Curtis James Jackson III, 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.
With the aid of Eminem and Dr. Dre, Jackson became one of the world's best selling rappers and rose to prominence with East Coast hip hop group G-Unit. In 2003 he founded G-Unit Records, signing his G-Unit associates Young Buck, Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo. Jackson had similar commercial and critical success with his second album, The Massacre, which was released in 2005. He released his fifth studio album, Animal Ambition, in 2014 and is working on his sixth studio album: Street King Immortal, scheduled for release in 2015.