Happy Birthday 50 Cent. Born Curtis James Jackson III July 6, 1975. Jackson got his first break in 1996 when a friend introduced him to Jam Master Jay (of Run-D.M.C.), when he was establishing J.M.J. Records. Jay taught him how to count bars, write choruses, structure songs and make records. Jackson left J.M.J. records in 1999, & for the next 3 years making mix-tapes building up his popularity. On April 24, 2000 Jackson was shot 9 times outside his grandmother's house by an assailant who allegedly was a close friend & bodyguard of former Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson. He was killed 3 weeks later. In 2002, rapper Eminem heard 50's Guess Who's Back CD from Jackson's attorney (who was working with Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg). Eminem invited Jackson to fly to Los Angeles and introduced him to Dr. Dre. In February, 2003, Jackson released his official studio debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. Within four days the album sold 872,000 copies. It topped the Billboard's Hot 200 Albums Chart & sold 6 million copies in the US. His sophomore release (2005) The Massacre also topped Billboard's Hot 200 Albums Chart (6 weeks at that position) & sold 5 million copies in the US.