Jay Z

Modern day renaissance man Jay Z (born Shawn Corey Carter, on December 4, 1969) has achieved almost unparalleled success as a recording artist, music executive, versatile businessman, and all around entertainment industry mogul. Raised in the notorious Marcy Housing Projects in Brooklyn, New York, Jay Z gradually came up through the East Coast hip hop ranks alongside other major names like The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. In 1995, frustrated by the persistent disinterest of major labels, the rapper founded his own independent imprint, the soon-to-be influential Roc-A-Fella, and with the arrival of his 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt, Jay's career took off like a shot. Several of his ensuing releases, including 1998's Vol. 2...Hard Knock Life, 2001's The Blueprint and 2003's The Black Album, are widely celebrated benchmarks in the history of hip hop and popular music, in general; and no other solo artist has delivered more number one albums into the Billboard charts than Jay Z's thirteen. In tandem with these musical accomplishments, Jay Z continually expanded his business interests, first as an executive at Def Jam Recordings, and then via his Rocawear fashion line, the entertainment talent agency Roc Nation, and as part owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA franchise. In 2008, Jay Z married pop diva Beyonce to form music's number one power couple, and their first child, Blue Ivy Carter, was born in January of 2012. As of this writing, Jay Z's 100 million albums sold rank him among the best-selling artists of all time, and have earned 21 Grammy Awards, 10 MTV Music Video Awards, and countless other prizes around the world.

Selected discography: ‘Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life’ (1998), ‘The Blueprint’ (2001), ‘The Black Album’ (2003)

Related artists: Beyonce, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj

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