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Shawn Carter, known as JAY-Z, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1969. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop artists in history and is responsible for accelerating the careers of high-profile music artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West, and J. Cole.

During his career, as well as having been label head at for Roc-A-Fella, Roc Nation, and Def Jam, he has become a very successful businessman, real-estate mogul, and fashion designer. His life story is truly one of rags-to-riches, having been born and raised in the Marcy Projects of Brooklyn to becoming one of the most influential and successful artists of his era.

After he founded his record label Roc-A-Fella, JAY-Z ‘s career began in 1996 with the release of his debut album “Reasonable Doubt”. This was closely followed by his second album release “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1” in 1997. Both records were packed with gritty lyrics and stories from the streets, which would go on to become emblematic of his musical output. These releases prompted a highly successful chart run, with JAY-Z subsequently releasing a total of twelve albums, such as “The Blueprint” in 2001, “The Black Album” in 2003, and “4:44” in 2017, that all reached number one in the Billboard chart. While topping the charts throughout his solo career, JAY-Z is also known for his mainstream crossover success with other artists. Famous collaborations can be heard on albums such as “Watch the Throne” with Kanye West in 2011 and “Everything Is Love” with his wife Beyoncé in 2018. 

JAY-Z is one of the world’s most successful artists, with over 125 million records sold worldwide. He is the first rapper in history to be honoured in the “Songwriters Hall of Fame” and is also the first solo living rapper to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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