Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (IPA pronunciation: [bi.jɔn.ˈseɪ][1]) (born September 4, 1981) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, fashion designer, and model. Knowles rose to fame as the creative force and lead singer of R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the world's best-selling female group of all time.[2][3][4]

After a series of commercially successful releases with the group, Knowles released her debut solo album Dangerously in Love in 2003. The album became one of the biggest commercial successes of the year, topping the album charts in the U.S. and the UK. It also spawned the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. Knowles' second album, B’Day, which was released worldwide on September 4, 2006 (her twenty-fifth birthday), continued her success. The album spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide number-one hit "Irreplaceable". The album also earned Knowles her seventh solo Grammy Award (she has won ten in total).

Knowles has contributed to the soundtracks to films in which she has starred, including Dreamgirls (2006), for which she received two Golden Globe Award nominations, one for acting and another for the soul hit "Listen".

Early life

Knowles is the elder of two daughters born to Mathew Knowles and Tina Beyincé in Houston, Texas. Her parents decided on her first name as a tribute to her mother's maiden name.[5] Her maternal grandparents, Lumis Beyincé and Agnéz Deréon (a seamstress), were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles.[5] She is the older sister of Solange Knowles, cousin to Angela Beyincé (her personal assistant and song co-writer), and aunt to Solange's son Daniel Julez Smith, Jr. By age seven, she was attending dance school and was a soloist in her church's choir. Her dance instructor took an interest in Knowles and took her star student to various competitions. Knowles went on to win over thirty local singing and dancing competitions.

Knowles and her childhood best friends LaTavia Roberson and Kelly Rowland along with LeToya Luckett formed a quartet that would perform in their backyards and in Tina Knowles' hair salon. After singing at local events, they got their break when they entered Star Search.[6] The group, then named "Girl's Tyme",[7] were disappointed after losing the competition. Mathew Knowles, Knowles' father and Rowland's legal guardian, decided to help the girls reach their dreams of becoming singers. He quit his six-figure salary job as a multi-million dollar equipment salesman at Xerox to manage the group.[8] This decision by Mathew eventually affected the whole family. Their income had been cut in half, causing the family to move into two different apartments. When the group was signed to Columbia Records in 1996, it gave the entire family a second chance at making things work.

As a teenager, Knowles attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where she showed her musical talents. She later went to Alief Elsik High School, in the Alief neighborhood of Houston.

Destiny's Child rose to fame in 1998 with the Billboard top ten hit and R&B number-one single "No, No, No Part 2". Even after much-publicized turmoil involving the departure of LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, Destiny's Child (eventually a trio) became one of the most successful R&B/pop acts of the early 2000s, charting four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, several top ten hits, and two number-one albums.

Their 1998 Platinum-selling debut album Destiny's Child was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri and featured the double Platinum number-one single "No, No, No Part 2". The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, released in 1999, featured two number-one hits: "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name". "Bug a Boo" and "Jumpin' Jumpin'" were also popular singles from the album. It went on to sell thirteen million copies worldwide and eight million in the U.S. Furthermore, "Say My Name" won two awards at the 2001 Grammy Awards: "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" and "Best R&B Song".

Their following album, Survivor, proved to be another big success, going to number one on both the U.S. Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as well as the Canadian and the UK albums charts. Two singles from the album went to the top of the Hot 100: "Independent Women Part I" and "Bootylicious", while "Survivor", the album's title track, reached number two. In the United Kingdom, the first two tracks released reached number one consecutively. "Independent Women Part I" had been the theme song for the film Charlie's Angels (2000), before the album's release. The title track, "Survivor", won the group their third Grammy Award, "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals".

In 2001, Knowles won the "Songwriter of the Year" award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards. She is the first African-American female and second overall female songwriter of all time to accomplish this.

After the three-year journey that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Knowles rejoined Rowland and Williams for Destiny's Child's fourth (and so far final) studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, released in November 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hits "Lose My Breath", "Soldier", "Girl", and "Cater 2 U". It has sold eight million copies worldwide.

In 2005, Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour sponsored by McDonald's titled Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It, visiting over seventy cities throughout Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America from April to September. On June 13, 2005 it was announced that the group would disband after their world tour ended in September 2005. In October 2005, the group released their final album, entitled #1's, including all of Destiny's Child's number-one hits and most of their well-known songs. The greatest hits collection also includes three new tracks, including "Stand Up for Love". The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and number seven on the UK Albums Chart. #1's has gone on to sell three million copies worldwide.

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