He could have faced 15 years in jail...

JAY-Z pleaded guilty this morning to stabbing record producer LANCE ‘UN’ RIVERA in December 1999 and is expected to receive a probationary sentence for the attack.

The rap star, real name Shawn Carter, faces up to three years’ probation, MTV reports. The incident took place on December 2 at the Kit Kat club in New York. Jay-Z had alleged that Rivera had been illegally bootlegging his then-new album ‘Vol 3 – Life And Times Of S Carter’. He had denied the charge since his arrest the following day.

No reason has been given for the change of plea. However, had Jay-Z not admitted to third-degree assault, he would faced up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of second-degree felony assault. A sentencing hearing has been set for December 3 in Manhattan.