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Jay-Z Sets $2,500 Ticket to Lure Financial Crowd to Charity Gig

Jay-Z
Jay-Z at Carnegie Hall in New York. The hip-hop star will perform two concerts for charity on Feb. 6 and 7 to benefit his Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and United Way of New York City. Photographer: Patrick Cole/Bloomberg

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Hip-hop legend Jay-Z said today he will perform two concerts at Carnegie Hall in February to raise money for his scholarship foundation and United Way of New York City.

“I want to do my part to make sure everyone has an opportunity,” Jay-Z said in an interview today. “It’s really a shame when someone has drive and really wants to further their education, and they’re unable to because of their financial situation.”

The shows will mark the first time a major solo hip-hop act has been booked for an entire show at the storied Manhattan venue, according to Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director.

Most of the tickets for the Feb. 6 and 7 shows will go on sale Monday and will be priced at $500 to $2,500. They’re aimed at wealthy individuals, such as hedge-fund executives and others tied to Wall Street, Jay-Z said.

“This is about connecting people to help other people,” said the artist, whose real name is Shawn Carter.

A portion of the tickets will be offered to the public at much lower prices on Jan. 30.

Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and United Way will split the proceeds from the ticket sales. The United Way works with families and schools to boost the reading proficiency of children from low-income neighborhoods.

Raised in the Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant district, Jay-Z rose from poverty to become one of hip-hop’s top-selling solo acts. In 2002, he launched his charity with the help of his mother, Gloria Carter. His nonprofit has given away more than $1.3 million to help 750 needy students attend college.

“We know we’re going to raise some money and help some people,” Jay-Z said. “But we’re also going to raise the profile of what I’m doing.”

(Feb. 6-7 concerts information: http://www.unitedwaynyc.org.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Cole in New York at pcole3@Bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at Mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net

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