On December 4th, hip-hop icon Jay-Z celebrated his 43rd birthday in what was apparently a quiet manner in comparison to how he's spent the last year of his life. Having completed the most successful hip-hop tour in history (the "Watch The Throne" tour) alongside Kanye West, watched wife Beyonce be named 2012's most beautiful woman of the year by People magazine, and welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter to the world on January 7th, Jay-Z has had a pretty incredible run. Yet, in keeping with the endearingly gentle demeanor he has maintained since becoming a father, Jay-Z appears to have celebrated number 43 out of the spotlight.

For those of us who enjoy keeping up with the latest celebrity news, Jay-Z's birthday provides a fun opportunity to look into which other famous musicians will be celebrating birthdays this month. Here are a few more who may be heading to M&S for birthday cake throughout the rest of December, and a few words on how they've spent the last year.

Nicki Minaj

Set to turn either 28 or 30 years old on December 8th (she actually lists two separate birth dates), the popular hip-hop artist and singer/songwriter had a busy year of her own. With numerous guest appearances for artists such as Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys, an MTV VMA best video award for "Starships," and the decision to join the judging crew on American Idol, Minaj kept herself in the spotlight during 2012. Most noteworthy of all, however, was the release of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up," a 3 disc box set released on November 19th. Additionally, there is even some speculation that Minaj will give herself a special birthday present with the launch of her own record label!

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift will turn just 23 on December 13th, which naturally calls to mind everything the incredible young artist has already accomplished in her relatively brief career. This year alone, Swift picked up a Best Female Country Artist at the 2012 AMAs, in addition to three MTV Europe Music Awards. The popular singer also released a new album, "Red," in October of this year, and it has so far been predictably successful. Also worth noting is that Swift has continued her admirable support of various charitable efforts and support initiatives throughout the past year. Happy birthday Taylor!

Ricky Martin

Preparing to turn 41 on the 24th of this month, Ricky Martin has enjoyed a relatively quiet year in a purely musical sense. However, that has not kept him out of the public eye by any means. This past spring, Martin took on the role of Che in "Evita" on Broadway, and the singer also made a guest appearance in an episode of "Glee." Martin also dedicated a portion of this past year to the release of his "Ricky's Lip Conditioner" lip balm alongside Nicki Minaj. In November, Martin was announced as a vocal coach for the upcoming season of The Voice Australia. We wish him a happy 41st!