The veteran rapper performed more than two dozen hits at the famed venue Monday night, one of two shows for charity planned this week.
He was backed by an orchestra of 30-plus and a band that included '?uestlove of The Roots.
Jay-Z got a little emotional during the song “Glory,” about his 1-month-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter. After the song, he said: “That was tough.”
Fellow New Yorkers Alicia Keys and Nas joined Jay-Z onstage.
Ticket sales from the Carnegie Hall shows will benefit the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and the United Way of New York City.
Jay-Z is the second hip-hop act to perform at the venue. Wyclef Jean did so in 2001.