Shawn Corey Knowles-Carter (né Carter; born December 4, 1969), better known by his stage name Jay-Z (sometimes stylized JAY Z), is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. 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 has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving fourteen Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers of all-time he was ranked #1 by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Two of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996) and The Blueprint (2001) are considered landmarks in the genre with both of them being ranked in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 Club, is part-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and is also co-creator of the line Rocawear. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of Roc Nation. As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with twelve. 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 10th most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He was also ranked the 88th greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone. He married American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles in 2008. They have one daughter named Blue Ivy Carter, born in January 2012.