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Born Shawn Carter in the rough Marcy Projects of Brooklyn, NY, Jay-Z has sold over thirty three million albums, won Grammy, Soul Train and World Music Awards and created his own label, Roc-A-Fella Records.
Known for his street-hustler background, Jay-Z released his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. The album produced three hit singles - Can't Knock the Hustle, which featured Mary J. Blige, Feelin' It and Dead Presidents.
His next two albums In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life proved to be both critical and commercial successes and made him one of the hottest rappers in the world.
Jay-Z maintained his popularity by releasing back - to - back albums and collaborating with some of the hottest singers and producers on his tracks. In 2003, Jay-Z announced his retirement from rap with the release of his final album The Black Album.
The multi-award-winning musical Hamilton is a sung and rapped-through musical production about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
Calling Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End home during it's UK run, the production features music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Jay-Z's retirement was short-lived as he returned with 2006 album Kingdom Come in 2006, and released his tenth album entitled American Gangster in 2007. The Blueprint 3 followed in 2009, along with a collaborative effort with Kanye West in 2011 entitled Watch The Throne.
Carter announced his twelfth studio album, Magna Carta Holy Grail in 2013. In 2014 Jay-Z appeared on his wife Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album, Beyoncé, with a feature on the song Drunk in Love, which they performed together at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. In June 2017 he released 4:44 exclusively on Tidal.
Following their huge joint On The Run II Tour in 2018, Jay-Z and Beyonce unveiled their much-awaited joint studio album, Everything Is Love, credited under the name The Carters.
Last Updated: January, 2019