He grew up in Queens, New York City. Born on July 6, 1975, his name was Curtis James Jackson III. He lived in Jamaica, Queens, with his mother, who was a drug dealer. When his mother died in a fire, he was only eight years old. He moved in with his grandmother at that time.
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50 Cent began dealing drugs at the age of 12. Eventually, he was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover officer, but he was able to serve six months at a boot camp, and he earned his GED. He ended up adopting the name 50 Cent based on a 1980s bank robber. He was then introduced to Jam Master Jay, who taught him about the music industry.
Early Music Career
Jam Master Jay produced an album for 50 Cent, but it was never released. People took notice of him because he had a unique style, and his song, “How to Rob,” drew the attention of some famous performers including P. Diddy, Jay Z, and Missy Elliott. The song was about plans to steal from them.
50 Cent’s musical career was full of ups and downs. In 2000, he was shot nine times, which gave him pause. He came very close to death, and shrapnel from one of the bullets is still lodged in his tongue, which is what causes his lisp.
50 Cent returned to music after he recovered, and made some recordings with his friends. They called themselves G-Unit. One of his songs, “Guess Who’s Back?” got the attention of Dr. Dre and Eminem, and they signed him to their labels: Aftermath Entertainment and Shady Records.
Dr. Dre and Eminem produced his album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ in 2003, and it was a huge success. The album sold nine million units, and 50 Cent, or “Fiddy” as he was commonly known, hit stardom. “In Da Club” was a song that achieved crossover status and became a huge pop hit. His lyrics were true to his life experiences, which gave him instant credibility.
In 2005, 50 Cent released his second album, Massacre, where he continued to write songs based on his life experiences. He started his own label and signed a few artists to record with G-Unit on the album, Beg for Mercy. It sold more than five million copies.
50 Cent made two more albums, Curtis in 2007 and Before I Self-Destruct in 2009, which were not as successful as his earlier work. However, his presence was strong because he was a true survivor of drugs, poverty, and violence. In 2014, he released Ambition, which didn’t do as well.
50 Cent used his brand to invest in other markets. He started his own record label, and in 2007, he invested in a vitamin water company called Glaceau. The 50 Cent vitamin water deal was powerful, and his partnership sold the brand to Coca Cola in 2007 for $100 million. He also founded the headphones line, SMS Audio.
He had a few business ventures that weren’t as successful, including his first movie production company and a clothing line. However, he kept on going, and his second video production company, Cheetah Visions, was able to raise $200 million in funding.
In addition, he transitioned G-Unit films into a TV company in 2010 and sold some projects. In 2011, he started Street King energy drinks, and he uses a portion of the sales to provide food for people who are starving in Africa.
In 2013, he invested in a live video broadcasting app where celebrities chat with fans, and it has been successful. He also invested in Effen Vodka in 2014. Finally, he signed a $78 million deal with FRIGO, a brand of luxury underwear.
Film and Television
Starting in 2014, 50 Cent has been an executive producer and supporting player in Power, a popular crime drama. He also had roles in movies, such as the 2013 film Escape Plan and both of its sequels along with star Sylvester Stallone. In addition, he appeared in Spy in 2015, Southpaw in 2015, and Den of Thieves in 2018.
50 Cent’s road to bankruptcy started in 2015, when he was sued by Lastonia Leviston for damaging her reputation. He had released a sex tape of her to the public. A court awarded her $7 million in damages. The following year, 2016, a business investment created further financial trouble for 50 Cent. He had partnered with Sleek Audio to make a line of headphones.
When the deal failed to materialize, 50 Cent released his own brand of headphones, and Sleek Audio sued him. A court awarded Sleek Audio $17 million.
50 Cent ended up declaring bankruptcy, where his debts were $32.5 million and his assets only $24.8 million. He was ordered to pay $23.4 million over a period of five years. He made an initial payment of $7.4 million.
Then, in December 2016, he paid another $1.3 million followed by $13.6 million of the $14.5 million he received in a malpractice lawsuit against the law firm whose bad advice led to his financial troubles.
On February 5, 2017, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Connecticut ordered a standard discharge from bankruptcy because he had paid the debt.
How Much Is 50 Cent Worth?
Although 50 Cent is believed to have earned more than $291 million throughout his career, his estimated net worth today is $30 million. The lawsuits in 2015 and 2016 were significant, and he has been reported to have had $108,000 in monthly expenses.
A Few Facts About 50 Cent
50 Cent seems larger than life when you see him, and people often ask, “How tall is 50 Cent?” he is six feet tall, and he weighs 218 pounds. The 50 Cent height question often comes up because people believe he is so much taller than he is.
50 Cent’s story is truly remarkable, and it is inspirational. Having grown up with a drug dealer for a mother, losing her at age eight, and becoming a drug dealer in his own right at 12, 50 Cent was destined to be a number in the system.
The cycle of poverty, drugs, and violence should have prevented him from achieving stardom and fame, but he overcame the odds, earned his GED, and never gave up. Even after he was shot nine times, he came out with a goal to reach the top.
His lisp is a reminder of that incident, as he has shrapnel lodged in his tongue. His ability to rap from the heart about his real life experiences has led him to success. His story is a great example for anyone who wants to give up hope, as he is living proof that grit and strength can pull you through.
Although he had to declare bankruptcy in 2015, he has since turned it around. He paid his debt off early, and he continues to build on his brand.
Inspirational 50 Cent
There is no question that 50 Cent was headed for trouble as a young child. When he was arrested for selling drugs to an undercover cop, he could have spent the rest of his life in and out of the system. Instead, he turned his life around.
In spite of that, he was shot nine times in 2000, but he didn’t let that get in his way. He came away from the experience with more determination, and he ultimately used his authentic story to reach for stardom.
Even though he reached a point where he had to file for bankruptcy, he didn’t let it stop him. A couple of bad situations put him in a lot of debt, but he paid it off early, and the bankruptcy was discharged.
50 Cent continues to plug away, investing in businesses and making music. He will always be an inspiration because he is living proof that you can beat the odds more than once. He tells people that every negative is a positive, and he has lived his life true to this philosophy.
If you are looking for a real life rags to riches story, 50 Cent fits the bill. His first major album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ sums up his life in the title. Although he has had a lavish lifestyle, been sued, and declared bankruptcy, he is still worth $30 million. Considering where he comes from, that is pretty incredible.
He has a new show that he produces on ABC called “For Life.” It stars a lawyer who was wrongfully convicted and earned his law degree in jail. He is allowed to represent fellow prisoners in court. It shows a different side of the perception of courts and order in America.
One thing seems certain: no matter what happens, 50 Cent will keep pushing forward. His “never give up” attitude has allowed him to reach for the stars more than once. Nothing seems to slow him down; on the contrary, he seems to come back stronger every time.