Jeffrey Bruce Atkins (born February 29, 1976), better known by his stage name Ja Rule (), is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, and actor. Born in Hollis, Queens, he debuted in 1999 with Venni Vetti Vecci and its single "Holla Holla". From 1999 to 2005, Ja Rule had multiple hits that made the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, including "Between Me and You" with Christina Milian, "I'm Real (Murder Remix)" and "Ain't It Funny" with Jennifer Lopez — which both topped the US Billboard Hot 100 — the Grammy-nominated #1 hit "Always on Time" with Ashanti, "Mesmerize" with Ashanti, and "Wonderful" with R. Kelly and Ashanti. During the 2000s, Ja Rule was signed to Murder Inc. Records, formerly known as The Inc. Records and led by Irv Gotti. Rule has been nominated for two American Music Awards and four Grammy Awards with his fellow collaborators Lil' Mo, Vita, Ashanti and Case. Following the release of his platinum-selling debut Venni Vetti Vecci (1999), it was followed by his second and third albums Rule 3:36 (2000) and Pain Is Love (2001). Both albums topped the US Billboard 200 album chart, launching him into the mainstream audience, selling over a combined 15 million records and attaining triple platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), becoming his best-selling albums to date. Rule followed up with his fourth, fifth and sixth albums The Last Temptation (2002), Blood in My Eye (2003) and R.U.L.E. (2004), with Temptation attaining Platinum status and R.U.L.E. reaching gold status. As of 2018, Rule has sold 11.4 million units in the US and has sold over 30 million records worldwide. In 2019, he joined the main cast of WeTV's Growing Up Hip Hop: New York.