Bert Williams was born in the Bahamas and came to the US in 1885, at age 11. As a teen, he performed in minstrel shows, eventually forming a partnership with George Walker. The duo became famous: when Walker retired from show business in 1907, Williams continued and became one of the most famous comedians of the era before WWI. He defended his use of blackface in multiple ways. He argued that blackface was mask that allowed him to adopt different, more creative personas. Furthermore, he believed that since white people were making money dressing up as black people, black people themselves should perform act in order to control the terms, and make the money. Walker was popular with both white and black audiences, in large part because he satirized popular minstrel and vaudeville stereotypes. His most famous song. “Nobody,” offered a perfect example. The song exaggerates and mocks the musical and lyrical conventions of the minstrel show.