Rap mogul Jay-Z is celebrating his 51st birthday today. The US rapper is one of the most successful artists in the world. He has won countless awards, has multi-million dollar businesses and is one of the most influential entertainers of our time. The Dirt Off Your Shoulder hitmaker officially became the first hip-hop billionaire in June 2019.
Jay-Z has collaborated with almost all the music superstars that one can think of including Kanye West, Drake, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, among others. He's not just a rapper but he is also a philanthropist. Jay-Z, together with his mother, founded The Shawn Carter Foundation which has assisted eligible students facing socio-economic hardships through college.
Briefly.co.za takes a look at 5 interesting facts about the rapper, who is one of the best-selling musicians in the world, as he turns 51 on Friday, 4 December.
Hova, real name Shawn Corey Carter, was born in Brooklyn, New York City. The superstar was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn's Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood. Jay-Z and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter.
The musician attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn until it was closed. The star then attended nearby George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School with rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. He then had a stint at Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, but he did not graduate.
3. Debut album
Jay-Z released his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. It was produced by acclaimed producers such as DJ Premier and super DJ Clark Kent. The platinum-selling project reached number 23 on the Billboard 200. It was later included in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as number 248.
4. Awards and acknowledgements
He has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14. Jay has been ranked by Billboard and fellow music publication Rolling Stone as one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.In 2017, he became the first rapper to be honoured into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2018, he received the commemorative Salute to Industry Icons award at the 60th Grammy Awards.
Jay-Z tied the knot with Beyoncé on 4 April, 2008. They have three beautiful children together named Blue Ivy and twins - Rumi and Sir. Beyoncé and Jay-Z were listed as the most powerful couple for Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2006. According to media reports, the couple generally avoid discussing their relationship.
In related news, Briefly.co.za reported that Master KG is over the moon after his smash hit Jerusalema was chosen by rap mogul Jay-Z as one of his top songs of 2020. The US rapper added Jerusalema to his Tidal playlist of Top 40 favourite tracks.
The excited Master KG took to Twitter to share the good news with his followers. The South African DJ has won multiple awards for the world-renowned song but he didn't expect to be recognised by the Dirt Off Your Shoulder hitmaker. The Mzansi DJ wrote:
"Jay-Z added Jerusalema on his playlist, amazing!!!"
Jerusalema kept the world dancing amid the stricter levels of the Covid-19 lockdown and helped many many people dance the coronavirus blues away. The track was played in all corners of the globe. It was even certified double platinum in Italy.
Other popular songs who made it to Jay-Z's playlist include, Beyoncé's Black Parade, Burna Boy's Onyeka (Baby), Snowchild by The Weeknd, Drake and Lil Durk's Laugh Now Cry Later and Savage Remix by Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé.
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