In recent times, Forbes has reported that a few American rappers are worth more than a billion dollars. The first rapper that, however, received the billionaire title was Shawn Corey Carter, who is better known by his stage name Jay-Z. The Brooklyn native has been in the music industry for close to three decades and has sold over 50 million albums and 75 million singles to be one of the world’s best-selling music artists.
In addition to Jay Z’s endeavours as a musician, Jay has also been successful as an entrepreneur, businessman, record executive, and producer. He serves as the owner of a music label, an alcoholic brand, and a music streaming service, which have all contributed to his massive wealth.
Jay-Z Net Worth Milestones
A Walk Through Jay-Z’s Music Career
When Jay-Z began his career, he sold his music out of his car before later founding his own independent record label, Roc-A-Fella Records, with Damon Dash in 1995. His debut album titled Reasonable Doubt was released the following year in 1996 to huge critical acclaim. The album charted at No. 23 on US Billboard 200 and spawned hit singles like ‘Can’t Knock the Hustle’, ‘Dead President’, ‘Ain’t No Nigga’ and ‘Sunshine’, with the latter becoming a top 30 chart-topper in different countries like United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand.
Jay followed it up with In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 in 1997 which achieved more success than its predecessor. His third album, Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, was released in 1998 and it proved to be his most commercially successful album ever. The album, which spawned the biggest hit of his career at the time, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem),” was certified 5× Platinum in the United States by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Since his third album, the rapper has released ten more solo albums that have all achieved number one status and have been certified platinum. They are Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter (1999), The Dynasty: Roc La Familia (2000), The Blueprint (2001), The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse (2002), The Black Album (2003), Kingdom Come (2004), American Gangster (2007), The Blueprint 3 (2009), Magna Carta… Holy Grail (2013), and 4:44 (2017).
During this time, he also collaborated with other artists to release some very successful projects. They include The Best of Both Worlds (2002) and Unfinished Business (2004) with R. Kelly, Collision Course (2004) with Linkin Park, Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West, and Everything Is Love (2018) with Beyonce.
In total, Jay-Z has released thirteen solo studio albums, two live albums, five compilation albums, five collaboration albums, one soundtrack album, and two extended plays. Some of the other artists he has managed to work with are Rihanna, Swizz Beatz, Eminem, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, Timberland, Missy Elliott, Rick Ross, and Memphis Bleek among many others.
His Transition From Rapper to Businessman
Following his remarkable achievements in the music industry, Jay-Z moved to launch a career as a businessman. The rapper, who has 22 Grammy Awards to his name and became the first rap artist to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, established a number of businesses outside of music that has collectively contributed to his billionaire status today.
One of Jay’s first efforts as an entrepreneur is the Rocawear clothing line which he co-created. In 2007, he sold the rights to the brand to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million, while retaining his stake in the company. He then established the 40/40 Club sports bar which first opened up in New York before opening locations in Chicago and Atlantic City among other places.
In April 2013, the same month he relinquished his ownership in the Brooklyn Nets, Jay-Z launched Roc Nations Sports and became a certified MLB and NBA sports agent. In the following year, he acquired Armand de Brignac champagne before buying Norwegian media technology company, Aspiro in 2015. Aspiro is the parent company of the Tidal music streaming service.
Some other smart investments Jay has made over the years include his purchasing of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Mecca painting for $4.5 million, which is now worth over $65 million. His reported stake in the shared and private flight booking app, JetSmarter, has also largely appreciated.
Jay-Z’s Career Earnings (2007 – 2020)
What Does Jay Z Spend His Money On?
Jay-Z is a prominent philanthropist as he spends a huge chunk of his money on charitable work. The rapper and businessman co-founded the Shawn Carter Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists financially challenged students through college. In 2005, he and P Diddy pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross’ relief effort after Hurricane Katrina. The following year, he partnered with the United Nations in their campaign against global water shortage. Recently, he and Rihanna pledged $1 million each for Coronavirus relief efforts.
Beyond spending on humanitarian projects, Jay-Z also spends his hard-earned dollars on his family. In 2006, on Queen Bey’s 25th birthday, Mr. Carter bought his lady a $1 million Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud as a birthday gift. Later in 2013, he bought her a private island in the Bahamas that was worth over $2 million.
His children have further been recipients of expensive gifts as it has been reported that the billionaire spent close to $240,000 for the purchase of matching gold cribs, a pair of 18-carat gold Dodo Bassinet cots, and a diamond-encrusted gold dummy for his twins; Sir and Rumi, prior to their birth. Of course, Blue Ivy is not left out as her father reportedly spent $200 thousand to celebrate her first birthday in grand style. She was said to have been gifted with an $80,000 diamond-encrusted Barbie.
Jay-Z Real Estate Acquisitions and Car Collection
Jay-Z has further expended his money on real estate. In 2012, the rapper and his wife reportedly rented an 11-acre, $400,000-a-month luxury home in Hamptons, Long Island, New York. Some of the features of the house include a cinema, a 60-foot (18-metre) heated swimming pool with an underwater stereo system, and a bowling alley.
Five years later, the music power couple spent over $100 million on two properties in the United States. They bought a mansion in Bel Air, Los Angeles for $88 million and then bought another mansion for $26 million in East Hampton, New York. Jay additionally owns a $6.85 million penthouse apartment in Tribeca.
With properties across the United States and a taste for ultra-luxury cars, Jay-Z has a car collection that is worth millions of dollars. This includes an Alfa Romeo Spider, Jeep Wrangler, Telsa Model S, 1957 Chevrolet Corvette, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Maybach 62S, Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, Bentley Continental GT, and many others.
|Also Known As:||Jay-Z (or Jazzy), The Carter Administration or El Presidente, S-dot, Hova, Jiggaman, Iceberg Slim, Jigga, J-Hova, Lucky Lefty, Joe Camel, Hov, Young Hov|
|Profession:||Rapper, Record Producer, Songwriter, Businessman, Entrepreneur and Investor|
|Famous For:||being one of the world's best-selling music artists, with over 50 million albums and 75 million singles sold worldwide. He has also won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, which is the most won by any rapper, Jay-Z also holds the record for the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, with 14He is also famous for these albums: Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001), The Black Album (2003)|
|Colleges/Universities Attended:||Eli Whitney High School in Brooklyn
George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School, downtown Brooklyn.
Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey
|Religion:||Believes in One God but not Christian or Muslim|
|Birthday & Zodiac
|Age/Date of Birth:||December 4, 1969|
|Birth Place:||Brooklyn, New York City|
|Country of Residence: ||United States of America|
|Height:||in Feet Inches: 6' 2"
in meters: 1.88 m
in centimetres: 188 cm
|Weight:||in Pounds: 183 lbs, in Kilograms: 83 kg
|Other Body Measurements:||Waist: 36 Inches, Chest: 44 Inches, Biceps: 14 Inches|
|Spouse/Partner:||Beyoncé Knowles (m. 2008)
|Family and Relatives
|Children:||Blue Ivy Carter (Born: 7 January 2012), Sir Carter (Born: 13 June 2017),
Rumi Carter (Born: 13 June 2017)
|Siblings:||Eric Carter (Brother), Michelle Carter (Sister), Andrea Carter (Sister)|
|Other Relatives:||Not Yet Available|
|Estimated Net Worth:||$1 Billion|
|Source of Wealth:||Music Production, Endorsement Deals, Various Businesses and Investments including a clothing line, entertainment labels, alcohol brands, sports clubs and streaming services|
Further Questions You May Have
Jay Z was born on December 4, 1969 making him 50 years old as of 2020
Jay Z is Worth $1 Billion as at 2020
With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, Jay Z is richer than Beyonce, who is estimated to be worth $355 million
Jay Z invested $2 million in Uber as early as 2013
Jay-Z owns or has owned stakes in a number of businesses including:
- Roc Nation, an entertainment company
- Roc Nation Sports, a sports management agency
- Rocawear, a successful apparel line he sold in 2007
- 40/40 Club, an upscale sports bar, in New York City and Atlanta airport
- A stake in a champagne brand known as Armand de Brignac
- A stake in sports and entertainment complex Barclays Center (Sold in 2013)
- A stake in music-streaming service Tidal
- Stakes in Carol's Daughter, a line of beauty products
- A stake in the NBA team, the New Jersey Nets (Sold in 2013)
Rumour has it that Jay Z cheated on his wife with Rachel Roy. On David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Jay-Z confirmed that he cheated on his wife but did not mention the name of the person
1998’s Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, with 5.4 million sold.
188 cm (in centimetres)
1.88 m (in meters)
6' 2" (in Feet Inches)