Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, businessman and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2010.
He has sold approximately 50 million albums worldwide, while receiving thirteen 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.
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.
Originally from Marcy Houses, a housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, Jay-Z was abandoned by his father, and in 1982, he shot his brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry.
Jay-Z attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn, along with rapper AZ, until it was closed down. After that he attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Downtown Brooklyn, which fellow rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes also attended, and Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but did not graduate. In his music he refers to having been involved in selling crack cocaine.