American music industry executives

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  1. Lil' Wayne

    Lil' Wayne


    Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo The B.G.'z, alongside fellow New Orleans-based rapper Lil' Doogie. In 1996, Lil Wayne formed the southern hip hop group Hot Boys, with his Cash Money label-mates Juvenile, Young Turk and Lil' Doogie (who now goes by B.G.). Hot Boys debuted with Get It How U Live!, that same year. Most of the group's success came with their platinum-selling album Guerrilla Warfare (1999) and the 1999 single "Bling Bling". Along with being the flagship artist of Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of his own label imprint, Young Money Entertainment, which he founded in 2005.

  2. Eminem



    Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known by his stage name Eminem, is an American rapper, record producer, singer and songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce da 5'9") half of the hip-hop duo Bad Meets Evil. Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States; Rolling Stone ranked him 83rd on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, calling him the King of Hip Hop. Including his work with D12 and Bad Meets Evil, Eminem has had ten number-one albums on the Billboard 200. He has sold more than 172 million albums, making him one of the world's best-selling artists. As of June 2014, Eminem is the second-bestselling male artist of the Nielsen SoundScan era, the sixth-bestselling artist in the United States and the bestselling hip-hop artist, with sales of 45.1 million albums and 42 million tracks (including 31 million digital single certifications).

  3. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown


    Christopher Maurice "Chris" Brown (born May 5, 1989) is an American recording artist, dancer and actor. Born in Tappahannock, Virginia, he taught himself to sing and dance at a young age and was involved in his church choir and several local talent shows. Having signed with Jive Records in 2004, Brown released his self-titled debut studio album the following year. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 and was later certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With his first single "Run It!" peaking atop the US Billboard Hot 100, Brown became the first male artist as a lead since Diddy in 1997 to have his debut single top the chart. His second album Exclusive (2007) spawned his second Hot 100 number one "Kiss Kiss", in addition to "With You" and "Forever". The album was also certified double platinum by the RIAA.

  4. Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson


    Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

  5. 50 Cent

    50 Cent


    Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, singer, entrepreneur, investor and actor from New York City. Born in the South Jamaica neighborhood of the borough of Queens, Jackson began selling drugs at age twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. Although he left drug-dealing to pursue a musical career, he was struck by nine bullets in a 2000 shooting. After Jackson released the compilation album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, he was discovered by Eminem and signed by Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records.

  6. Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga


    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (/ˈstɛfən ɜrməˈnɒtə/ STEF-ə-nee jur-mə-NOT; born March 28, 1986), better known by her stage name Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She initially performed in theater, appearing in high school plays, and studied at CAP21 through New York University's Tisch School of the Arts before dropping out to pursue a musical career. After leaving a rock band, participating in the Lower East Side's avant garde performance art circuit, and being dropped from a contract with Def Jam Recordings, Gaga worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. There, recording artist Akon noticed her vocal abilities and helped her to sign a joint deal with Interscope Records and his own KonLive Distribution.

  7. Madonna



    Madonna Louise Ciccone (ɪˈkni) (born August 16, 1958) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Madonna is known for reinventing both her music and image, and for maintaining her autonomy within the recording industry. Music critics have acclaimed her musical productions which have also been known to induce controversy. Often referred to as the "Queen of Pop", she is cited as an influence among other artists around the world.

  8. Usher Raymond

    Usher Raymond


    Usher Terry Raymond IV (born October 14, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actor. He rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of his second album My Way, which spawned his first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, "Nice & Slow". The album has been certified 6-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His follow-up album, 8701, produced the Billboard Hot 100 number one hits "U Remind Me" and "U Got It Bad".

  9. Jay Z

    Jay Z


    Shawn Corey Carter (born December 4, 1969), known by his stage name Jay Z (formerly Jay-Z), is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most financially successful hip-hop artists and entrepreneurs in America. In 2014, Forbes estimated Carter's net worth at nearly $520 million. He is one of the world's best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 100 million records, while receiving 19 Grammy Awards for his musical work, and numerous additional nominations. Consistently ranked as one of the greatest rappers ever, he was ranked number one by MTV in their list of The Greatest MCs of All-Time in 2006. Three of his albums, Reasonable Doubt (1996), The Blueprint (2001), and The Black Album (2003), are considered landmarks in the genre with all of them featured in Rolling Stone '​s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

  10. Tila Tequila

    Tila Tequila


    Thien Thanh Thi Nguyen (born October 24, 1981), better known by her stage names Tila Tequila, Tila Nguyen and Miss Tila, is an American model, television personality, singer, songwriter, actress, writer and blogger. Born in Singapore and raised in Houston, Texas, she first moved to California in 2001 to pursue her modeling career. After being featured in Playboy, she began appearing in numerous men's magazines, including Stuff and Maxim. She made her reality television debut on the VH1 show Surviving Nugent (2003). Her active presence on the social networking websites made her the most popular artist on Myspace and Nguyen was soon offered by MTV to star in her own reality television show. Her bisexual-themed dating show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila (2007), aired for two seasons and became MTV's second highest-rated series premiere of that year. In 2015, Tequila became one of the housemates on the sixteenth season of Channel 5 reality series Celebrity Big Brother.

  11. Christina Milian

    Christina Milian


    Christine Flores (born September 26, 1981), better known as Christina Milian (/mɪliˈɑːn/), is an American singer, songwriter and actress. At the age of 19, Milian signed a contract with Def Jam. In 2001, Milian released her self-titled debut album, which featured the singles "AM to PM" and "When You Look at Me"; "AM to PM" charted with in the Top 40 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and both peaked in the top three on the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, Milian released her second studio album It's About Time, which provided her first major U.S. hit, "Dip It Low", which reached number five on the U.S. Billboard chart. "Whatever U Want" was released as the album's second single. Both singles charted within the Top 10 of the UK chart.

  12. R. Kelly

    R. Kelly


    Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper and former professional basketball player. A native of Chicago, Illinois, often referred to as the King of R&B, Kelly began performing during the late 1980s and debuted in 1992 with the group Public Announcement. In 1993, Kelly went solo with the album 12 Play. He is known for a collection of major hit singles including "Bump N' Grind", "Your Body's Callin'", "I Believe I Can Fly", "Gotham City", "Ignition (Remix)", "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time", "The World's Greatest", "I'm a Flirt (Remix)", and the hip-hopera "Trapped in the Closet". In 1998, Kelly won three Grammy Awards for "I Believe I Can Fly". His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous hip hop and contemporary R&B artists. Kelly became the first music star to play professional basketball, when he got signed in 1997.

  13. Kanye West

    Kanye West


    Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnj/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and fashion designer. West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records; he achieved recognition for his work on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used high-pitched vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. He later broadened his influences to include 1970s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, house, folk, alternative, electronica, synthpop, industrial, and classical music.

  14. Snoop Dogg

    Snoop Dogg


    Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. (born October 20, 1971), best known as Snoop Dogg, is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, and actor. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. His music career began in 1992 when he was discovered by Dr. Dre. He collaborated on Dre's solo debut The Chronic (1992), and on the theme song to the feature film Deep Cover.

  15. Game



    Jayceon Terrell Taylor (born November 29, 1979), better known by his stage name The Game or simply Game, is an American rapper and actor. Game is best known as a rapper in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of Dr. Dre's most notable protégés. Born in Los Angeles, California, he released his first mixtape You Know What It Is Vol. 1 in 2002, and landed a record deal with the independent label Get Low Recordz owned by JT the Bigga Figga. Game's mixtape reached the hands of Sean Combs, founder of Bad Boy Records, who originally was on the verge of signing him to his label. Five months later, he was discovered by Dr. Dre who listened to the mixtape and signed him to his Aftermath Entertainment label in 2003. He rose to fame in 2005 with the success of his debut album The Documentary (2005) and Doctor's Advocate (2006). The Recording Industry Association of America certified his album The Documentary double platinum in March 2005 and it has sold over five million copies worldwide.

  16. Ludacris



    Christopher Brian "Chris" Bridges (born September 11, 1977), better known by his stage name Ludacris, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Ludacris has won Screen Actors Guild, Critic's Choice, MTV, and Grammy Award awards during his career. Along with fellow Atlanta based rappers Big Boi and André 3000 of OutKast, Ludacris was one of the first and most influential Dirty South artists to achieve mainstream success during the early 2000s.

  17. Nick Cannon

    Nick Cannon


    Nicholas Scott "Nick" Cannon (born October 8, 1980) is an American rapper, actor, comedian, television and radio host, and producer. On television, Cannon began as a teenager on All That before going on to host The Nick Cannon Show, Wild 'N Out, and America's Got Talent. He acted in the films Drumline, Love Don't Cost a Thing, and Roll Bounce. As a rapper he released his debut self-titled album in 2003 with the hit single "Gigolo", a collaboration with singer R. Kelly. In 2007 he played the role of the fictional footballer TJ Harper in the film Goal II: Living the Dream. In 2006, Cannon recorded the singles "Dime Piece" and "My Wife" for the planned album Stages, which was never released. Cannon married American R&B/pop singer Mariah Carey in 2008. He filed for divorce in December 2014 after six years of marriage, which was finalized in April 2015.

  18. Sean Combs

    Sean Combs


    Sean John Combs (born November 4, 1969), also known by his stage names Puff Daddy, Diddy, and P. Diddy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. Combs was born in Harlem and grew up in Mount Vernon, New York. He worked as a talent director at Uptown Records before founding Bad Boy Records in 1993. He signed The Notorious B.I.G. and profited from the success of the artists he signed. He released his debut album No Way Out in 1997, which has been certified seven times platinum and was followed by successful albums such as Forever (1999), The Saga Continues... (2001) and Press Play (2006). In 2009 Combs formed the musical group Diddy – Dirty Money and released the critically well-reviewed and commercially successful album Last Train to Paris (2009).

  19. Elijah Wood

    Elijah Wood


    Elijah Jordan Wood (born January 28, 1981) is an American actor, film producer and DJ. He made his film debut with a minor part in Back to the Future Part II (1989). Landing a succession of larger roles, he was critically acclaimed as a child actor by age 9, being nominated for several Young Artist Awards. As a child, he starred in the films Radio Flyer (1992), The Good Son (1993), North (1994), and Flipper (1996).

  20. T.I.

    T.I. (2015)


    Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. (born September 25, 1980), better known by his stage names T.I. and Tip (stylized as TIP), is an American hip hop recording artist and actor from Atlanta, Georgia. He signed his first major-label record deal in 1999, with Arista Records subsidiary, LaFace Records. In 2001, T.I. formed the Southern hip hop group Pimp Squad Click (P$C), alongside his longtime friends and fellow Atlanta-based rappers. Upon being released from Arista, T.I. signed to Atlantic Records and subsequently became the co-chief executive officer (CEO) of his own label imprint, Grand Hustle Records, which he launched in 2003. T.I. is perhaps best known as one of the artists who popularized the hip hop subgenre, trap music, along with Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, respectively.

  21. Soulja Boy

    Soulja Boy


    DeAndre Cortez Way (born July 28, 1990), better known by his stage name Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, or simply Soulja Boy, is an American rapper, record producer, actor and entrepreneur.

  22. Nas



    Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (/nɑːˈsɪər/; born September 14, 1973), better known as Nas /ˈnɑːz/, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and actor. The son of jazz musician Olu Dara, Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and sold over 25 million records worldwide since 1994. He is also an entrepreneur through his own record label; he serves as associate publisher of Mass Appeal magazine and is the owner of a Fila sneaker store. He is currently signed to Mass Appeal Records.

  23. Pharrell Williams

    Pharrell Williams


    Pharrell Lanscilo Williams (born April 5, 1973), also known by his mononym Pharrell (/fəˈrɛl/), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo the Neptunes, producing soul, hip hop and R&B music. He is also the lead vocalist and drummer of rock, funk and hip hop band N*E*R*D, which he formed with Hugo and childhood friend Shay Haley. He released his first single "Frontin'" in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album In My Mind in 2006. His second album, Girl, was released on March 3, 2014.

  24. Dr. Dre

    Dr. Dre


    Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics. Dre was previously the co-owner of, and an artist on, Death Row Records. He has produced albums for and overseen the careers of many rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Xzibit, 50 Cent, The Game, and Kendrick Lamar. He is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats. In 2014, Dr. Dre was ranked as the second richest figure in the American hip hop scene by Forbes with a net worth of $550 million; he is at the top of the 2015 Forbes list, with an estimated pre-tax take of $620 million in 2014.

  25. Jeezy



    Jay Wayne Jenkins (born September 28, 1977), better known by his stage name Young Jeezy (or simply Jeezy), is an American hip-hop recording artist from Atlanta, Georgia. In 1998, he launched the label imprint CTE World (then known as Corporate Thugz Entertainment). Aside from his solo career, Jeezy is the de facto leader of the southern hip hop group United Streets Dopeboyz of America (USDA), and is a former member of Bad Boy Records' Boyz n da Hood. Jeezy is also known for helping pioneer the hip hop subgenre trap music, alongside fellow Atlanta-based rapper T.I..

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