Hip-hop star Jay-Z had an extra reason to celebrate his six Grammy nominations yesterday (04DEC03) - he received the good news on his 34th birthday.

The BIG PIMPIN' rapper - who along with his girlfriend Beyonce Knowles, rap duo Outkast and producer-singer Pharrell Williams leads the list of this year's (03) nominees - is also happy with the recognition because he's now warming to Grammy bosses.

The New York native snubbed the ceremony in 1998 in protest of bosses refusing to televise the rap categories, and then the following year (99) when his pal DMX failed to get any nominations.

But Jay-Z, real name SHAWN CARTER, has since altered his stance.

He says, "Each year since '98, when I won a Grammy for HARD KNOCK LIFE... I've been noticing them get much better, so I'm happy with where they're at right now."

05/12/2003 09:06