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Ja Rule

Jeffrey Atkins, a.k.a. Ja Rule, was born on February 29, 1976. He’s a Leap Day baby. The rapper and actor grew up in Queens as an only-child. His mom suffered a miscarriage with his sister. From the ages of six to 12, Atkins lived with his grandparents who raised him as a Jehovah’s Witness. After serving a 28-month sentence for tax evasion in Ray Brook jail in New York, he found Christianity and starred the film “I’m In Love With A Church Girl” upon his 2013 release. He was also sentenced to two years behind bars for illegal weapons possession in 2007. Atkins began selling crack at age 14 and didn’t stop until he signed a record deal with Def Jam in 1998. His career peeked in the early 2000s with his albums “Rule 3:36” and “Pain is Love,” but is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Jennifer Lopez on the songs “I’m Real” and “Ain’t It Funny,” Jay Z on “Can I Get A…,” Ashanti on “Always On Time,” and Christina Milian on “Between Me & You.” Atkins and partner Billy McFarland face millions of dollars in lawsuits after their Fyre music festival turned out to be a disastrous failure in Spring 2017. Concertgoers were falsely promised luxury accommodations in the Bahamas and were instead put up in tents and fed cheese sandwiches, until it was ultimately cancelled.


Atkins met his wife, Aisha, in 8th grade and they have three children—Britney, Jeffrey, and Jordan. His family has appeared on the MTV docs-series “Married Life After Prison” and “Follow The Rules.” To learn more about Atkins, read his 2014 memoir titled “Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man.”

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