JAY-Z Celebrates His 50th Birthday With a Return to Spotify After 2-Year Absence
By Antoinette Bueno
Earl Gibson III/Getty Images for NAACP
JAY-Z celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday, and he gave his fans their own present -- a surprise return to Spotify.
The rapper has been absent from Spotify since April 2017 due to him being the owner of Tidal, a rival streaming service. At the time, Spotify only said that the removal was done "at the request of the artist."
It is not known why JAY-Z's music catalog is now back on Spotify, though the company announced his big return with a video on Twitter showing his different album covers over the years set to his song, "Public Service Announcement." Fittingly, the lyrics are, "Allow me to re-introduce myself/My name is Hov, Oh, H-to-the-O-V."
"Happy birthday, Hov ?," Spotify's official account tweeted along with a link to his artist page. "Welcome back to Spotify."
JAY-Z purchased Tidal for $56 million in 2014, but although it was backed by a number of A-list musicians like his wife, Beyonce, as well as Rihanna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Jack White and more, it hasn't reached the popularity of its competitors. In April 2015, JAY-Z defended Tidal after reports that the venture wasn't doing well.
"Tidal is doing just fine," he tweeted. "We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month. The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify nine years to be successful…"
"There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign," he continued to claim. "We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist and fan."
One month later, he slammed Spotify -- as well as YouTube and Apple -- during a freestyle Tidal performance. However, more drama continued after his once good friend, West, left Tidal in July 2017 after a reported dispute over money.
For more on how Tidal stacks up against Spotify, watch the video below: