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Jay Z has numbers to back up his tour and claim to fame

Rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce Knowles make their way to their seats at the President Barack Obama's inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.

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Jay Z ‘Magna Carter World Tour'

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21

Admission: $31-$119

Where: Consol Energy Center, Uptown

Details: 800-745-3000 or

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Mike Machosky
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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