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Shawn Carter, a.k.a. Jay Z, was born on December 4, 1969. He was raised in housing projects in Brooklyn by his mom, Gloria Carter. When he was 9, his uncle was fatally stabbed and his dad soon got involved with drugs and abandoned his family two years later. At age 12, Carter shot his older brother Eric and as a teenager, he began dealing drugs, but eventually turned to music to turn his life around. Early in his career, though, the rapper was involved in an altercation at a nightclub and got arrested for assault. He has since released countless records, including “4:44,” “The Blueprint,” and “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” toured the world, won Grammys, and became the first hip-hop artist to get inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2017. Carter has also served as president of Def Jam records, is the majority owner of the 40/40 sports clubs, represents athletes signed to his agency Roc Nation Sports, launched a music streaming service called Tidal in 2015, founded the Rocawear clothing line, and owned stakes in the Nets NBA team and Barclays Center arena in his hometown of Brooklyn. In 2002, he established the Shawn Carter Foundation to help people facing financial hardships further their education. Shawn Carter Scholars have gone on to enroll in colleges. Carter married wife Beyonce Knowles in 2008. They became parents to daughter Blue Ivy on January 7, 2012 and twins, Sir and Rumi, on June 13, 2017. Carter has faced criticism for reportedly cheating on Beyonce with “Becky with the good hair,” as depicted in Beyonce’s song “Sorry” off her “Lemonade” album.

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