Fans of rap king Jay Z (he’s officially dropped the hyphen) and soulful pop singer Justin Timberlake are well aware of each multiple Grammy-winning megastar’s many musical accomplishments, including their recent collaboration on the silky hit “Suit & Tie” from JT’s latest album, “The 20/20 Experience,” and three songs on Jay Z’s “Magna Carta … Holy Grail.”
But those gearing up for the dynamic duo’s Legends of the Summer show – the biggest tour of the year, which hits Sun Life Stadium in Miami Friday night – might have missed a few fascinating facts about them, such as how Timberlake has his own tequila brand (901, named after the area code of his hometown, Memphis) and Jay Z has already published a memoir, titled “Decoded.”
Here are 10 things even diehard fans might not know about JT and Jay Z (real name Shawn Carter):
1. Minority Owners.
Timberlake claims a piece of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies along with his movie star wife Jessica Biel, while Jay Z owns part of the Brooklyn Nets and even helped influence the team’s move from New Jersey. The sports ties don’t end there, however: JT is an avid golfer, endorses Callaway equipment, and has redeveloped a run-down course in his hometown and made it “green-conscious”; Jay Z went so far as to launch his own sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, and lured Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano away from cutthroat super-agent Scott Boras.
2. Not That Innocent
Despite his squeaky clean appearance, Timberlake is not that innocent - like his first celebrity girlfriend Britney Spears. He’s well known for bringing “SexyBack”; he coined the term “wardrobe malfunction” after exposing Janet Jackson’s breast during their halftime performance at Super Bowl 38 in 2004; and teamed up with “Saturday Night Live” star Andy Samberg in 2006 on the hilarious R&B video spoof “D--- In a Box,” which has become a cult hit on YouTube.
3. Island Life
Jay Z must hold some sort of record for most extravagant anniversary gift for his pop superstar wife, Beyonce. Diamonds? Pearls? A sexy new sports car? Not good enough, by a long shot. No, Jay Z bought his queen her own private island in the Bahamas to celebrate five years of marriage, for a reported $3 million. Ah, it’s good to be king.
4. McDonald’s Jingle
With his GQ style and Sexiest Man awards from several magazines, Timberlake doesn’t look like he frequents fast-food joints very often. But he certainly has benefited from McDonald’s, as in 2003 he wrote the song “I’m Lovin’ It,” which became the theme song for the chain’s “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. JT raked in a cool $6 million for the deal – so keep writing songs, kids.
5. Youthful Record
Jay Z holds the record for most No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 with 12, but it’s another Billboard achievement that might give him the most pride. His 2012 song “Glory,” dedicated to his and Beyonce’s struggle to get pregnant, features daughter Blue Ivy Carter’s cries at the end, making her the youngest person – at two days old – to appear on a Billboard chart.
6. Acting with Benefits
Timberlake took a long break from music – from 2007-’12 – to focus on his acting career. The move paid off handsomely, as JT landed impressive roles in the films “Alpha Dog,” “Black Snake Moan,” “The Social Network,” “Bad Teacher” (alongside then-girlfriend Cameron Diaz) and “Friends With Benefits.” Not bad for a guy who started out on “The New Mickey Mouse Club” (alongside movie star Ryan Gosling), and then in 2002 became the first celeb to be “Punk’d” by Ashton Kutcher (he actually cried, then later admitted he was stoned during the prank).
7. Head of the Class
Jay Z’s classmates at Brooklyn’s George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School included fellow future rap giants The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes. What a high school reunion that could have been, if it weren’t for Biggie’s death in 1997 from a drive-by shooting in L.A.
8. Giving Back
As much success as he’s enjoyed, Timberlake loves to give back as well. He responded to a YouTube video in 2011 from U.S. Marine Kelsey De Santis asking him to be her date at the Marine Corps birthday ball in Richmond, Va. – the looks on her fellow soldiers’ faces must have been priceless. JT also donates frequently to many charities, and was given a special award by the Grammy Association in 2005 for his humanitarian efforts in Tennessee.
9. Take Back the Night
If the concert isn’t quite enough for fans, Timberlake will deliver an after-show performance at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, as part of the Priceless Miami show sponsored by MasterCard. Details at www.priceless.com/justintimberlake. And Jay Z will host an after-party at Mansion in Miami Beach (check out www.mansionmiami.com).
10. High Reviews
Judging from reviews from around the world, the Legends of the Summer tour is proving to be truly legendary. The Toronto Star praised the pair’s “chummy back-and-forth that integrated and expanded upon the numerous, overlapping collaborations in their catalogues,” while Billboard raved: “The two-and-a-half-hour set was smooth and fun and playful and didn't have that air of my-turn, your-turn. It just seemed natural, almost off the cuff in places … Jay Z has always been a masterful rapper, but what Timberlake displayed throughout the night was just how musical he is.”
Justin Timberlake and Jay Z