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

Height: 6'1''

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

Height: 6'

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."

FROM: Icon Jay-Z and Living Legend Barbra Streisand
Published on September 24, 2009

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