Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975 in Queens, New York City), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper, entrepreneur, investor, and actor.
Jackson began drug dealing at the age of twelve during the 1980s crack epidemic. After leaving drug dealing to pursue a music career, he was shot at and struck by nine bullets during an incident in 2000. After releasing the compilation album Guess Who's Back? in 2002, Jackson was discovered by rapper Eminem and signed to Shady Records, Aftermath Entertainment, and Interscope Records.
With the help of Eminem and Dr. Dre, who produced his first major label album Get Rich or Die Tryin', Jackson became one of the world's highest selling rappers. Jackson also gained prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit, of which he is the de facto leader. In 2003, he founded the record label G-Unit Records, and signed his G-Unit associates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks, and Tony Yayo.
He enjoyed similar commercial and critical success with his second album The Massacre, released in 2005. Jackson released his fifth studio album Animal Ambition in 2014, and is currently working on his sixth studio album, Street King Immortal, which is scheduled to be released in 2015. Throughout his music career, Jackson has sold over 30 million albums worldwide and won several awards, including a Grammy Award, thirteen Billboard Music Awards, six World Music Awards, three American Music Awards and four BET Awards.
He has also pursued an acting career, appearing in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005), the Iraq War film Home of the Brave (2006), and Righteous Kill (2008). 50 Cent was ranked the sixth-best artist of the 2000s by Billboard, and the third best rapper behind Eminem and Nelly. His albums Get Rich or Die Tryin' and The Massacre were ranked as the twelfth and 37th best albums of the 2000s by the same magazine.
On October 13, 1997, Jackson's then-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins gave birth to a son, Marquise Jackson. Tompkins later sued Jackson for $50 million, claiming that he said that he would take care of her for life; the suit, which includes 15 claims was later dismissed by a judge, calling it "an unfortunate tale of a love relationship gone sour." Jackson dated actress Vivica A. Fox in 2003.
After a few months, he announced their split up on The Howard Stern Show when pictures from a photo shoot they took appeared up on the cover of Today's Black Woman magazine without his knowledge. In 2005, Jackson expressed support for President George W. Bush after rapper Kanye West criticized him for the slow response in assisting the Hurricane Katrina victims. If his felony convictions did not prevent him from voting, he claimed he would have voted for Bush.
Six months later, the rapper told MTV news he had switched his support to Barack Obama after hearing him speak, but was generally not interested in politics. In 2007, Forbes recognized Jackson for his wealth, placing him second behind Jay-Z in the rap industry. He resides in Farmington, Connecticut, in the former mansion of ex-boxer Mike Tyson. He put the mansion for sale at $18.5 million to move closer to his son who lives in Long Island with his ex-girlfriend.
On October 12, 2007, the Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut declared it "50 Cent Curtis Jackson Day". He was honored with a key to the city and an official proclamation. One of his homes in New York purchased for 2.4 million dollars in January 2007 and at the center of a lawsuit between Jackson and ex-girlfriend Shaniqua Tompkins caught fire on May 31, 2008 while he was out of town filming for a movie in Louisiana.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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