Jay Z has numbers to back up his tour and claim to fame
By Mike Machosky
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Jay Z: Still kind of a big deal.
OK, so he can be upstaged by his wife releasing a video — or buying toothpaste, or stepping outside her house — but that's what happens when you marry Beyonce.
And he's a long way from the hungry, young rapper who battled his way to the top more than a decade ago, and his heyday seems to recede further into the distance every year.
He's been surpassed in many respects by his erstwhile producer and protege, Kanye West, whose planet-sized ego makes Jay Z look sort of humble and reasonable by comparison.
He looks like he should be worrying more about stock portfolios, lawn care and diaper-changing than defending his titles and vast hip-hop empire. He's 44 years old.
Still, he's Jay Z. The president takes his calls. He talks money with Warren Buffett. He's coming to Pittsburgh on Jan. 21, to fill Consol Energy Center. If there was a bigger room in town, he'd probably fill that one, too.
Rap fans love to debate who's the GOAT (Greatest of All Time), but at some point, you just have to deal with the numbers. So, look below for some of Jay Z's more interesting digits.
• $450 million — Estimated net worth, 2012. Forbes ranks him No. 2 in the hip-hop world, after Sean “Diddy” Combs, at $475 million. No. 3 is Dr. Dre, at $125 million.
• 51 — Number of Grammy Award nominations (circa 2013). Tied with Kanye West for fifth all-time.
• 13 — Most No. 1 albums . Passed Elvis (10) for the title in 2009, with “The Blueprint 3.” Only the Beatles, with 19 No. 1 albums, have more.
• 32 — Ranking in Forbes of “the world's most powerful celebrities.” This year, he sold his stake in the Brooklyn Nets basketball team so he could run a sports agency (without the conflict of interest).
• 290,000 — Number of one-week iTunes downloads for the album “Watch the Throne” (made with Kanye West), a record.
• 1996 — Year Jay Z's debut “Reasonable Doubt” was released. Reached No. 23 in the charts.
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