And The GRAMMY Went To ... Jay-Z

Jay-Z's "Empire State Of Mind"
  • Photo: Kevin Mazur/Child/
    Alicia Keys and Jay-Z
March 21, 2011 -- 12:18 pm PDT

(In the coming weeks will feature information and video highlights on winners from the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards, held Feb. 13 in Los Angeles. Each installment will offer the winning or related video and some pertinent, and not so pertinent, information about the track and the artists.)

Track: "Empire State Of Mind" (iTunes>)

Artist: Jay-Z

Won for: Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and Best Rap Song (with Alicia Keys)

Previous wins: Ten previous wins, including Best Rap Album for Vol. 2…Hard Knock Life in 1998, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Crazy In Love" (with Beyoncé) in 2003 and for "Umbrella" (with Rihanna) in 2007, and Best Rap Song for "Run This Town" in 2009

Did you know?: "Empire State Of Mind," for which Jay-Z teamed with Alicia Keys, was also nominated for Record Of The Year, and its win for Best Rap Song earned awards for both Jay-Z and Keys as well as songwriters Angela Hunte, Jane't "Jnay" Sewell-Ulepic and Alexander Shuckburgh. "Empire State Of Mind" is a half-loving, half-cautionary ode to New York and, according to singer/songwriter Katy Perry, was the inspiration for her to write a similarly themed song for her native West Coast, "California Gurls." Jay-Z, with Swizz Beatz, also won the Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group GRAMMY for "On To The Next One."

In 1996 Jay-Z founded Roc-A-Fella Records, he's created the urban clothing line Rocawear and holds a stake in a number of businesses, including the NBA's New Jersey Nets. He recently placed second on Forbes magazine's list of wealthiest hip-hop artists with a net worth estimated at $450 million. "Empire State Of Mind" made the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, Jay-Z's first No. 1 single as a lead artist. Keys' album The Element Of Freedom contains a solo version of the song, "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down."

Click on the "And The GRAMMY Went To ... " tag below for links to other GRAMMY News stories in this series.

Email Newsletter