One of the most respected and influential musical artists of any genre, Jay-Z set the gold standard in rap music with his thought-provoking lyrics, powerful freestyle delivery, and entrepreneurial swagger. The rapper's 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt was considered an undisputed classic by music fans and critics. Throughout his career, Jay-Z released more No. 1 albums than Elvis Presley, discovered hit-making artists and producers, and built a one-man empire that included successful ventures in business, fashion and sports. If that were not enough, he also married pop princess Beyoncé Knowles. After a two-year retirement from making music, Jay-Z returned with even more ambitious albums and collaborations that earned him a reputation as rap's elder statesman. In 2009, Jay-Z released Empire State of Mind, a chart-topping song that celebrated his home state of New York, while also crowning the prolific and omnipresent rapper as his generation's hip-hop Frank Sinatra.