Born 4 December 1969.

US rapper, formerly Jay-Z

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Jay-Z. Zane Lowe. Part 4: Family

Jay-Z. Zane Lowe. Part 4: Family

Featured in BBC Music Clips


Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known by his stage name Jay-Z (sometimes stylized as Jay Z or JAY Z), is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2012, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at nearly $500 million. He is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time having sold more than 75 million records, while receiving 17 Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers of all time, he was ranked number one by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Three of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001), and The Black Album (2003), are considered landmarks in the genre with all of them featured in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

As an entrepreneur and investor, Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 Club, and is the co-creator of the clothing line Rocawear. He is the former president of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of Roc Nation. He also founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports and is a certified NBA and MLB sports agent. As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with 13. Jay-Z also has had four number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist. On December 11, 2009, Jay-Z was ranked as the tenth-most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard as well as the fifth top solo male artist and fourth top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He was also ranked the 88th greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone.

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Links & Information


  • Founded Roc‐A‐Fella Records

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Watch the Throne

    Watch the Throne 2011

    Reviewed by Marcus J. Moore
    Twin megastars deliver regal hip hop with pop fizz.
  2. Review of The Hits Collection – Volume One

    The Hits Collection – Volume One 2010

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    Every single track is essential to a story that shows no sign of stopping.
  3. Review of The Blueprint 3

    The Blueprint 3 2009

    Reviewed by Adam Anonymous
    Clinging to his crown as king of New York hip hop.
  4. Review of American Gangster

    American Gangster 2007

    Reviewed by James Young
    The release date? Fireworks night naturally. Boom!
  5. Review of Kingdom Come

    Kingdom Come 2006

    Reviewed by Maxine Headley
    He's old enough to do what the hell he wants.
  6. Review of The Black Album

    The Black Album 2003

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    An essential experience, and quite probably the peak of the rapper’s continuing career.