Vitals

Real Name:
Shawn Corey Carter
Date of Birth:
December 4, 1969
Hometown:
Brooklyn, New York
Resides in:
New York City

Spotlight

After his dad abandoned him, Jay-Z channeled a painful childhood of guns and drug-dealing in the Marcy Projects into a multi-million dollar career in hip hop. A collaboration with mentor Jaz-O called “The Originators” got him on “Yo! MTV Raps” in 1989, but he remained mostly anonymous until 1996 when he, Damon Dash and Kareem Burke founded Roc-A-Fella Records and he dropped his debut Reasonable Doubt. He followed that with 1998's Vol. 2 … Hard Knock Life and the “Annie”-sampling title track, which garnered him his first Grammy. The following years were filled with several No. 1 albums and hits like “Can I Get A…,” “Big Pimpin’,” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.) and “03 Bonnie & Clyde,” a joint with his future bride Beyonce Knowles and baby mama. (They married in 2008 and daughter Blue Ivy was born in January 2012.) He announced his retirement in 2003 post releasing The Black Album, claiming the lack of competition left him bored. He turned his attention to the business side as president of Def Jam, where he signed Rihanna and Ne-Yo and helped transition Kanye West from producer to artist, until 2007. He started clothing line Rocawear, a film production company and Roc Nation, an all-encompassing entertainment and management company. He owns the 40/40 Club and part of the Nets NBA team. Hecame out of retirement in 2006 with the release of Kingdom Come, which was most recently followed up by 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail and a co-headlining tour with his wife.

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