By Eric Philips Friday, December 30th, 2011
Lil Wayne may have spent much of 2010 incarcerated, but he returned to the music industry reinvigorated and wasted no time reclaiming his spot at the head of hip hop's table. Wayne's Young Money imprint continued to be a force throughout 2011, with Nicki Minaj turning expectations into reality following the late 2010 release of her debut album Pink Friday and Drake's singles "Marvin's Room" and "Headlines" setting the stage for his anticipated sophomore album Take Care.
His highly-anticipated ninth studio album and first since being released from prison, Tha Carter IV, was released on August 29, 2011 and sold 964,000 copies in the U.S. its first week. It was Wayne's third chart-topping album. It was also announced that Wayne has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records for the record of Most US Hot 100 Hits By A Rap Artist with 64 hits between 1999 and 2010. And in September 2011, Wayne had 11 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
His "I Am Still Music" Tour has been one of the biggest hip hop draws of the year, criss-crossing the country, with dates also scheduled for Europe in late 2011. He also took the stage at the Bonnaroo Festival and Summerfest.
Lil Wayne, along with Young Money member Drake, appeared on the trailer of "FIFA 12." Wayne was included in a staggering 19 nominations at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, and he closed the 2011 MTV Video Music Award with a performance of "How To Love."
He has also said that he plans to release collaborative albums Juelz Santana and his fellow Young Money labelmate Drake. He's performed on hits by Kelly Rowland and Travis Barker, while also working with pop stars Nick Jonas and Justin Bieber, Hip Hop Soul Queen Mary J. Blige on her upcoming My Life 2 album.
Lil Wayne joined rapper Nelly, NFL star Reggie Bush and more for Chris Paul's PBA Celebrity Invitational on Super Bowl Sunday.