West is engaged, several sources have confirmed to PEOPLE exclusively.

West, 29, proposed to his girlfriend, Alexis, while overseas for two weeks recently, sources close to the singer tell PEOPLE.

Alexis, whose last name and occupation were not immediately available, was West's girlfriend prior to his October 2002 car accident, one source says.

A rep for West had no comment. This will be the first marriage for the Grammy winner.

West began his rise to fame as a producer for Roc-a-Fella Records, where he gained notice for his work on Jay-Z's 2001 album The Blueprint. He has also produced hits for artists including Ludacris and Alicia Keys.

But his career was nearly derailed by a near-fatal car accident in 2002, which inspired the single "Through the Wire" from his 2004 debut album, The College Dropout.

That record earned Grammys for best rap album and best rap song, and during his acceptance speech West thanked the car accident, saying it made him realize that, "If you have the opportunity to play this game called life, you have to appreciate every moment."

His second album, 2005's Late Registration, won Grammy awards for best rap album, best rap song and best rap solo performance.

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