Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, simply known as Beyoncé (// bee-yon-say; born September 4, 1981), is an American singer, songwriter and actress. Born and raised inHouston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Knowles' debut album Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a viable solo artist worldwide; it sold 11 million copies, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard number one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, she released her second solo album B'Day (2006), which contained hits "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Knowles also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe nominated performance in Dreamgirls (2006), and starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006) and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal ofEtta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the birth of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Knowles took a hiatus from music in 2010, took over management of her career and explored 1970s R&B, rock and roll, and African and funk styles. As a result, her fourth album, 4 (2011), deviated towards a more traditional R&B sound.
A self-described "modern-day feminist", Knowles' songs are often characterized by themes of love, relationships and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. On stage, her dynamic, highly-choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music. Throughout a career spanning 15 years, she has won 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 118 million records as a solo artist and 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. TheRecording Industry Association of America recognized Knowles as the top certified artist in America during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and their Artist of the Millennium. In 2013, she was also included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Artistry
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Honors and awards
- 7 Other ventures
- 8 Discography
- 9 Filmography
- 10 Tours and residency shows
Early life[edit | edit source]
Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Mathew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager and Tina Knowles (née Beyincé), a hairdresser and salon owner. Mathew is an African American; Tina, an African AmericanLouisiana Creole, has African, European, and Native American ancestry. Beyoncé's name is a tribute to her mother's maiden name. She is the elder sister of Solange Knowles, also a singer, songwriter, and actress.
Knowles was educated at St. Mary's Elementary School in Fredericksburg, Texas, where she enrolled in dance classes. Her singing talent was discovered when dance instructor Darlette Johnson began humming a song and she finished it, hitting the high-pitched notes. Knowles' interest in music and performing continued after winning a school talent show aged seven, singing John Lennon's "Imagine" to beat 15 and 16-year-olds. In fall of 1990, Knowles enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform with the school's choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School. Knowles was also a member of the choir at St. John's United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years.
Aged eight, Knowles and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while in an audition for an all-girl entertainment group. They were placed into a group with three other girls as Girl's Tyme, and rapped and danced on the talent show circuit in Houston. After seeing the group, R&B producer Arne Frager brought them to his Northern California studio and placed them in Star Search, the largest talent show on national TV at the time. Girl's Tyme failed to win, with Knowles later saying the song they performed was not good. In 1995 Knowles' father resigned from his job to manage the group. The move reduced Knowles' family's income by half, and her parents were forced to move into separated apartments. Mathew cut the original line-up to four and the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups. The girls auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, moving to Atlanta Records briefly to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the company. This put further strain on the family, and Knowles' parents separated. On October 5, 1995, Dwayne Wiggins's Grass Roots Entertainment signed the group. In 1996, the girls began recording their debut album under an agreement with Sony Music, the Knowles family reunited, and shortly after, the group got a contract with Columbia Records.
Career[edit | edit source]
1997–2001: Destiny's Child[edit | edit source]
The group changed their name to Destiny's Child in 1993, based on a passage in the Book of Isaiah. In 1997, Destiny's Child released their major label debut song "Killing Time" on the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Men in Black. The following year, the group released their self-titled debut album, scoring their first major hit "No, No, No". The album established the group as a viable act in the music industry, with moderate sales and winning the group three Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year, Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist, and Best R&B/Soul Single for "No, No, No". The group released their multi-platinum second album The Writing's on the Wall in 1999. The record features some of the group's most widely known songs such as "Bills, Bills, Bills," the group's first number-one single, "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and "Say My Name", which became their most successful song at the time, and would remain one of their signature songs. "Say My Name" won the Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and the Best R&B Song at the 43rd Grammy Awards. The Writing's on the Wall sold more than eight million copies worldwide. During this time, Knowles recorded a duet with Marc Nelson, an original member of Boyz II Men, on the song "After All Is Said and Done" for the soundtrack to the 1999 film, The Best Man.
LeToya Luckett and Roberson became unhappy with Mathew's managing of the band and eventually were replaced by Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams. Knowles experienced depression following the split with Luckett and Roberson after being publicly blamed by the media, critics, and blogs for its cause. Her long-standing boyfriend left her at this time. The depression was so severe it lasted for a couple of years, during which she occasionally kept herself in her bedroom for days and refused to eat anything. Knowles stated that she struggled to speak about her depression because Destiny's Child had just won their first Grammy Award and she feared no one would take her seriously. Knowles would later speak of her mother as the person who helped her fight it. Franklin was dismissed, leaving just Knowles, Rowland, and Williams.
The remaining band members recorded "Independent Women Part I", which appeared on the soundtrack to the 2000 film, Charlie's Angels. It became their best-charting single, topping the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for eleven consecutive weeks. In early 2001, while Destiny's Child was completing their third album, Knowles landed a major role in the MTV made-for-television film, Carmen: A Hip Hopera, starring alongside American actor Mekhi Phifer. Set in Philadelphia, the film is a modern interpretation of the 19th century opera Carmen by French composer Georges Bizet. When the third album Survivor was released in May 2001, Luckett and Roberson filed a lawsuit claiming that the songs were aimed at them. The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 663,000 copies sold. The album spawned other number-one hits, "Bootylicious" and the title track, "Survivor", the latter of which earned the group a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. After releasing their holiday album 8 Days of Christmas in October 2001, the group announced a hiatus to further pursue solo careers.
2002–07: Dangerously in Love, B'Day, and Dreamgirls[edit | edit source]
In July 2002, Knowles continued her acting career playing Foxxy Cleopatra alongside Mike Myers in the comedy film, Austin Powers in Goldmember, which spent its first weekend atop the US box office and grossed $73 million. Knowles released "Work It Out" as the lead single from its soundtrack album which entered the top ten in the UK, Norway, and Belgium. In 2003, Knowles starred opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr., in the musical comedy The Fighting Temptations as Lilly, a single mother whom Gooding's character falls in love with. The film received mixed reviews from critics but grossed $30 million in US. Knowles released "Fighting Temptation" as the lead single from the film's soundtrack album, with Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, and Freewhich was also used to promote the film. Another of Knowles' contributions to the soundtrack, "Summertime", fared better on the US charts.
Knowles' first solo recording was a feature on Jay-Z's "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" that was released in October 2002, peaking at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Her first solo album Dangerously in Love was released on June 24, 2003, after Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland had released their solo efforts. The album sold 317,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200. As of 2012 it remains Knowles' best-selling album, with 11 million copies sold worldwide. Knowles was the first artist in twenty years and first female artist in chart history to have both an album and single debut on top of the UK and US charts at the same time. The album's lead single, "Crazy in Love", featuring Jay-Z, became Knowles' first number-one single as a solo artist in the US. The single "Baby Boy" also reached number one, and singles, "Me, Myself and I" and "Naughty Girl", both reached the top-five. The album earned Knowles a then record-tying five awards at the 46th Grammy Awards; Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Dangerously in Love 2", Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Crazy in Love", and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Closer I Get to You" with Luther Vandross.
In November 2003, she embarked on the Dangerously in Love Tour in Europe and later toured alongside Missy Elliott and Alicia Keys for the Verizon Ladies First Tour in North America. On February 1, 2004, Knowles performed the American national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII, at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. After the release of Dangerously in Love, Knowles had planned to produce a follow-up album using several of the left-over tracks. However, this was put on hold so she could concentrate on recording Destiny Fulfilled, the final studio album by Destiny's Child. Released on November 15, 2004, in the US and peaking at number two on the Billboard 200, Destiny Fulfilled included the singles "Lose My Breath" and "Soldier", which reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Destiny's Child embarked on a worldwide concert tour, Destiny Fulfilled... and Lovin' It and during the last stop of their European tour, in Barcelona on June 11, 2005, Rowland announced that Destiny's Child would disband following the North American leg of the tour. The group released their first compilation album Number 1's on October 25, 2005, in the US and accepted a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March 2006.
Knowles' second solo album B'Day was released on September 5, 2006, in the US, to coincide with Knowles' twenty-fifth birthday. It sold 541,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop theBillboard 200, becoming Knowles' second consecutive number-one album in the United States. The album's lead single was "Déjà Vu", which featured Jay-Z. The second international single "Irreplaceable" was a commercial success worldwide, reaching number one in Australia, Hungary, Ireland, and New Zealand. B'Day also produced three other singles; "Ring the Alarm", "Get Me Bodied", and "Green Light" (released in the United Kingdom only).
Her first acting role of 2006 was in the comedy film The Pink Panther starring opposite Steve Martin, grossing $158.8 million at the box office worldwide. Her second film Dreamgirls, the film version of the 1981 Broadway musical loosely based on The Supremes, received acclaim from critics and grossed $154 million internationally. In it, she starred opposite Jennifer Hudson,Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy playing a pop singer based on Diana Ross. To promote the film, Knowles released "Listen" as the lead single from the soundtrack album. In April 2007, Knowles embarked on The Beyoncé Experience, her first worldwide concert tour, visiting 97 venues and grossed over $24 million.[note 1] Knowles conducted pre-concert food donation drives during six major stops in conjunction with her pastor at St. John's and America's Second Harvest. At the same time, B'Day was re-released with five additional songs, including her duet with Shakira "Beautiful Liar".
2008–10: Marriage, I Am... Sasha Fierce and hiatus[edit | edit source]
On April 4, 2008, Knowles married Jay-Z in New York City. She publicly revealed their marriage in a video montage at the listening party for her third studio album,I Am... Sasha Fierce, in Manhattan's Sony Club on October 22, 2008. I Am... Sasha Fierce was released on November 18, 2008 in the United States. The album introduces Knowles' alter ego Sasha Fierce, conceived during the making of her 2003 single "Crazy in Love" and sold 482,000 copies in its first week, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and gave Knowles her third consecutive number-one album in the US. The album included the number one song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and top-five song "Halo". Along with being the song that has spent the longest time on the Hot 100 charts in her career, its US success helped Knowles achieve more top ten singles on the list than any other female artist during the 2000s. It also included the successful "Sweet Dreams" and singles "Diva", "Ego", "Broken-Hearted Girl" and "Video Phone". The music video for "Single Ladies" has been parodied and imitated around the world, spawning the "first major dance craze" of the Internet age according to the Toronto Star.  The video won several awards, including Best Video at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards, the 2009 Scottish MOBO Awards, and the 2009 BET Awards. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for nine awards, ultimately winning three including Video of the Year. Its failure to win the Best Female Video category, which went to American country pop singer Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me", led to Kanye West interrupting the ceremony and Beyoncé improvising a re-presentation of Taylor's award during her own acceptance speech. In March 2009, Knowles embarked on the I Am... World Tour, her second headlining worldwide concert tour, consisting of 108 shows, grossing $119.5 million.
Knowles continued to take movie roles, starring as blues singer Etta James in the 2008 musical biopic, Cadillac Records. Her performance in the film received praise from critics, and she garnered several nominations for her portrayal of James, including a Satellite Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress. Knowles donated her entire salary from the film to Phoenix House, an organization of rehabilitation centers for heroin addicts around the country. On January 20, 2009, Knowles performed James' "At Last" at the First couple's first inaugural dance. Knowles starred opposite Ali Larter and Idris Elba in the thriller, Obsessed. She played Sharon Charles, a mother and wife who learns of a woman's obsessive behavior over her husband. Although the film received negative reviews from critics, the movie did well at the US box office, grossing $68 million—$60 million more than Cadillac Records—on a budget of $20 million. The fight scene finale between Sharon and the character played by Ali Larter also won the 2010 MTV Movie Award for Best Fight.
At the 52nd Grammy Awards, Knowles received ten nominations, including Album of the Year for I Am... Sasha Fierce, Record of the Year for "Halo", and Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", among others. She tied with Lauryn Hill for most Grammy nominations in a single year by a female artist. In 2010, Knowles was featured on Lady Gaga's single "Telephone" and its video. The song topped the US Pop Songs chart, becoming the sixth number-one for both Knowles and Gaga, tying them with Mariah Carey for most number-ones since the Nielsen Top 40 airplay chart launched in 1992. "Telephone" received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Knowles announced that she would be taking a break from her music career at the end of January 2010, heeding her mother's advice, "to live life, to be inspired by things again". During the break she and her father parted ways as business partners. Knowles' hiatus lasted nine months and saw her visit European cities, the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian pyramids, Australia, English music festivals and various museums and ballet performances.
2011–12: 4 and motherhood[edit | edit source]
In 2011, documents obtained by WikiLeaks revealed that Knowles was one of many entertainers who had received extravagant sums to perform for the family of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Rolling Stone reported that the music industry was urging them to return the money they earned for the concerts; a spokesperson for Knowles later confirmed to The Huffington Post that she donated the money to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Later that year she became the first solo female artist to headline the main Pyramid stage at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival in over twenty years and was named the "Highest Paid Performer Per Minute in the World", having earlier earned £1.25 million for a five-song performance at a private 2010 New Year's Eve party on St. Barts. In April 2011, Knowles joined forces with US First Lady Michelle Obama and the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, to help boost the latter's campaign against child obesity by reworking her single "Get Me Bodied". Following the death of Osama bin Laden, Knowles released her cover of the Lee Greenwood song "God Bless the USA", as a charity single to help raise funds for the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.
Her fourth album 4 was released on June 28, 2011 in the US. 4 sold 310,000 copies in its first week and debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart, giving Knowles her fourth consecutive number-one album in the US. This made her the third artist in the chart's history, behind only DMX and Britney Spears, to have her first four studio albums debut at number one. The album was preceded by two of its singles "Run the World (Girls)" and "Best Thing I Never Had", which both attained moderate success. The fourth single "Love on Top" was a commercial success in the US. 4 also produced two other singles, "Countdown" and "End of Time", which received less success, but critical acclaim. Essence published her writing about her 2010 break as its July 2011 cover story "Eat, Play, Love", which later won her a writing award from the New York Association of Black Journalists. Knowles took the stage at New York's Roseland Ballroom for four nights of special performances. The musical set on each of the 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé concerts in mid-August was the entire 4 album, to a standing room only.
At the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards Knowles announced that she and Jay-Z were expecting their first child, throwing her microphone on the floor and undoing her blazer at the end of her performance of "Love On Top". Her appearance helped that year's MTV Video Music Awards become the most-watched broadcast in MTV history, pulling in 12.4 million viewers. Knowles received two nominations at the 54th Grammy Awards: Best Rap-Sung Collaboration for "Party", and Best Long Form Music Video for I Am... World Tour. On January 7, 2012, Knowles gave birth to a daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York under heavy security.
Five months later she performed for four nights at Revel Atlantic City's Ovation Hall to celebrate the resort's opening, her first performances since giving birth to Blue Ivy. In December, Knowles along with a variety of other celebrities teamed up and produced a video campaign for "Demand A Plan", a bipartisan effort by a group of 950 US mayors and others designed to influence the federal government into rethinking its gun control laws, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
2013: Fifth studio album[edit | edit source]
In January 2013, Destiny's Child released Love Songs, a compilation album of romance-themed songs from their previous albums and newly recorded "Nuclear". Knowles performed the American national anthem singing along with a pre-recorded track at President Obama's second inauguration in Washington, D.C. The next month, Knowles performed at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, garnering three Emmy nominations. The performance stands as the second most tweeted about moment in history at 268,000 tweets per minute. At the 55th Grammy Awards, Knowles won for Best Traditional R&B Performance for "Love on Top". Her feature-length documentary film, Life Is But a Dream first aired on HBO on February 16. The film, which she directed and produced herself, featured footage from her childhood, her as mother and businesswoman, recording, rehearsing for live performances, and her return to the spotlight following Blue Ivy's birth. Its DVD release in November 2013 will be accompanied by footage from the Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live concerts and a new song. In February 2013, Knowles signed a global publishing agreement with Warner/Chappell Music, which will cover her future songwriting and upcoming studio album.
In April, Knowles and Jay-Z visited Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary, their visit came under scrutiny from three Republican members of Congress for potentially breaching the US embargo against Cuba. Another Republican Congressman expressed, "So, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are in Cuba? Fine by me. Every American should have the right to travel there"; the trip was later confirmed to be licensed as a "cultural exchange". Knowles' The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour began on April 15 in Belgrade, Serbia and features 100 dates worldwide that will run until December 2013. In May, Knowles' cover of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" with André 3000 on the The Great Gatsby soundtrack was released. She was also honorary chair of the 2013 Met Gala. Knowles voiced Queen Tara in the 3D CGI animated film, Epic, released by 20th Century Fox on May 24, and recorded an original song for the film, "Rise Up", co-written with Sia.
Knowles' fifth studio album is scheduled for release this year. It was mostly recorded during 2012 in The Hamptons, New York, and will feature production from Timbaland, Missy Elliott, The-Dream, Pharrell and Justin Timberlake. She has previewed snippets of "Bow Down / I Been On", "Grown Woman", in a Pepsi commercial, and "Standing on the Sun," which was used in commercials for H&M and L'Oreal. Knowles also appeared on "You Changed" with Michelle Williams for Kelly Rowland's album Talk a Good Game and "Turnt" alongside 2 Chainz for The-Dream's IV Play. She also appeared on husband Jay-Z's twelfth studio album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail, on a track titled "Part II (On the Run)", and provided additional vocals on the songs "Tom Ford" and "BBC", where she was credited under the moniker "Third Ward Trill". In June, Ne-Yo, who has written material for Knowles' fifth album, commented "I'm still putting stuff together for Beyoncé's album...They're still trying to figure out what they want that to be". In July 2013, a spokesperson for Knowles debunked rumors that her album had been delayed, stating that there was no official release date to begin with and that when there is an official date, it will be announced via a press release from the label. It was also stated that Knowles is still recording more tracks while on the road for her Mrs. Carter World Tour. In September 2013, a representative for Knowles confirmed to Yahoo Music that the singer filmed various music videos the previous month, including one that was directed by Terry Richardson in Coney Island on August 29, 2013. In October, Knowles filmed a music video in a bomb shelter at RAF Greenham Common in Berkshire, England.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
Knowles is the eldest child of Mathew and Tina Knowles, who also have another daughter, singer and actress Solange. Solange has one son Daniel "Julez" J. Smith. Knowles' father had an 18-month affair with Scrubs actress Alexsandra White, who gave birth to their son, Nixon, in February 2010. Her parents' divorce was granted in November 2011 after 31 years of marriage, with Knowles severing professional ties with her father shortly after, although she maintains they are not estranged.
Knowles is believed to have first started a relationship with Jay-Z after a collaboration on "'03 Bonnie & Clyde", which appeared on his seventh album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse. Knowles appeared as Jay-Z's girlfriend in the music video for the song, which would further fuel speculation of their relationship. On April 4, 2008, Knowles and Jay-Z were married secretly in New York City. The couple are known for being private about their relationship, although they have appeared to become more relaxed in recent years. Knowles suffered a miscarriage some time around 2010 or 2011, describing it as "the saddest thing" she had ever been through. Knowles returned to the studio and wrote music in order to cope with the loss. In April 2011, Knowles and Carter travelled to Paris in order to shoot the album cover for Knowles' 4; she would fall unexpectedly pregnant here.
In August, the couple attended the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, in which Knowles performed "Love on Top" and started the performance saying "Tonight I want you to stand up on your feet, I want you to feel the love that's growing inside of me". At the end of the performance, Knowles dropped her microphone, unbuttoned her blazer and rubbed her stomach, confirming her pregnancy that she had alluded to earlier in the evening. Her pregnancy announcement earned a Guinness World Record for "most tweets per second recorded for a single event" on Twitter, receiving 8,868 tweets per second and "Beyonce pregnant" was the most Googled term the week of August 29, 2011.
On January 7, 2012, Knowles gave birth to a daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York under heavy security. Two days later, Jay-Z released "Glory", a song dedicated to their child, on his website Lifeandtimes.com. The song detailed the couple's pregnancy struggles, including a miscarriage Knowles suffered before becoming pregnant.Blue Ivy's cries are included at the end of the song, and she was officially credited as B.I.C. on it. At two days old, she became the youngest person ever to appear on a Billboard chart when "Glory" debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The couple unsuccessfully attempted to trademark the name Blue Ivy to start a line of merchandise.
Politics[edit | edit source]
Knowles and husband Jay-Z are friends with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Knowles performed "America the Beautiful" at the 2009 presidential inauguration, as well as "At Last" during the first inaugural dance at the Neighborhood Ball two days later. Knowles and Jay-Z held a fundraiser at the latter's 40/40 Club in Manhattan for Obama's 2012 presidential campaign which raised $4 million. Knowles uploaded pictures of her paper ballot on Tumblr, confirming she had voted in support for the Democratic Party and to encourage others to do so. She also performed the American national anthem at his second inauguration, singing along with a pre-recorded track. She publicly endorsed same sex marriage on March 26, 2013, after the Supreme Court debate on California's Proposition 8. In July 2013, Knowles and Jay-Z attended a rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman of the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Wealth[edit | edit source]
Forbes magazine began reporting on Knowles' earnings in 2008, calculating that the $80 million earned between June 2007 to June 2008, for her music, tour, films and clothing line made her the world's best-paid music personality at the time, above Madonna and Celine Dion. They placed her fourth on the Celebrity 100 list in 2009 and ninth on the "Most Powerful Women in the World" list in 2010. The following year, Forbes placed her eighth on the "Best-Paid Celebrities Under 30" list, having earned $35 million in the past year for her clothing line and endorsement deals. In 2012, Forbes placed Knowles at number 16 on the Celebrity 100 list, twelve places lower than three years ago yet still having earned $40 million in the past year for her album 4, clothing line and endorsement deals. and placed her and Jay-Z at number one on the "World's Highest-Paid Celebrity Couples", for collectively earning $78 million in the past year. The couple made it into the previous year's Guinness Book of Records as the "highest-earning power couple" for collectively earning $122 million in 2009. For the years 2009 to 2011, Knowles earned an average of $70 million per year, and earned $40 million in 2012. In 2013, Knowles' endorsements of Pepsi and H&M made her and Jay-Z the world's first billion dollar couple in the music industry. That year, Knowles was published as the fourth most-powerful celebrity in the Forbes rankings. As of October 2013, Knowles' net-worth is $450 million, an increase of approximately $100 million from the previous year, making Knowles the sixth highest paid musician in history. Her net-worth is expected to increase again in December upon the completion of her The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
Artistry[edit | edit source]
Voice and songwriting[edit | edit source]
With 'Single Ladies,' clearly I'd just gotten married, and people want to get married every day - then there was the whole Justin Timberlake thing [recreating the video] on "Saturday Night Live," and it was also the year YouTube blew up. With 'Irreplaceable,' the aggressive lyrics, the acoustic guitar, and the 808 drum machine - those things don't typically go together, and it sounded fresh. 'Crazy in Love' was another one of those classic moments in pop culture that none of us expected. I asked Jay to get on the song the night before I had to turn my album in - thank God he did. It still never gets old, no matter how many times I sing it.
“”— Beyoncé Knowles
Knowles possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range that spans 3.6 octaves. She has been identified as the centerpiece of Destiny's Child. The Daily Mailcalls Knowles' voice "versatile", capable of exploring power ballads, soul, rock belting, operatic flourishes, and hip hop. Jon Pareles of The New York Timescommented that her voice is "velvety yet tart, with an insistent flutter and reserves of soul belting". Other critics praise her range and power, with Jody Rosen ofEntertainment Weekly describing her as "a storm system disguised as a singer" and Chris Richards of The Washington Post saying she was "capable of punctuating any beat with goose-bump-inducing whispers or full-bore diva-roars."
|"Trust in Me"
MENU 0:00 While predominantly R&B, Knowles' music explores various styles. The Daily Mail calls Knowles' voice "versatile", capable of exploring power ballads, soul, rock belting, operatic florishes, and hip hop.----
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
Knowles' music is generally contemporary R&B, but she also incorporates pop, into her songs. 4 demonstrated Knowles' exploration of 90s-style R&B, as well as further use of soul and hip hop than compared to previous releases. While she almost exclusively releases English songs, Knowles recorded several Spanish songs for Irreemplazable (re-recordings of songs from B'Day for a Spanish-language audience), and the re-release of B'Day. To record these, Knowles was coached phonetically by American record producer Rudy Perez.
She has received co-writing credits for most of the songs recorded with Destiny's Child and her solo efforts. Her early songs were personally driven and female-empowerment themed compositions like "Independent Women" and "Survivor", but after the start of her relationship with Jay-Z she transitioned to more man-tending anthems such as "Cater 2 U". Knowles has also received co-producing credits for most of the records in which she has been involved, especially during her solo efforts. However, she does not formulate beats herself, but typically comes up with melodies and ideas during production, sharing them with producers.
In 2001 she become the first African-American female and second female songwriter to win the Pop Songwriter of the Year award at the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards. Knowles was the third woman to have writing credits on three number one songs ("Irreplaceable", "Grillz" and "Check on It") in the same year, after Carole King in 1971 and Mariah Carey in 1991. She is tied with American songwriter Diane Warren at third with nine songwriting credits on number-one singles. (The latter wrote her 9/11-motivated song "I Was Here" for 4.) In May 2011, Billboard magazine listed Knowles at number 17 on their list of the "Top 20 Hot 100 Songwriters", for having co-written eight singles that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She was one of only three women on that list.
Influences[edit | edit source]
Knowles names Michael Jackson as her major musical influence and idol. She admires Diana Ross as an "all-around entertainer" and Whitney Houston whom she said "inspired me to get up there and do what she did." Knowles credits Mariah Carey's singing and her song "Vision of Love" as influencing her to begin practicing vocal runs as a child, as well as helping her pursue a career as a musician. Her other musical influences include Cher, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Sade, Aaliyah, Donna Summer, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker and Rachelle Ferrell.
The feminism and female empowerment themes on Knowles' second solo album B'Day were inspired by her role in Dreamgirls and by singer Josephine Baker. Knowles' paid homage to Baker by performing "Déjà Vu" at the 2006 Fashion Rocks concert wearing Baker's trademark mini-hula skirt embellished with fake bananas. Knowles' third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce was inspired by Jay-Z and especially by Etta James, whose "boldness" inspired Knowles to explore other musical genres and styles. Her fourth solo album 4 was inspired by Fela Kuti, 1990s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie with additional influences by The Jackson 5, New Edition, Adele, Florence and the Machine, and Prince.
Knowles has stated that she is personally inspired by US First Lady Michelle Obama, saying "She proves you can do it all" and she has described Oprah Winfrey as "the definition of inspiration and a strong woman." She also has discussed how Jay-Z is a continuing inspiration to her, both with what she describes as his lyrical genius and in the obstacles he has overcome in his life. Knowles has expressed admiration for the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, posting in a letter "what I find in the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, I search for in every day in music...he is lyrical and raw". Furthermore, Beyoncé has revealed that Madonna inspired her to take control of her own career. She commented: "I think about Madonna and how she took all of the great things she achieved and started the label and developed other artists. But there are not enough of those women."
Stage and alter ego[edit | edit source]
In 2006, Knowles introduced her all-female tour band Suga Mama (also the name of a song in B'Day) which includes bassists, drummers, guitarists, horn players, keyboardists and percussionists. Her background singers, The Mamas, consist of Montina Cooper-Donnell, Crystal Collins and Tiffany Moniqué Riddick. They made their debut appearance at the 2006 BET Awards and re-appeared in the music videos for "Irreplaceable" and "Green Light". The band have supported Knowles in most subsequent live performances, including her 2007 concert tour The Beyoncé Experience, 2009 I Am... World Tour and the 4 promotional tour.
Knowles has received praise for her stage presence and voice during live performances. Jarett Wieselman of the New York Post placed Knowles at number one on her list of the Five Best Singer/Dancers. According to Barbara Ellen of The Guardian Beyoncé is the most in-charge female artist she's seen onstage, while Alice Jones of The Independent wrote she "takes her role as entertainer so seriously she's almost too good." Tamara Hardingham-Gill of the Daily Mail wrote that "many industry experts have been tipping Beyoncé as the next Michael Jackson". The ex-President of Def Jam L.A. Reid has described Knowles as the greatest entertainer alive. Jim Farber of the Daily News and Stephanie Classen of Star Phoenix both praised her strong voice and her stage presence.
Described as being "sexy, seductive and provocative" when performing on stage, Knowles has said that she originally created the alter ego "Sasha Fierce" to keep that stage persona separate from who she really is. She described Sasha as being "too aggressive, too strong, too sassy [and] too sexy", stating, "I'm not like her in real life at all." Sasha was conceived during the making of "Crazy in Love", and Knowles introduced her with the release of her 2008 album I Am... Sasha Fierce. In February 2010, Knowles announced in an interview with Allure magazine that she was comfortable enough with herself to no longer need Sasha Fierce. However, Knowles announced in May 2012 that she would bring her back for her Revel Presents: Beyoncé Live shows later that month.
Public image[edit | edit source]
Knowles has been described as a having a wide-ranging sex appeal, with music journalist Touré writing that since the release of Dangerously in Love, she has "become a crossover sex symbol" Off stage Knowles says that while she likes to dress sexily her onstage dress "is absolutely for the stage." Due to her curves and the term's catchiness, in the 2000s the media often used the term "Bootylicious" (a portmanteau of the words booty and delicious) to describe Knowles, the term popularized by Destiny's Child in the single of the same name. In 2006, it was added to theOxford English Dictionary.
|Knowles' Sports Illustrated
Swimsuit Issue cover from February 15, 2007
In September 2010, Knowles made her runway modelling debut at Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2011 fashion show. She was named "World's Most Beautiful Woman" by People and the "Hottest Female Singer of All Time" by Complex in 2012. In January 2013, GQ placed her on its cover, featuring her atop its "100 Sexiest Women of the 21st Century" list. VH1 listed her at number 1 on its 100 Sexiest Artists list. Several wax figures of Knowles are found atMadame Tussauds Wax Museums in major cities around the world, including New York, Washington, D.C., Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hollywoodand Sydney.
According to Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, Knowles uses different fashion styles to work with her music while performing. Knowles' mother co-wrote a book, published in 2002, titled Destiny's Style an account of how fashion had an impact on the trio's success. The B'Day Anthology Video Album showed many instances of fashion-oriented footage, depicting classic to contemporary wardrobe styles. In 2007, Knowles was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, becoming the second African American woman after Tyra Banks, and People magazine recognized Knowles as the best-dressed celebrity.
In 2006, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), criticized Knowles for wearing and using fur in her clothing line House of Deréon. In 2007, Knowles appeared on billboards and newspapers across the United States showing her holding an antique cigarette holder. Taken from the back cover of B'Day, the image provoked response from an anti-smoking group, stating that she did not need to add the cigarette holder "to make herself appear more sophisticated". In 2011, she appeared on the cover of French fashion magazine L'Officiel, in blackface and tribal makeup that drew criticism from the media. A statement released from a spokesperson for the magazine said that Knowles' look was "far from the glamorous Sasha Fierce" and that it was "a return to her African roots".
Knowles' lighter skin color and costuming has drawn criticism from some in the African-American community. Emmett Price, a professor of music at Northeastern University, wrote in 2007, that he thinks race plays a role in many of these criticisms, saying white celebrities who dress similarly do not attract as many comments. In 2008, L'Oreal was accused of whitening her skin in their Feria hair color advertisements, responding that "it is categorically untrue", and in 2013, Knowles herself criticized H&M for their proposed "retouching" of promotional images of her, and according to Vogue requested that only "natural pictures be used".
Legacy[edit | edit source]
In The New Yorker music critic Jody Rosen described Knowles as "the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century ... the result, the logical end point, of a century-plus of pop." In 2013, Knowles made the Time 100 list, Baz Luhrmann writing "no one has that voice, no one moves the way she moves, no one can hold an audience the way she does... When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it's an event, and it's broadly influential. Right now, she is the heir-apparent diva of the USA — the reigning national voice." When The Guardian named her Artist of the Decade, Llewyn-Smith wrote "Why Beyoncé?...Because she made not one but two of the decade's greatest singles, with Crazy in Love and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), not to mention her hits with Destiny's Child; and this was the decade when singles—particularly R&B singles—regained their status as pop's favourite medium...she and not any superannuated rock star was arguably the greatest live performer of the past 10 years."
Knowles' work has influenced numerous artists including Adele, Rihanna,Kelly Rowland, Leona Lewis, Misha B, Nicole Scherzinger, Rita Ora, Jessie J, andAzealia Banks. American indie rock band White Rabbits also cited her an inspiration for their third album Milk Famous (2012), friend Gwyneth Paltrow studied Knowles at her live concerts while learning to become a musical performer for the 2010 film Country Strong. Nicki Minaj has stated that seeing Knowles' Pepsi commercial influenced her decision to appear in the company's 2012 global campaign.
Her debut single, "Crazy in Love" was named VH1's "Greatest Song of the 2000s", NME's "Best Track of the 00s" and "Pop Song of the Century", considered by Rolling Stone to be one ofthe 500 greatest songs of all time, earned two Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling singles of all time at around 8 million copies. The music video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", which achieved fame for its intricate choreography and its deployment of jazz hands, was credited by the Toronto Star as having started the "first major dance craze of both the new millennium and the Internet", triggering a number of parodies of the dance choreography and a legion of amateur imitators on YouTube. In 2013, Drake released a single titled "Girls Love Beyoncé", which featured an interpolation from Destiny Child's "Say My Name" and discussed his relationship with women. In January 2012, research scientist Bryan Lessard named Scaptia beyonceae, a species of horse fly found in Northern Queensland, Australia after Knowles due to the fly's unique golden hairs on its abdomen. Later that month, a course around Knowles's meaning in culture called "Politicizing Beyoncé" was introduced at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The course allows students to explore the "social and cultural significance" of Knowles' music and image, including her alter ego Sasha Fierce and whether her "racy performances" are of female sexual empowerment or "merely complying with western gender stereotypes".
Honors and awards[edit | edit source]
Knowles has earned numerous awards and honors. As a solo artist she has sold over 13 million albums in the US, and over 118 million records worldwide (a further 60 million additionally with Destiny's Child), making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) listed Knowles as the top certified artist of the 2000s, with a total of 64 certifications. Her songs "Crazy in Love", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo" and "Irreplaceable" are some of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide. In 2009, The Observer named her the Artist of the Decade and Billboard named her the Top Female Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade. In 2010, Billboard named her in their "Top 50 R&B/Hip-Hop Artists of the Past 25 Years" list at number 15. In 2012 VH1 ranked her third on their list of the "100 Greatest Women in Music". Knowles was the first female artist to be honored with the International Artist Award at the American Music Awards. She has also received the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts at the 2008 World Music Awards and theBillboard Millennium Award at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards.
Knowles has won 17 Grammy Awards, both as a solo artist and member of Destiny's Child, making her the third most honored female artist by the Grammys, behind Alison Krauss and Aretha Franklin, and is tied with Dolly Parton as the most nominated woman in Grammy Award history. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" won Song of the Year in 2010 while "Say My Name" and "Crazy in Love" had previously won Best R&B Song. Dangerously in Love,B'Day and I Am... Sasha Fierce have all won Best Contemporary R&B Album. Knowles set the record for the most Grammy awards won by a female artist in one night in 2010, when she won six awards from her ten nominations, breaking the tie she previously held with Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Alison Krauss, and Amy Winehouse, with Adele equaling this in 2012. Following her role in Dreamgirls she was nominated for Best Original Song for "Listen" and Best Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, and Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards. Knowles won two awards at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2006; Best Song for "Listen" and Best Original Soundtrack for Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture.
Other ventures[edit | edit source]
Endorsements[edit | edit source]
Knowles has worked with Pepsi since 2002, and in 2004 appeared in a Gladiator-themed commercial with Britney Spears, Pink, and Enrique Iglesias. In 2012, Knowles signed a $50 million deal to endorse Pepsi. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPINET) wrote Knowles an open letter asking her to reconsider the deal because of the unhealthiness of the product and to donate the proceeds to a medical organisation. Nevertheless, NetBasefound that Knowles' campaign was the most talked about endorsement in April 2013, with a 70 per cent positive audience response to the commercial and print ads.
Knowles has worked with Tommy Hilfiger for the fragrances True Star (singing a cover version of "Wishing on a Star") and True Star Gold; she also promoted Emporio Armani's Diamonds fragrance in 2007.Knowles launched her first official fragrance, Heat in 2010. The commercial, which featured the 1956 song "Fever", was shown after the water shed in the United Kingdom as it begins with an image of Knowles appearing to lie naked in a room. In February 2011, Knowles launched her second fragrance, Heat Rush. Knowles' third fragrance, Pulse, was launched in September 2011. In 2013, The Mrs. Carter Show Limited Edition version of Heat was released. The six editions of Heat are the world's best-selling celebrity fragrance, with sales of over $400 million.
The release of a video-game Starpower: Beyoncé was cancelled after Knowles pulled out of a $100 million with GateFive who alleged the cancellation meant the sacking of 70 staff and millions of pounds lost in development. It was settled out of court by Knowles' lawyers in June 2013 who said that they had cancelled because GateFive had lost its financial backers. Knowles also has had deals with American Express, Nintendo DS and L'Oreal since the age of 18.
Fashion lines[edit | edit source]
Knowles and her mother introduced House of Deréon, a contemporary women's fashion line, in 2005. The concept is inspired by three generations of women in their family, the name paying tribute to Knowles' grandmother, Agnèz Deréon, a respected seamstress. According to Tina, the overall style of the line best reflects her and Beyoncé's taste and style. Knowles and her mother founded their family's company Beyond Productions, which provides the licensing and brand management for House of Deréon, and its junior collection, Deréon. House of Deréon pieces were exhibited in Destiny's Child's shows and tours, during their Destiny Fulfilled era. The collection features sportswear, denim offerings with fur, outerwear and accessories that include handbags and footwear, and are available at department and specialty stores across the US and Canada.
In 2005, Knowles teamed up with House of Brands, a shoe company, to produce a range of footwear for House of Deréon. In January 2008, Starwave Mobile launched Beyoncé Fashion Diva, a "high-style" mobile game with a social networking component, featuring the House of Deréon collection. In July 2009, Knowles and her mother launched a new junior apparel label, Sasha Fierce for Deréon, for back-to-school selling. The collection included sportswear, outerwear, handbags, footwear, eyewear, lingerie and jewelry. It was available at department stores including Macy's and Dillard's, and specialty stores Jimmy Jazz and Against All Odds. On May 27, 2010, Knowles teamed up with clothing store C&A to launch Deréon by Beyoncé at their stores in Brazil. The collection included tailored blazers with padded shoulders, little black dresses, embroidered tops and shirts and bandage dresses.
Philanthropy[edit | edit source]
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Knowles and Rowland founded the Survivor Foundation to provide transitional housing for victims in the Houston area, to which Knowles contributed an initial $250,000. The foundation has since expanded to work with other charities in the city, and also provided relief following Hurricane Ike three years later.
Knowles participated in George Clooney and Wyclef Jean's Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief telethon and was named the official face of the limited edition CFDA"Fashion For Haiti" T-shirt, made by Theory which raised a total of $1 million. On March 5, 2010, Knowles and her mother Tina opened the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at the Brooklyn Phoenix House, offering a seven-month cosmetology training course for men and women. L'Oréal donated all the products to be used at the center, and Knowles and Tina pledged to donate $100,000 annually.
Knowles became an ambassador for the 2012 World Humanitarian Day campaign donating her song "I Was Here" and its music video, shot in the UN, to the campaign. On August 19, Knowles helped the campaign make social media history, having enlisted the help of other celebrities like Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, and Michelle Obama. as more than one billion messages were shared at the same time in relation to the event. In 2013, it was announced that Knowles would work with Salma Hayek and Frida Giannini on a Gucci "Chime for Change" campaign that aims to spread female empowerment. The campaign, which aired on February 28, was set to new music by Knowles. A concert for the cause took place on June 1, 2013 in London and included other acts like Ellie Goulding, Florence and the Machine, and Rita Ora. Knowles is also taking part in "Miss a Meal", a food-donation campaign, and supporting Goodwill charity through online charity auctions at Charitybuzz that support job creation throughout Europe and the U.S.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Main article: Beyonce Knowles discography
Filmography[edit | edit source]
Main article: Beyoncé Knowles videography
|2001||Carmen: A Hip Hopera||Carmen Brown|
|2002||Austin Powers in Goldmember||Foxxy Cleopatra|
|2003||The Fighting Temptations||Lilly|
|2006||The Pink Panther||Xania|
|2008||Cadillac Records||Etta James|
|2009||Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Wubb Idol||Shine^|
|2013||Life Is But a Dream||Herself (biopic)|
- (*) designated a voice acting role
Tours and residency shows[edit | edit source]
Main article: List of Beyoncé Knowles performances;Concert tours
- Dangerously in Love Tour (2003)
- Verizon Ladies First Tour (2004)
- The Beyoncé Experience (2007)
- I Am... World Tour (2009–10)
- The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour (2013)
- Residency shows