Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known professionally as Jay-Z (stylized as JAY-Z), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, songwriter, and record producer. He is one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time.
Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z began his musical career in the mid-1990s, after which he released his debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996, to widespread critical and commercial success. He released the album a year after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records. His subsequent albums have also seen great praise, with The Blueprint (2001) and The Black Album (2003) later being heralded as modern musical classics. He followed these with the collaborative album Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West, his critically lauded thirteenth studio album 4:44 (2017), and a collaborative effort titled Everything Is Love with wife Beyoncé in 2018.
Jay-Z's business activities and life outside of music have also received significant mainstream attention. He is the owner of 40/40 Club sports bar, and co-creator of the Rocawear clothing line. He has also acted as the president of Def Jam Recordings, and is the founder of the Roc Nation entertainment company, as well as creating its spin-off, Roc Nation Sports. As a member of Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z is a licensed sports agent. His heavily publicized marriage to singer Beyoncé in 2008 has made him a global figure in popular culture. As a couple, they have an estimated combined net worth of $1.16 billion, with his individual net worth of $900 million making him the richest hip hop artist in the world.
Jay-Z is one of the world's best-selling music artists. He has received 21 Grammy Awards, tied with Kanye West for the most by a rapper. He also holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, and has recorded four number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100. The same publication ranked him as the biggest artist of the 2000s, while Rolling Stone named him one of the 100 greatest artists of all time. He is the first rapper to be honored at the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017 and to receive the "Salute to Industry Icons Award" at the 60th Grammy Awards.