In September 2009, hip-hop mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter celebrated his 11th number one album in America, Blueprint III. Now, this Brooklyn-born rapper holds the distinction of being the solo artist with the most chart-toppers in U.S. history…overtaking Elvis Presley's record of 10 number one albums.
Chart-toppers aren't the only thing these men have in common. Born into poverty, both Jay-Z and Elvis overcame difficult childhoods to become artists of distinction. Compare the life and career of these American music legends.
Birth Name: Shawn Corey Carter
Birth Date: December 4, 1969
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Siblings: Two sisters and one brother.
Nickname: Jay-Z, Jigga, Hova
First Album: Reasonable Doubt
Most Famous Song: "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)"
Wife: Married superstar Beyonce Knowles in New York City on April 4, 2008.
Education: High school dropout
Grammy Nominations: 20
Favorite Aftershave: Rocawear 91X
Feature Film Debut: State Property; cameo role
Memorable quote: "I'm not a businessman. I'm a business, man!"
Birth Name: Elvis Aaron Presley
Birth Date: January 8, 1935
Hometown: Tupelo, Mississippi
Siblings: A twin brother, who died at birth.
Nickname: The King; Elvis the Pelvis
First Album: Elvis Presley
Most Famous Song: "Jailhouse Rock"
Wife: Married Priscilla Presley on May 1, 1967. They divorced in 1973.
Education: Graduated from Humes High School in Memphis, Tennessee
Grammy Nominations: 14
Favorite Aftershave: Brut
Feature Film Debut: Love Me Tender; Clint Reno
Memorable quote: "Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do 'em all together, I guess."