Jay Z co-owns the New York 40/40 Club sports bar, and is the co-creator of the clothing line Rocawear. He is the former president of Def Jam Recordings, co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, and the founder of the entertainment company Roc Nation. He also founded the sports agency Roc Nation Sports and is a certified NBA and MLB sports agent. As an artist, he holds the record for most number one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200 with 13. He has also had four number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, one as lead artist. In 2009 he was ranked the tenth-most successful artist of the 2000s by Billboard as well as the fifth top solo male artist and fourth top rapper behind Eminem, Nelly, and 50 Cent. He was also ranked the 88th-greatest artist of all time by Rolling Stone.
Jay Z married American R&B singer Beyoncé in 2008. Their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born on January 7, 2012.
Shawn Carter was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Marcy Houses, a housing project in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. He and his three siblings were raised by their mother, Gloria Carter, after their father, Adness Reeves abandoned the family. (Reeves died of liver failure in 2003, shortly after meeting with Jay Z and receiving his forgiveness.) Jay Z claims in his lyrics that in 1982, at the age of 12, he shot his older brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry. Along with future rapper AZ, Carter attended Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn until it was closed down. He then attended the nearby George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School with future rappers The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes, followed by a stint at Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, though he did not graduate. According to his interviews and lyrics, during this period he sold crack cocaine and was shot at three times.
According to his mother, Carter used to wake up his siblings at night banging out drum patterns on the kitchen table. She bought him a boom box for his birthday, sparking his interest in music. He began freestyling and writing lyrics. Known as "Jazzy" around the neighborhood, Carter later adopted the showbiz/stage name "Jay-Z" in homage to his mentor Jaz-O. He would drop the hyphen in 2013.