Curtis James Jackson III (50 Cent) (born July 6, 1975) is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, record producer, and actor. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2003) and The Massacre (2005). His album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ has been certified eight times platinum by the RIAA.
Born in the South Jamaica of Queens, New York City, 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.
He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2005, the Iraq War film Home of the Brave in 2006, and Righteous Kill in 2008. 50 Cent was ranked as the sixth-best artist of the 2000s by Billboard magazine. The magazine also ranked him as the fourth top male artist and as the third top rapper behind Eminem and Nelly.