Matteo Prandoni/BFAnyc.com/REX/Shutterstock
United States

Roc Nation, Tidal


Founder / CEO / Artist

Jay Z used his street-wise lyrics to become one of the most influential rappers of his generation, then matured into a multifaceted mogul whose empire extends across the entertainment industry. His impact as an artist remains as indelible as ever judging by the splash made by his latest album, “4:44,” in June.

He expanded his portfolio, which includes the Roc Nation entertainment agency, Rocawear clothing line and the Armand de Brignac champagne brand, by acquiring the music streaming service Tidal in 2015. Though Tidal has struggled mightily to gain U.S. subscribers, Jay Z continues to use his influence to lure top talents to the service, while also bolstering the roster of Roc Nation. After inking a deal with the Weinstein Company in 2016, he will look to extend that influence to film and television. A multi-part documentary series on Kalief Browder aired on Spike TV earlier this year, and a film about Trayvon Martin is in development.

Born Shawn Carter in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jay Z co-founded the Roc-A-Fella Records label and released his debut album, “Reasonable Doubt,” in 1996. He won his first Grammy for “Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life” and ascended to the heights of hip-hop with the critically acclaimed album “The Blueprint.” In 2004, he was named president and CEO of Def Jam Recordings. Jay Z has won 21 Grammys, and his 13 No. 1 albums are the most by a solo artist. He is married to the singer Beyonce.


  • Tidal
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • The Blueprint

News from Variety

Jay-Z Salutes Colin Kaepernick on 'Saturday Night Live' (Watch)

Jay-Z Salutes Colin Kaepernick on 'Saturday Night Live' (Watch)

Jay-Z wore a Colin Kaepernick jersey but otherwise let the music do the talking on the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live."The MC was joined by Damian Marley — who sported floor-length dreads — for a roof-raising version of "Bam" (which also displayed an Ethiopian flag throughout the entire song). Accompanied by three musicians, Jay performed before a camo backdrop, decked out in Nike kicks and a black Nike football jersey bearing the number 7, which he turned around to...


Deep Dive

Want more information on Jay-Z ?

Variety's premium research & data service, Variety Insight, provides a wealth of information around everyone working in entertainment. Access contact information, development slates, ratings, box office, credits and more from the industry's leading source for entertainment data.