GRAMMY-winning rapper, business mogul and cultural icon Jay-Z revealed on a recent episode of The Shop: Uninterrupted that he learned how to swim in adulthood.
On the television show co-hosted by NBA star LeBron James and businessman Maverick Carter, Jay-Z admitted he didn’t learn how to swim until after Blue Ivy, he and Beyoncé‘s first child, was born in 2012.
“It’s amazing. It’s a very grounding thing,” said Jay-Z. “I didn’t learn how to swim until Blue was born.”
“There goes everything you need to know,” he continued. “This is a metaphor for our relationship. If she ever fell in the water and I couldn’t get her, I couldn’t even fathom that thought. I gotta learn how to swim. That’s it. That was the beginning of our relationship.”
Learning how to swim, despite efforts from water safety organizations across the country, happens later in life for many adults. In 2014, the Red Cross survey found that 80% of participants said they could swim, but only 56% of them had mastered the five basic life-saving water skills.
Some studies also show that children are more likely to be good swimmers if their parents have a good grasp of water safety; a 2019 USA Swimming Foundation survey found that kids of parents with solid water abilities were 4.3 times as likely to have them, too.