aka Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
Birth name: Beyoncé Giselle Knowles
Birthplace: Houston, TX
September 4, 1981-Present
Years Active: Early 1990s- Present
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter was born September 4th, 1981 in Houston, Texas. Her father Mathew Knowles was a businessman, and her mother Tina Knowles (Lawson) was a hairdresser. Her younger sister, singer-songwriter Solange, was born June 26th, 1986. Beyoncé’s career in music and dance began as a small child. She was enrolled in dance classes and attended art schools in the Houston area. She ventured into singing through local talent shows and becoming a part of her school and church choirs.
Her love for singing and performing became more than a hobby in 1992, when Beyoncé, along with her family friend Kelly Rowland and LaTavia Robinson, auditioned for an all-girls R&B group that would eventually become Girl’s Tyme. Girl’s Tyme added three other members for a total of 6, and appeared on the hit television talent show Star Search. The group unfortunately lost Star Search, but their appearance on the show motivated them to work harder. Beyoncé’s father Matthew Knowles began to manage the group, cutting it down to four members, adding LeToya Luckett, and booking them at local gigs around Houston.
After a few years of rigorous rehearsals, Girls Tyme opened for established R&B acts like Dru Hill. After difficulties working with record labels, the group changed their name to Destiny’s Child in 1996. They released their self-titled debut album in 1998 with the lead single “No, No, No,” which peaked at the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The success of their first album was immediately followed by their second album The Writing’s on the Wall a year later. The Writing’s on the Wall included the first of their many signature songs such as “Say My Name,” “Bills, Bills, Bills,” and “Jumpin, Jumpin.” The Writing’s on the Wall era would produce two more lineup changes for Destiny’s Child: the departure of Robinson and Luckett who were replaced by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams. In less than a year, Franklin was fired from the group, leaving Destiny’s Child as a trio.
By the new millennium, Destiny’s Child achieved success as a trio with Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. They released their third album Survivor in 2001, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, went quadruple platinum, and earned them a Grammy. The mega success of Survivor established Destiny’s Child as R&B and Pop superstars. While still in the group during the early aughts, Beyoncé pursued solo endeavors. She starred in movies such as Carmen: A Hip Hopera, Austin Power: Goldmember, and The Fighting Temptations. In 2003, Beyoncé released her debut solo album Dangerously in Love with the immediate hit “Crazy in Love” featuring rapper Jay Z, who she would eventually marry in 2008. Beyoncé went on to win five Grammys for her debut album. A year later, she returned to Destiny’s Child who released their final album Destiny Fulfilled, which produced several hits and a successful world tour in 2005. In 2006, Destiny’s Child officially disbanded.
After the group disbanded, Beyoncé continued her solo career, with the release of B’day (2006), her first visual album. I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008) spawned the viral hit single “Single Ladies” and dance craze. For 4 (2011), she famously promoted while pregnant with her first daughter Blue Ivy Carter.
Her following two releases changed the music industry. With absolutely no marketing, she released the widely praised visual album BEYONCÉ on December 13, 2013 which was never done before. The surprise release soon inspired other music artists to take control of when their albums drop. In 2016, Beyoncé released another visual album and her magnum opus, Lemonade, which premiered as a television special on HBO, a few months after the release of the lead single “Formation.” Lemonade marked a new era of Beyoncé’s career, one that was more political and centered her southern Black roots. Lemonade inspired countless think pieces and even college courses. It has also been named one of the greatest albums of the ‘10s by numerous music publications.
She took a brief hiatus to give birth to twins in 2017 but soon returned to the spotlight to headline Coachella 2018 as their first Black female headliner. The two-hour performance celebrated HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and Black culture, creating arguably one of the most important pop culture moments of the ‘10s. Her performance was turned into a Netflix special and an album the following year.
Closing the Lemonade era in 2018, Beyoncé with her husband, Jay Z, under the moniker “The Carters,” released a joint album titled Everything is Love while traveling for their record-breaking tour, On The Run II. With over 25 years of experience in music, Beyoncé is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, the most Grammy nominated woman artist, and arguably one of the greatest entertainers in history. Her work and career have inspired contemporary music artists such Normani, Ariana Grande, Adele, and Sam Smith in the same way Beyoncé has been inspired by other legends. Throughout her career, she has cited Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner, who has inspired Beyoncé’s energetic performing style, as her influences. She has also credited Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Selena, Aaliyah and Madonna as other influences of hers.