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.
Jay-Z co-owns The 40/40 Club, is part-owner of the NBA's New Jersey Nets and is also the creator of the clothing line Rocawear. 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 number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200.Jay-Z also has had four number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist.
Along with his financial and musical success, Jay-Z is known for quarreling with other artists in the rap industry, the most famous feud being between him and fellow New York rapper Nas, which was eventually settled in 2005.He married American R&B superstar Beyoncé Knowles on April 4, 2008.On December 11, 2009, 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 behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent.
Jay-Z has also established himself as an 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 will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development.He also co-owns The 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar that started in New York City and has since expanded to Atlantic City and Chicago. In 2008, the 40/40 club in Las Vegas was closed down and bought back by the hotel after attendance steadily declined. Future plans will see 40/40 Clubs in Tokyo and Singapore.In 2005, Jay-Z became an investor in Carol's Daughter, a line of beauty products, including products for hair, skin, and hands, as well as fragrances.
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 New Jersey Nets NBA team paying a reported $4.5 million for his share. He is interested in relocating the team to Brooklyn. In October 2005, he was reported in English media as considering buying a stake of Arsenal F.C., an English soccer team.He has also invested in a real estate development venture called J Hotels which recently acquired a $66 million mid-block parcel in Chelsea, New York. Jay-Z and his partners are contemplating constructing a high-end hotel or an art gallery building on the newly acquired site which has the potential to go up about twelve stories.Through his company Gain Global Investments Network LLC, had an interest estimated between 2 and 7% in the Aqueduct Entertainment Group (AEG) consortium which in January 2010 was awarded a contract to operate a 4,500 slot machine racino at the Aqueduct Race Track. Jay-Z became interested in the project after New York Governor David Paterson who awarded the contract said there had to be an affirmative action component to the ownership. Jay-Z initially approached Steve Wynn who was also bidding on the contract. On March 9, 2010, Jay-Z and Flake withdrew from the project and Paterson recused himself from further involvement.
On November 16, 2010, Jay-Z published a memoir entitled Decoded.