Born in 1981 in Houston, Texas, to a record company manager father and costume designer mother, Beyonce Knowles began singing and dancing from a very early age and she joined her first group aged just 8, with friends Kelly Rowland and LaTavia Roberson, called Girl's Tyme, and the band were entered in the famous US TV talent show, Star Search, but lost. Knowles' father, Mathew, then became their manager, and added a fourth member, LeToya Luckett, and after months of intense rehearsal and fine tuning, plus a vital name change, to Destiny's Child, Mathew secured the 13-year olds a recording contract with Elektra Records, but they were dropped soon after.
Mathew then sent the teenagers out touring as much as possible and they were eventually signed by Columbia Records in 1997. They recorded their debut single, “Killing Time” for the soundtrack to Men In Black, and other hits followed, including “Say My Name” and “No, No, No”. Luckett and Roberson were replaced by Michelle Williams in 2000 and the now-familiar line-up was complete, although Knowles was suffering depression, with the break-up of a relationship and the stresses of adapting to a new line-up, but she kept her problems to herself, fearing no-one would take her seriously, with Destiny's Child having just become one of the most popular acts on the planet.
Despite increasing success with the group, Knowles sought to strike out on her own and find her own identity. She acted in films such as Austin Powers, Goldmember and The Fighting Temptations, as well as releasing solo material, much in collaboration with her new boyfriend, Jay-Z. She released her debut solo album, Dangerously In Love, in 2003, which went to No.1 in the US, the lead single “Crazy In Love” and the follow-up, “Baby Boy” both spending multiple weeks at the top spot. She followed this with a record win of five Grammy Awards, and a European tour.
After three years working on their own things, Destiny's Child released their final album in 2004, and played their farewell tour in 2005, following which Beyonce made more films, including The Pink Panther, and the multi-award-winning Dreamgirls. Her second solo album, B'Day (2006) spawned the hit singles “Deja Vu”, and “Ring The Alarm”, plus a later duet with Shakira, “Beautiful Liar”. In 2007, Beyonce began her first solo world tour, The Beyonce Experience, which was also released on DVD.
In 2008, Beyonce married Jay-Z after a six-year courtship, and also released another album, I Am...Sasha Fierce, named after her performance alter ego, and produced the hit singles “If I Were A Boy” and “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, the latter being the catalyst for Kanye West's infamous storming of the stage at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, outraged that “Single Ladies...” had not won the award it was nominated for, calling it “the best video of the year, by far....”. In 2009, she performed at President Obama's inaugural ball, and starred as Etta James in the musical biopic, Cadillac Records. Also in 2009, she went on her I Am....Sasha Fierce world tour, with the album picking up numerous Grammy and MTV award nominations.
In 2010, she Beyonce announced she would be taking a break from the music scene for a while, but was still named “Most Powerful Woman On Earth” by Forbes magazine. In 2011, she was announced as the lead in a planned remake of film classic A Star Is Born, and also dropped her father as her manager. Her fourth solo album, 4, was released in the summer of 2011.
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