Jay-Z Net Worth

Jay-Z Net Worth: $550,000,000

Sources: Rocafella Records, RocNation, Rocawear, Translation, Ace of Spades, Brooklyn Nets

Jay-Z is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur born in Brooklyn, New York with a net worth of $550 million. Jay-Z (also known as Shawn Corey Carter) is one of the most financially and commercially successful Hip-Hop artists of all time, boasting sales of over 50 million albums worldwide, in which every album Jay-Z has ever released have gone platinum, while receiving seventeen Grammy Awards for his musical work. As an artist, Jay-Z holds the record for the most number one albums (12 of them so far) by a solo artist on the Billboard 200, and has also claimed four number one spots on the Billboard Hot 100.

Jay-Z Music Career

Jay-Z began his music career in 1996, where after being turned down by several major labels, Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella records with partners Damon Dash and Kareem Biggs as an independent outlet for Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt”. Initially, it’s debut album release didn’t immediately achieve commercial success, but it did spawn several hits including the Hot 100-charting “Ain’t No Nigga,” “Can’t Knock the Hustle,” “Dead Presidents II” and “Brooklyn’s Finest” featuring Notorious B.I.G. The album was finally certified platinum in February 2002, almost 6 years after its debut release in September 1996, and ranked 248 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubt is often considered one of Hip-Hop’s landmark albums, and is compared to legendary Hip-Hop artists such as Notorious B.I.G. and his “Ready To Die” album, and Nas‘ “Illmatic” album, all earning accolades as Hip-Hop classics.

With the success of Reasonable Doubt, Jay-Z went on to sign a distribution deal with Def Jam records and released his second album titled “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1″ released in 1997. “In My Lifetime, Vol. 1″ was based on Jay-Z’s life in earlier years and went on to win platinum status. One year later, Jay-Z released his third album “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” in 1998, which debuted at the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and is Jay-Z’s best selling album to date going 5 times platinum.

Featuring his massively successful hit single “Hard Knock Life” AKA the Ghetto Anthem. The success of the “Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life” album and single propelled Jay-Z into superstar status, and cemented him as a household name in the post Notorious B.I.G./2Pac era of Hip-Hop. Later solo album releases, including The Dynasty: Roc La Familia, The Blueprint (another Hip-Hop landmark album/trilogy), The Black Album, Kingdom Come, & American Gangster reached great critical & commercial success. As a matter of fact, Jay-Z has yet to create an album that hasn’t gone platinum.

From Marcy to Barclays, Jay-Z is the classic Rags to Riches Story.

Roc-A-Fella Records, Def Jam Recordings, & RocNation

Starting off as the co-founder of Roc-A-Fella records in 1996, Jay-Z signed many successful artists under Roc-A-Fella records such as Cam’ron (who started Diplomat records with Jim Jones under the Roc-A-Fella banner), Kanye West (who started G.O.O.D. Music under Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), Memphis Bleek, Freeway, Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss & N.O.R.E. In 1997, Jay-Z signed a distribution deal to Def Jam records (originally founded by Rick Rubin), and also sold 50% of Roc-A-Fella records to Def Jam for $1.5 million. Later in 2004, Jay-Z was named the President of Def Jam Records thanks to the success of his Def Jam distribution deal in 1997. This led Jay-Z and his partners Dame Dash & Kareem Biggs to sell their remaining 50% stake of Roc-A-Fella records to Def Jam for a reported $10 million. However, as President & CEO of Def Jam records, Jay-Z retained control of Roc-A-Fella records and his masters.

Under Jay-Z’s leadership, Def Jam launched massively successful acts including Rihanna, Ne-Yo, & Kanye West. Jay-Z’s contract as President & CEO with Def Jam was not renewed in 2007 forcing Jay-Z to step down as Def Jam’s President & CEO, remaining as only a recording artist under Roc-A-Fella records & Def Jam. Jay-Z then bought out his contract as a recording artist with Def Jam for $5 million allowing him to release Blueprint 3 under his own label.

In April 2008, Jay-Z partnered up with entertainment company LiveNation to create RocNation, in a 10-year deal worth $152 million. The deal states that LiveNation will contribute $5 million/year for overhead expenses for five years, another $25 million to finance Jay-Z’s acquisitions & investments, plus $10 million per album for a minimal of three albums. In 2009, hip-hop artist & record producer J. Cole became the first artist to sign to Jay-Z’s RocNation, and Willow Smith (daughter of actor Will Smith) was also signed in 2010. RocNation also manages many other successful acts including Meek Mill, Wale, Omarion, Casey Veggies, M.I.A., Rihanna, Shakira, & Santigold. RocNation’s signed producers include Timbaland, Stargate (StarRoc), Jahlil Beats, & No I.D.

Jay-Z Rocawear

Jay-Z has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur like his fellow Hip-Hop moguls and friends, Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, who also have similar business holdings as Jay-Z. In 1999, co-founders of Roc-A-Fella Records Jay-Z & Dame Dash created the urban clothing brand “Rocawear” which has clothing lines & accessories for men, women, and children. On average, Rocawear pulls in revenues of $700 million annually. Jay-Z took over the Rocawear brand in early 2006, after a fallout with his partner Dame Dash, and sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to the Iconic Brand Group for $204 million in March 2007. While still retaining his stake in the company, Jay-Z continues to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development of Rocawear. In an interview Jay-Z stated that “my brands are an extension of me. They’re close to me. It’s not like running GM, where there’s no emotional attachment.”

Inside Tour of Jay-Z’s New York Office

Jay-Z Brooklyn Nets: From Marcy’s to Barclays

Jay-Z is also a minority owner of NBA team Brooklyn Nets, a stake he purchased for $4.5 million. Though he has the smallest stake (about 0.6%), he played a major role facilitating the Nets’ move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, including the rebranding of the Nets (team logo, colors, and jerseys) and announcing the move to Barclay’s centre. Barclay’s centre is the new stadium built to home the Brooklyn Nets (not far from the Marcy Projects where Jay-Z grew up). Jay-Z is currently one of several directors of the Barclays centre, attending board meetings and helping direct senior staff on daily operations. The Barclay’s centre grand opening was kicked off by eight sold-out concerts all performed by Jay-Z.
Quote: “[I’m] a young black African male who was raised in a single-parent home in low-income housing and I stand before you as an owner of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Jay-Z Business Ventures

Jay-Z also co-owns advertising agency ‘Translation Advertising’ along with fellow business partner & American entrepreneur Steve Stoute. Translation Advertising represents many major companies such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser, McDonald’s, Target, State Farm, and is also the company behind Brooklyn Nets’ advertising. Jay-Z also co-owns the 40/40 Club which is an upscale sports bar that started in New York City. Jay-Z, along with Steve Stoute, Will Smith, Jada Smith, Jimmy Iovine, & Mary J. Bligebecame investors in ‘Carol’s Daughter’ in 2005, which is a line of beauty products for hair, skin, hands, as well as fragrances created by Lisa Price. Jay-Z has a $50 million stake in Sovereign Brands who owns Ace of Spades champagne, otherwise known as Armand de Brignac, which nets Jigga about $4 million annually. Jay-Z also holds other endorsement deals by Reebok, Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Powermat Technologies, J Hotels, and more.

Jay-Z Speaks on Founding Rocawear and Running Roc-A-Fella Records

Jay-Z & Beyonce

Jay-Z is currently married to R&B and pop artist Beyonce Knowles. They had a daughter named Blue Ivy Carter on January 7, 2012. Blue Ivy currently hJay-Z Beyonce Net Wortholds the World Record for being the youngest person to be featured on a song (Jay-Z’s “Glory”) that appeared on the Billboard 200 at just the very ripe age of two days old.


Famous Jay-Z Quotes

“I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.” 

“Remind yourself. Nobody built like you, you design yourself…”

“I’d rather die enormous than live dormant”

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