Shawn Corey Carter (Jay-Z)

Shawn Corey Carter (Jay-Z)

date of birth : 04/12/1969 | date of death :
Born on 4-December-1969, Brooklyn, New York City, United States, rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, 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.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Jay-Z was born on 4-December-1969 in Brooklyn, New York City, United States.

Father's name: Adnes Reeves
Mother's name: Gloria Carter
Brother: Eric Carter
Sister: Andrea Carter/ Michelle Carter
Spouse: Beyonce Knowles
Children: Ivy Blue Carter

Reputation, fame, nickname:

S-dot/ Young Hov/ Jazzy/ Hova/ Jigga/ J-Hova/ Jiggaman/ Iceberg Slim/ Lucky Lefty/ Joe Camel

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Height:6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Life events:

Early life:

Born Shawn Corey Carter on April 12, 1969, Jay-Z was raised by a single mother, Gloria Carter. Jay-Z's father, Adnes Reeves, left the family when Jay-Z was only 11 years old. Shawn had experienced the tough life on the streets of New York where he grew up. Fortunately, the streets life was not the only thing on his mind as he briefly attended high school in where he also explored his rap skill.As Jay-Z later remembered his childhood in one of his songs ("December 4th"), "I went to school, got good grades, could behave when I wanted/ But I had demons deep inside that would raise when confronted."

Rise to Hop-Hop Fame:

When Jay-Z was first starting out in the rap world, he was introduced to Darien Dash, who, by the time he was 19, had already gotten record deals for two acts. Dash soon became Jay-Z's manager and Dash's childhood friend, Kareem "Biggs" Burke, was then hired as Jay-Z's road manager. For two years, the three worked unsuccessfully to obtain a record deal. The trio then decided to form their own record company, Roc-A-Fella Records, in which they would all serve as partners. Jay-Z's role was that of marquee artist, Dash ran the company's day-to-day operations, and Burke, according to Vibe, served as "a barometer of the streets." After Roc-A-Fella secured a deal with Priority Records for the distribution of their albums, Jay-Z was ready to release his first record, Reasonable Doubt. Jay-Z can briefly be heard on several of Jaz-O's early recordings in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including "The Originators" and "Hawaiian Sophie". Jay-Z was also involved in several battles with rapper LL Cool J in the early '90s. He first became known to a wide audience by being featured on the posse cut"Show and Prove" on the 1994 Big Daddy Kane album Daddy's Home. Since 1994, Jay-Z had been producing records for other artists as chief of operations for the Roc-A-Fella label. The same handle he had for money in the drug business translated well into the music industry. He talked about his future at that time; "Although my album has already gone gold, it will be my last one. From this point, it's all about the business." Jay-Z did not retire from rap, however. Jay-Z told Vibe that he realized his music had a powerful effect on his fans. "There were cats coming up to me like, 'You must have been looking in my window or following my life'...It was emotional. Like big, rough hoodlum, hardrock, three-time jail bidders with scars and gold teeth just breaking down. It was something to look at, like, I must be going somewhere people been wanting someone to go for a while." So he returned to rap in 1997, with the album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. Jay-Z achieved even broader success with the 1998 album Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life. The title track, which famously sampled its chorus from the Broadway musical Annie, became Jay-Z's most popular single to date and won him his first Grammy nomination. "Hard Knock Life" marked the beginning of a fruitful period in which Jay-Z would become the biggest name in hip-hop. In 1999, Jay-Z dueted with Mariah Carey on "Heartbreaker", a song from her seventh album, Rainbow. In that same year, Jay-Z released Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter. The album proved successful and sold over 3 million copies. Vol. 3's most successful single was "Big Pimpin'", featuring UGK. On December 1 of that year, Jay-Z, who had come to believe that record executive Lance "Un" Rivera was behind the bootlegging of Vol. 3..., allegedly stabbed Rivera at the release party for Q-Tip's album Amplified at the Kit Kat Klub, a now-defunct night club in Times Square, New York City. JAY Z's 2000 album “The Dynasty: Roc La Familia” was again #1 and included the hit single “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” and many guest performances by Roc-A-Fella artists. Jay-Z capitalized on the runaway success of The Blueprint with a number of follow-up projects. He collaborated with the Roots for the Unplugged album (2001) and with R. Kelly for Best of Both Worlds (2002). He then went on to record, over the course of the year, 40 or so new tracks, 25 of which appeared on his next record, the double album The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse (2002).

Initial retirement and Comeback:

In 2003, Jay-Z shocked the hip-hop world by releasing The Black Album and announcing that it would be his last solo record before retirement. Asked to explain his sudden exit from rap, Jay-Z said that he once derived inspiration from trying to outshine other great MCs, but had simply gotten bored due to a lack of competition. "The game isn’t hot," he said. "I love when someone makes a hot album and then you've got to make a hot album. I love that. But it isn’t hot." With his final album behind him and his reputation bigger than ever, Jay-Z accepted an offer to assume the role of president at Def Jam Records. The seminal rap label was struggling and needed someone to guide it through a rocky transitional phase. Jay-Z accepted the challenge and took over the company begun by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin roughly 20 years earlier. In 2006, Jay-Z ended his retirement from making music, releasing the new album Kingdom Come. Jay-Z's comeback single, "Show Me What You Got", was leaked on the Internet in early October 2006, scheduled to be released later on that month, received heavy air-play after its leak, causing the FBI to step in and investigate. Jay-Z released his tenth album entitled American Gangster on November 6, 2007. After viewing the Ridley Scott film of the same name, he was heavily inspired to create a new "concept" album that depicts his experiences as a street-hustler. The album is not the film's official soundtrack, although it was distributed by Def Jam. Jay-Z's American Gangster depicts his life in correlation to the movie American Gangster. At the start of the album's first single, "Blue Magic", Jay-Z offers a dealer's manifesto while making references to political figures of the late 1980s with the lyric: "Blame Reagan for making me to into a monster, blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra, I ran contraband that they sponsored, before this rhymin' stuff we was in concert." Also notable about the "Blue Magic" music video was Jay-Z flashing 500 euro notes, in what Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal has called a "turning point in American pop culture's response to globalization." The album has sold 1 million copies in the US. On December 24, 2007, Jay-Z stated that he would not remain at Def Jam as the company's President, and vacated the position effective of January 1, 2008. Jay released one of his most adventurous albums, The Blueprint 3, in 2009, and the record found him embracing a bevy of musical styles, from electropop to rock and roll.
At his concert on November 8, 2009, at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, Rihanna joined him on stage and performed "Hard" for the very first time, then performed "Run This Town" with Jay-Z. Among his success, Jay-Z has ventured into producing Broadway shows. Along with Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, Jay-Z helped produced the play Fela!, a musical celebrating the work of the late Nigerian star FelaKuti. Jay-Z said he was inspired by the power of Kuti's work and his life story, which resulted in his interest to help produce the musical. Fela! is a story about an African pioneer and political activist who made his first moves on the scene during the 1970s. On January 23, 2010, Jay-Z released a track, "Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour)", with Rihanna, and U2's Bono and The Edge, as well as performing it at the Hope For Haiti Now telethon. The song "Otis," which samples the late R&B singer Otis Redding, snagged several Grammy Award nominations and the recording was also nominated for Best Rap Album in 2011. Two years after the release of a collaboration album with West, both rappers dropped solo albums within weeks of the other's release date. West's album, Yeezus (2013), was critically lauded for its innovation, while his mentor Jay-Z's album gained less than stellar reviews. The rappers 12th studio album,Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013), was seen as decent but failed to live up to the hip-hop stars larger-than-life reputation and his unhumbly titled album.

Personal Life:

Very protective of his private life, Jay-Z did not publicly discuss his relationship with longtime girlfriend, popular singer and actress Beyoncé Knowles, for years. The couple even managed to keep the press away from their small wedding, which was held on April 4, 2008, in New York City. Only about 40 people attended the celebration at Jay-Z's penthouse apartment, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and former Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were listed as the most powerful couple for TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2006. In January 2009, Forbes ranked them as Hollywood's top-earning couple, with a combined total of $162 million. They also made it to the top of the list the following year, with a combined total of $122 million between June 2008 and June 2009. At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé revealed that she was pregnant with their first child and on January 7, 2012, she gave birth to their daughter, named Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.[143] On January 9, 2012, Jay-Z released "Glory", a song dedicated to their child, on his social website


Carter attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, along with future rapper AZ, until it was closed down. After that he attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn, with fellow future rappers The Notorious B.I.G.and Busta Rhymes, and Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but did not graduate.

Occupations and Career:

He is a rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He first started releasing records in the late 1980s. In 1990, he appeared on records by his close friend, Jaz ("The Originators") and Original Flavor ("Can I Get Open"), and later scored an underground hit single with 1995's "In My Lifetime". Drawing on Jaz's dealings with mercenary labels, Jay-Z set up his own Roc-A-Fella imprint in 1996 with entrepreneur 'Damon Dash' and 'Kareem 'Biggs' Burke'. His debut set, "Reasonable Doubt", which reached US number 23 in July, attracted fans with a mixture of hard-hitting street lyrics and rhymes, epitomized by the collaboration with The Notorious B.I.G. on "Brooklyn's Finest". The follow-up, "In My Lifetime, Vol. 1", was released in the aftermath of The Notorious B.I.G.'s murder, and debuted at US number 3 in November 1997. He redirected with the follow-up, 1998's excellent Vol 2…Hard Knock Life. Nicking the chorus of "Hard Knock Life" from the Broadway musical Annie, Jay spun a tale of his own troubled adolescence and ended up with his first bona fide radio hit, establishing his presence as a commercially viable rapper who still had an eye to the streets. Vol 3…Life and Times of S. Carter arrived in 1999 with still more hits — chief among them "Big Pimpin'," a collaboration with the southern rap duo UGK. Jay's ascent was briefly halted, however, when he was accused of stabbing the producer Lance "Un" Rivera at the Kit Kat Club in December of that year. This was the beginning of a period of legal turmoil for Jay. JAY Z's 2001 album “The Blueprint,” was the first in a trilogy of albums under that title. “The Blueprint” included two Hot 100 Top 20 singles “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The double platinum album featured soul-based sampling and production handled primarily by Kanye West and Just Blaze. “The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse” followed in 2002, with two singles reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, “'03 Bonnie & Clyde” featuring JAY Z's future wife Beyoncé Knowles and “Excuse Me Miss” featuring Pharrell Williams. “Guns & Roses”, a track featuring rock musician Lenny Kravitz, and “Hovi Baby” were two successful radio singles on the 3x platinum album as well. On November 25, 2003, Jay-Z held a concert at Madison Square Garden, which would later be the focus of his film Fade to Black. This concert was his "retirement party". In 2004, Jay-Z collaborated with rock group Linkin Park, in which they released their collaborative remix EP Collision Course, which featured mashupsof both artists' songs, as well as a concert DVD. JAY Z became president of Def Jam Recordings in 2005 and resumed his rap career in 2006 with “Kingdom Come.” That album reached #1 and went double platinum. “Show Me What You Got” was another Hot 100 Top 10 hit. The concept album “American Gangster” which was inspired by the film of the same name, followed in 2007. This tied the record of consecutive #1 albums by a solo artists on the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum.In 2009, JAY Z surpassed Elvis Presley as solo artist with the most albums to have had reached #1 on the Billboard 200, after the release of his 11th studio album “The Blueprint 3.” More recently, Jay-Z proved that he had both commercial and critical staying power. He teamed up with another famous member of rap royalty, Kanye West, for 2011's Watch the Throne. The album proved to be a triple hit, topping the rap, R&B and pop charts that August. “Magna Carta... Holy Grail,” JAY Z’s 12th solo studio album, was released in 2013. In the business world, Jay-Z has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur like his fellow hip hop moguls and friends, Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre and Sean "Diddy" Combs, who also have business holdings such as record companies and clothing lines. In an interview, he stated that "my brands are an extension of me. They're close to me. It's not like running GM, where there's no emotional attachment." He is the founder of the urban clothing brand Rocawear along with Damon Dash. Rocawear has clothing lines and accessories for men, women and children. The line was taken over by Jay-Z in early 2006 following a falling out with Dash. In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group, for $204 million. Jay-Z serves as co-brand director for Budweiser Select and collaborates with the company on strategic marketing programs and creative ad development. He provides direction on brand programs and ads that appear on TV, radio, print, and high-profile events. He is also yet to expand his 40/40 Club sports bar in as many as 20 airports, as he makes deals with his business partners, Juan and Desiree Perez. He is a part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, having paid a reported $4.5 million for his share, which declined in value to $350,000 in April 2013.

Awards /Honors:

American Music Awards

Jay-Z has won three awards from seven nominations.

BET Awards

He has won six awards from twenty nominations.

Billboard Music Awards

He hasreceived two awards.

Brit Awards

He has won one award from three nominations.

Grammy Awards

He has won nineteen awards from fifty-nine nominations.

NME Awards

He has received threenominations.

People's Choice Awards

He has won one award fromfour nominations.

Tony Awards

He has receivedone nomination.

World Music Awards

He has received seven nominations.

Mobo Awards


  • Best International Act [Nominated]
  • Best International Hip-Hop Act [Won]
  • Best International Single, "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" [Nominated]


  • Best Hip-Hop [Nominated]
  • Best Song, "Crazy In Love" with Beyoncé [Nominated]
  • Best Video, "Crazy In Love" with Beyoncé [Nominated]


  • Best Album, The Black Album [Nominated]
  • Best Hip-Hop [Nominated]
  • Best Video, "99 Problems" [Nominated]


Best Video, "Umbrella" with Rihanna [Nominated]


Best Hip-Hop [Nominated]


Best International Act [Nominated]


Best International Act [Nominated]

MTV Europe Music Awards


  • Best Song, "Crazy in Love" with Beyoncé [Won]
  • Best Hip-Hop [Nominated]


  • Best Video, "99 Problems" [Nominated]
  • Best Male [Nominated]
  • Best Hip-Hop [Nominated]


Most Addictive Track, "Umbrella" with Rihanna [Nominated]


  • Best Male [Nominated]
  • Best Urban [Won]


Best Hip-Hop with Kanye West [Nominated]

MTV Video Music Awards Japan


  • Best Hip-Hop Artist [Nominated]
  • Best Live Performance [Nominated]
  • Inspiration Award International [Won]


  • Best Male Video, "Frontin'" with Pharrell [Won]
  • Best Female Video, "Crazy In Love" with Beyoncé [Nominated]
  • Best Hip-Hop Video, "Change Clothes" with Pharrell [Nominated]
  • Best Collaboration, "Crazy In Love" with Beyoncé [Won]


Best Collaboration, "Numb/Encore" with Linkin Park [Won]


Best Hip-Hop Video, "Show Me What You Got" [Nominated]


Video Of The Year, "umbrella" with Rihanna [Nominated]


Best Hip-Hop Video, "Otis" with Kanye West [Nominated]




  • In My Lifetime, Ffrr, 1995.
  • Dead Presidents, Priority, 1996
  • Can't Knock the Hustle, Priority 1996
  • Feelin', It, Roc-A-Fella/Priority, 1997.
  • This City Is Mine, Def Jam, 1998.
  • Money Cash Hoes," Def Jam, 1999
  • Can I Get a Rush Hour," BMG International, 1999.
  • Hard Knock Life," Def Jam, 1999
  • Do It Again," Def Jam, 1999; released on Polygram International, 2000.
  • Things That U Do," Def Jam, 2000
  • Anything," Def Jam, 2000


  • Reasonable Doubt, 1996
  • In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, 1997
  • Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life, 1998
  • Vol. 3: The Life and Times of Shawn Carter, 1999.
  • Dynasty: Roc la Familia, 2000.
  • The Blueprint, Roc-A-Fella, 2001
  • Unplugged (live), Roc-A-Fella, 2001
  • The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse, Roc-A-Fella, 2002.
  • (With R. Kelly) The Best of Both Worlds, Universal, 2002
  • The Blueprint 2.1, Roc-A-Fella, 2003
  • The Black Album, Roc-A-Fella, 2003
  • (With Linkin Park) Collision Course, Warner Bros., 2004
  • American Gangster (2007)
  • The Blueprint 3 (2009)
  • Magna Carta Holy Grail (2013)
  • Watch the Throne (with Kanye West) (2011)


  • Through the Fire (21-Apr-2005) • Himself
  • Fade to Black (5-Nov-2004) • Himself
  • Beef (Aug-2003) • Himself
  • Death of a Dynasty (7-May-2003) • Himself
  • Paper Soldiers (18-Mar-2003) • Himself
  • State Property (18-Jan-2002)
  • Backstage (8-Sep-2000) • Himself



Quotes and Memoirs:

I'm a mirror. If you're cool with me, I'm cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don't like what you see, then you've done something. If I'm standoffish, that's because you are.
I'm hungry for knowledge. The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That's what this world is about. You look at someone like Gandhi, and he glowed. Martin Luther King glowed. Muhammad Ali glows. I think that's from being bright all the time, and trying to be brighter.
I've never looked at myself and said that I need to be a certain way to be around a certain sort of people. I've always wanted to stay true to myself, and I've managed to do that. People have to acceptthat.
The burden of poverty isn't just that you don't always have the things you need, it's the feeling of being embarrassed every day of your life, and you'd do anything to lift that burden.
I'm far from being god, but I work god damn hard.
Hip-hop has done so much for racial relations, and I don't think it's given the proper credit. It has changed America immensely. I'm going to make a very bold statement: Hip-hop has done more than any leader, politician, or anyone to improve race relations.
As kids we didn't complain about being poor; we talked about how rich we were going to be and made moves to get the lifestyle we aspired to by any means we could. And as soon as we had a little money, we were eager to show it.
I was forced to be an artist and a CEO from the beginning, so I was forced to be like a businessman because when I was trying to get a record deal, it was so hard to get a record deal on my own that it was either give up or create my own company.
Racism is taught in the home. We agree on that? Well, it's very hard to teach racism to a teenager who's listening to rap music and who idolizes, say, Snoop Dogg. It's hard to say, 'That guy is less than you.' The kid is like, 'I like that guy, he's cool. How is he less than me?
It's hilarious a lot of times. You have a conversation with someone, and he's like, 'You speak so well!' I'm like, 'What do you mean? Do you understand that's an insult?
One of the reasons inequality gets so deep in this country is that everyone wants to be rich. That's the American ideal. Poor people don't like talking about poverty because even though they might live in the projects surrounded by other poor people and have, like, ten dollars in the bank, they don't like to think of themselves as poor.
They say a midget standing on a giant's shoulders can see much further than the giant. So I got the whole rap world on my shoulders, they trying to see further than I am.
I think relationships are broken up because of the media.
Wherever I go, I bring the culture with me, so that they can understand that it's attainable. I didn't do it any other way than through hip-hop.
Everyone who makes music is a good collaborator at their foundation because in order to make music, you have to connect to it in a way that other people can't.