Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper and businessman. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America having had a net worth of over $450 million in 2010. He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving ten Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, one of the three founders of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of Roc Nation. As an artist, he holds the record for most #1 albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. Jay-Z was ranked as the 10th most successful artist of the 2000–2009 decade by Billboard Magazine and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper.
Jay-Z began his career by performing on tracks by fellow rapper Jaz-O during the early 1990s. Under his own record label Roc-A-Fella Records co-founded with friends Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Jay-Z debuted in 1996 with “Reasonable Doubt,” which peaked at #23 on the Billboard 200. Its singles included “Ain't No Nigga,” which featured Foxy Brown and reached #4 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart and “Can't Knock the Hustle,” which featured Mary J. Blige and reached #7 on the rap chart.
Jay-Z's follow-up “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1” reached #3 on the Billboard 200 with the help of popular producers Sean Combs and Teddy Riley. Singles from the album included “Who You Wit,” “(Always Be My) Sunshine” and “The City is Mine” which were all Top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart.
In 1998, Jay-Z released “Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life,” which reached #1 on the Billboard 200 and included two singles that reached the Top 20 spots of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, “Can I Get A...” featuring Amil and Ja Rule and “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” “Vol. 2” was certified 5x platinum in the U.S. and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 1999....
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