Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, 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 fourteen Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers of all-time. He was ranked so 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. Blender included the former on their 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die.
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 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 with eleven. 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 2000s by Billboard and ranking as the 5th top solo male artist and as the 4th top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent.