Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jay-Z is an American rapper and entrepreneur born on December 4, 1969. In 2023, Billboard and Vibe named him the greatest rapper ever highlighting his impact on other artists’ success. Jay-Z was the president of Def Jam Recordings from 2004 to 2007 and then started Roc Nation in 2008.

Jay-Z grew up in New York City and began his music career in the late 1980s. He co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1994 to release his first two albums “Reasonable Doubt” in 1996 and “In My Lifetime Vol. 1” in 1997 both critically acclaimed. His later albums like “The Blueprint” (2001), “The Black Album” (2003), “American Gangster” (2007), and “4:44” (2017) also received high praise and topped the Billboard 200 chart. Jay-Z holds the record for the most number-one albums (14) by any solo artist on this chart.

Beyond solo work Jay-Z has collaborated on albums like “The Best of Both Worlds” (2002) and “Unfinished Business” (2004) with R. Kelly, “Collision Course” (2004) with Linkin Park, “Watch the Throne” (2011) with Kanye West, and “Everything Is Love” (2018) with Beyoncé. He has achieved four Billboard Hot 100 number ones: “Heartbreaker” with Mariah Carey, “Crazy in Love” with Beyoncé, “Umbrella” with Rihanna, and “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys.

Jay-Z’s business ventures have been just as successful. In 2019, he became the first billionaire in hip-hop. He co-founded Rocawear in 1999 and opened the 40/40 Club in 2003 both of which became multi-million-dollar businesses. In 2008, he launched Roc Nation an entertainment agency. He also acquired Aspiro in 2015 and expanded Tidal a media streaming service.

With over 140 million records sold Jay-Z is one of the best-selling music artists worldwide. He has won 24 Grammy Awards placing him among the top ten most awarded artists of all time and the most awarded hip-hop artist alongside Kanye West. He has received numerous prestigious awards including the NAACP President’s Award and recognition from Billboard and Rolling Stone as one of the greatest artists ever.

In 2013, Time magazine named Jay-Z one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He was the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and later became the first living solo rapper inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

As of 2024, He is the wealthiest musical artist globally with a net worth of $2 billion. His influence on the music business and culture continues to resonate worldwide.

Full NameShawn Corey Carter
Date of BirthDecember 4, 1969
Place of BirthBrooklyn, New York City, New York
OccupationRapper, Songwriter, Record Executive
Height6 feet 1 inches (187 cm)
SpouseBeyoncé Knowles (m. 2008)
ChildrenBlue Ivy Carter, Sir Carter, Rumi Carter
Net Worth$2 billion

Jay-Z’s Early Life and Education

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Shawn Corey Carter was born on December 4, 1969, in Brooklyn New York City. He grew up in Marcy Houses a public housing project in Brooklyn’s Bedford–Stuyvesant area. His father left the family so he was raised by his mother Gloria Carter alongside his three older siblings. His father Adnis Reeves reconnected with him before passing away in 2003.

He has mentioned in his songs that when he was 12 years old in 1982 he shot his older brother in the shoulder because he believed his brother had stolen his jewelry.

For schooling, he attended Eli Whitney High School and George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School both in Brooklyn. Later he moved to Trenton New Jersey where he enrolled at Trenton Central High School but dropped out during his second year.

In his interviews and music, he has revealed that during his youth he sold crack cocaine and survived three shooting attempts. One of his friends from that time ended up in jail for possessing drugs and guns.

Initially known as “Jazzy” in his neighborhood he eventually changed his stage name to “Jay-Z” as a tribute to his mentor Jaz-O.

Career

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

He made early appearances on Jaz-O’s tracks in the late 1980s and early 1990s like “H. P. Gets Busy” and “The Originators”. He gained attention with a verse on Big Daddy Kane’s song “Show and Prove” in 1994. During this time he was known for his stage presence often freestyling when Kane took breaks.

In 1994, Jay-Z had a run-in with the NYPD while driving to I-95 which he references in his song “99 Problems” from 2003. He appeared on tracks with Big L and Mic Geronimo in 1995 alongside Ja Rule and DMX. His first official single “In My Lifetime” dropped the same year.

With no major record label backing Jay-Z along with Damon Dash and Kareem Burke founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995. Their first album “Reasonable Doubt” in 1996 featured hits like “Can’t Knock the Hustle” and “Dead Presidents”. It was well-received and gained platinum status later on.

Jay-Z’s career took off further with subsequent albums like “In My Lifetime Vol. 1” (1997) “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” (1998) and “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter” (1999) each achieving platinum status. He won his first Grammy with “Vol. 2” and topped the charts with hits like “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)”.

In 2001, he clashed with Nas and Prodigy sparking a feud with diss tracks exchanged between them. That year he released “The Blueprint” which became a huge success selling over 2.7 million copies worldwide and earning critical acclaim. The album featured collaborations with Eminem and Kanye West.

His album “The Black Album” in 2003 marked a high point with songs like “Dirt off Your Shoulder” and “99 Problems”. He staged a high-profile retirement concert in 2003 at Madison Square Garden which was later captured in the documentary “Fade to Black”.

Despite retiring briefly he continued to collaborate with artists like R. Kelly and Linkin Park and he served as president of Def Jam Records. He returned with albums like “Kingdom Come” (2006) and “American Gangster” (2007) which drew inspiration from the film of the same name.

His career has been marked by entrepreneurial success with Roc-A-Fella Records’ critical acclaim with albums like “The Blueprint” and cultural influence extending into various collaborations and business ventures.

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In the winter of 2008, Jay-Z made headlines by becoming the first major hip-hop artist to headline Britain’s Glastonbury Festival. The announcement led to quick sellouts of tickets but it also sparked controversy. Noel Gallagher from Oasis a former headliner of the festival criticized the organizers for choosing Jay-Z arguing that Glastonbury was traditionally for guitar-driven music. Jay-Z responded by defending hip hop’s place in music history and performed a well-received set that included a playful cover of Oasis’s “Wonderwall.”

During that same year, Jay-Z headlined several other major festivals like Roskilde in Denmark and Hove Festival in Norway. He also signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Live Nation launching his Roc Nation label and StarRoc with Stargate. His album “The Blueprint 3” was a huge success topping charts and breaking records previously held by Elvis Presley.

Beyond music, Jay-Z ventured into producing Broadway shows including the celebrated musical “Fela!” inspired by the life of Nigerian star Fela Kuti. He continued to collaborate widely appearing with Rihanna and U2’s Bono and The Edge for charity efforts like “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)”.

Jay-Z’s influence extended into the 2010s with high-profile performances alongside Kanye West and appearances at major events like the Grammy Awards and Super Bowl halftime shows. His 2013 album “Magna Carta Holy Grail” debuted at number one solidifying his status as a music icon.

In 2018, Jay-Z and Beyoncé released a joint album “Everything Is Love” as The Carters which was well-received. His ongoing impact on music and beyond led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021. Jay-Z continues to collaborate and produce music recently featuring on tracks with Pusha T and DJ Khaled. His legacy spans music business and cultural influence marking him as one of the most influential figures in contemporary music history.

Net Worth

Jay-Z has an estimated net worth of $2 Billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The main source of Jay-Z’s net worth comes from his successful career in music, including album sales, concerts, and deals with companies like Roc Nation and Tidal. He also has investments in businesses like real estate and art, which add to his overall net worth.

Personal life

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2002, Jay-Z and Beyoncé teamed up for the song “’03 Bonnie & Clyde”. The next year Jay-Z featured on Beyoncé’s hit “Crazy in Love” and her song “That’s How You Like It” from her first album “Dangerously in Love” (2003). On Beyoncé’s second album “B’Day” Jay-Z appeared on the popular tracks “Déjà Vu” and “Upgrade U”. In the music video for “Upgrade U” Beyoncé humorously mimicked Jay-Z’s style. They kept their relationship private until they married on April 4, 2008, in a quiet ceremony in New York City.

Their marriage became public on April 22, 2008, although Beyoncé didn’t show off her $5 million wedding ring until September 5, 2008, at a concert. Since getting married they’ve chosen not to talk much about their relationship which Beyoncé believes has been good for them. Jay-Z also mentioned in People magazine that they prefer not to “play with [their] relationship”.

In 2006, Time magazine named Beyoncé and Jay-Z the most influential couple. Forbes ranked them as Hollywood’s highest-earning couple in January 2009 with a combined income of $162 million. The next year they topped the list again with $122 million earned between June 2008 and June 2009.

At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards Beyoncé announced she was pregnant with their first child. Their daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born on January 7, 2012, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Jay-Z released a song called “Glory” two days later dedicated to Blue Ivy which also touched on their struggles with a previous miscarriage Beyoncé had endured. Blue Ivy made history by being credited on the song “B.I.C.” becoming the youngest person to feature on Billboard’s charts at just two days old.

On June 18, 2017, Beyoncé’s father confirmed that she had given birth to twins with Jay-Z a daughter named Rumi and a son named Sir. Soon after the couple bought an $88 million home in Los Angeles’ Bel Air neighborhood. In 2023 they purchased a $200 million house in Malibu California designed by architect Tadao Ando setting a record for the most expensive residence sold in California.

Philanthropy

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

During his first break from making music Jay-Z got deeply involved in helping others. In 2003 he and his mother set up the Shawn Carter Foundation. This foundation supports students from tough financial situations to attend college and succeed there.

In 2006, Jay-Z met with Kofi Annan who was then the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This meeting happened at the UN’s headquarters in New York City. Jay-Z promised to use his upcoming world tour to raise awareness about the global water crisis. He became aware of this issue after a trip to Africa with Bono the lead singer of U2. The UN and MTV teamed up with Jay-Z to produce a documentary called Diary of Jay-Z: Water for Life which premiered in November 2006.

After Hurricane Katrina hit Jay-Z and Sean “Diddy” Combs each pledged $1 million to help the American Red Cross with relief efforts. Jay-Z also supported Kanye West after West criticized President George W. Bush during a live charity event for Katrina victims. Jay-Z even wrote a song “Minority Report” about the disaster and the government’s response.

Jay-Z believes in giving back without seeking recognition. In 2013, it was revealed that Jay-Z had set up a trust fund for Sean Bell’s children. He also donated money to bail out protestors who were arrested during activism against police brutality in 2015.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Jay-Z donated $1 million through his foundation to help New York City. He also partnered with Meek Mill to donate over 100000 face masks to prisons across the United States to protect inmates from COVID-19.

Other ventures

Jay-Z Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Jay-Z has become a very successful entrepreneur with businesses in clothing drinks real estate sports and music. In an interview, he explained that these brands are personal to him unlike running a big corporation where there’s less emotional connection.

He co-founded Rocawear a popular brand for urban clothing and accessories. He took over full control in 2006 after a disagreement with his co-founder Damon Dash. In 2007 he sold Rocawear to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million but still manages its direction and development.

He made history as Reebok’s first rapper-endorsed athlete promoting his S. Carter Collection. In 2003, he and 50 Cent starred in a commercial for their footwear lines. His Reebok deal ended in 2006.

In 2014, he bought Armand de Brignac champagne for $200 million previously owned by Sovereign Brands. This purchase added to his portfolio of investments in alcohol brands.

Jay-Z acquired Aspiro in 2015 which operates the music streaming service Tidal. He aimed to give artists better pay through this artist-owned platform.

As president of Def Jam Recordings from 2005 to 2007 Jay-Z launched the careers of artists like Rihanna and Ne-Yo. He then founded Roc Nation after his tenure.

He owned a stake in the Brooklyn Nets from 2003 to 2013 and helped move them to Brooklyn. He also started Roc Nation Sports representing athletes in various sports.

He owns the 40/40 Club invests in beauty products with Carol’s Daughter and has expanded his business into fragrances cigars and sports bars.

Jay-Z’s business empire continues to grow with recent ventures including partnerships in cannabis products and plans for a casino in Times Square.