NME ARTISTS

50 Cent

Biography

Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and actor from New York City, New York. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a music career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing the compilation album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope Records.

With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major label album Get Rich or Die Tryin', Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. 50 Cent also gained prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit, of which he is the de facto leader. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, and signed his G-Unit associates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo. He enjoyed similar commercial and critical success with his second album The Massacre, released in 2005. 50 Cent released his fifth studio album Animal Ambition in 2014, and is currently working on his sixth studio album, Street King Immortal, which is scheduled to be released in 2015.

Throughout his music career, Jackson has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards. He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005), the Iraq War film Home of the Brave (2006), and Righteous Kill (2008). 50 Cent was ranked the sixth-best artist of the 2000s by Billboard, and the third best rapper behind Eminem and Nelly. His albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre were ranked as the twelfth and 37th best albums of the 2000s by the same magazine.

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