History was made today in New York City when Shawn "Jay Z" Carter was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Receiving the news from the organization based in his hometown, Jay-Z joins the Songwriters Hall of Fame with previous inductees that include Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and many more, but will be the first ever rapper to receive the honor. Also elected today were Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Berry Gordy, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Robert Lamm, James Pankow & Peter Cetera, p/k/a “Chicago,” and Max Martin. The latest inductees of the Songwriters Hall of Fame will be honored at the organization’s 48th Annual Induction and Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 15th at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City.
Established in 1969, the Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) serves as a vital bridge between music’s past and future. In the Hall, musical pioneers are enshrined and celebrated, while the organization’s outreach to the music community grooms the next generation of troubadours.
Since 1996, 21-time Grammy® award winner, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has dominated an evolution in popular culture. With more than 100 million records sold he is one of the best-selling musicians of all time. Also a powerful entrepreneur across the music/entertainment, fashion and sports industries, Jay-Z personifies the “American Dream.”
The accomplished lyricist co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995, and dropped his debut album, Reasonable Doubt the following year. It reached number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart and was later included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” In 1997, Jay-Z released his follow-up In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, which went platinum. In 1998, he released Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, earning him his first Grammy and spawning his biggest hit at the time, “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem).” The album became his most commercially successful album, certified 5x platinum. 1999 saw the release of Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter, featuring the hit “Big Pimpin’.”
Recognized for his remarkable wordplay, Jay-Z’s success continued to grow in the new millennium. In 2000 JAY Z released The Dynasty: Roc La Familia featuring the track “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)”. In 2001 Jay-Z released his sixth studio album, The Blueprint, also named one of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” Written in just two days and soared to the top of the charts, with smash hits “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” and “Girls, Girls, Girls”, “Jigga That Ni**a”, and “Song Cry”. 2002’s The Blueprint2: The Gift & The Curse also debuted at number one, selling over 3 million units in the U.S. alone. The album spawned two massive hit singles, “Excuse Me Miss” and “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde”, featuring his wife Beyoncé. Plus other notable tracks including “Guns & Roses,” featuring Lenny Kravitz, “Hovi Baby,” “A Dream”, featuring Faith Evans and The Notorious B.I.G. and “The Bounce”, featuring Kanye West. The Black Album was released in 2003 and included notable tracks “What More Can I Say”, “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, “Change Clothes”, and “99 Problems” and was named one of Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In 2006 he released Kingdom Come featuring the track “Show Me What You Got,” followed by 2007’s American Gangster featuring the single “Blue Magic.” The following year he became the record holder for most number one albums on the Billboard 200, with the release of The Blueprint3, which was also named album of the year by Billboard. It included smash hits “Run This Town” ft. Rihanna and Kanye West, “Empire State of Mind,” featuring Alicia Keys and “On To The Next One,” featuring Swizz Beatz. Jay-Z’s 2010 album with Kanye West, Watch the Throne, broke the record for most albums sold in one week on iTunes and also became his 12th number one Billboard album release. In 2013 he came back to the top of the chart with Magna Carta Holy Grail, which included three successful singles, “Holy Grail”, “Tom Ford” and “Part II (On the Run)” featuring Beyoncé.