Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper and actor. Born in South Jamaica, Queens, Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a rap career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000.
After releasing his album “Guess Who's Back?” in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Interscope Records. With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major commercial successes, Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, which signed several successful rappers such as Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
50 Cent released his commercial debut album “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” in 2003, which included the hit singles "In da Club," "21 Questions" and "P.I.M.P." The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Albums chart. The album has sold over six million copies in the U.S. and was certified 6x platinum by the RIAA. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 46th Grammy Awards. He also earned a Best New Artist nomination that year.
In 2005, he released his second studio album “The Massacre,” which sold over 1.14 million copies in the first four days, breaking his previous record as the highest selling artist in an abbreviated sales cycle. It was the second biggest selling record of the year and it produced three Top 5 singles in the U.S., "Candy Shop," "Disco Inferno" and "Just a Lil Bit." It was later certified 5x platinum by the RIAA. The album debuted at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 48th Grammy Awards.
In 2007, 50 Cent's third album “Curtis” debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200. The album features production from Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Timbaland, among others.
He released his fourth studio album with Interscope Records in 2009, “Before I Self Destruct.” It debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200. It went on to be certified gold in the U.S. "Ok, You're Right" was the first promotional single released. "Baby by Me" was the first official and international single off the album. The track features singer Ne-Yo. It was his most successful single off the album, peaking at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.