Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981) is a popular American
R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress and designer.
She is usually referred to only by her first name, which she uses
as her stage name. She was a founding member and lead singer of
R&B supergroup Destiny's Child.
Her debut solo album, 2003's Dangerously in Love, topped both the
R&B and Billboard 200 charts in the U.S., as well as the album
charts in Canada and the United Kingdom. Beyoncé Knowles
has won nine Grammy Awards six for her solo work, and three
as a member of Destiny's Child. Beyoncé Knowles has a successful
film career, having co-starred in Austin Powers in Goldmember, one
of the highest grossing films of 2002, and having worked with Oscar
winning actors in each of her theatrical films. In 2006, her song
"Check on It" became her third number-one on the Billboard
Hot 100 as a solo artist. Beyoncé Knowles is currently dating
rap icon and Def Jam president Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.
Beyoncé Knowles is the elder of two children born to Matthew
Knowles and Tina Beyince in Houston, Texas; her maternal grandparents,
Lumis Beyince and Agnes Dereon (a seamstress), were French-speaking
Creoles from Louisiana. Her parents decided on her first name as
a tribute to her mother's surname. By age seven, she was attending
dance school and was a soloist in her church choir. Her dance instructor
took an interest in Beyoncé Knowles, personally taking her
star student to various competitions. Beyoncé Knowles went
on to win over 30 local singing and dancing competitions.
Beyoncé Knowles and her former best friend LaTavia Roberson
met Kelly Rowland and LeToya Luckett. They formed a quartet that
would perform in their backyards and in Tina Knowles' beauty shop.
After singing at local events, they got their break when they entered
Star Search. The group, then named "Girl's Tyme", were
heartbroken after losing the competition. Matthew Knowles, Beyoncé's
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. 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 in 1996, it gave the entire family a second chance at making
As a teenager, Beyoncé 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,
also in Houston.
Destiny's Child was originally signed by Elektra in 1995, but were
dropped before they could release their debut album. The quartet
was signed to Columbia Records the following year, and their career
took off. Destiny's Child rose to fame in 1998 with the Billboard
Top 10 hit, "No, No, No Part 2". Even after much publicized
turmoil involving new and exiting group members, Destiny's Child
(eventually a trio consisting of original members Beyoncé
Knowles and Rowland, with Michelle Williams) managed to become one
of the most successful pop/R&B acts of the late 1990s/early
2000s, earning four #1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, several Top 10's,
and two #1 albums. The group also earned No. 1's on various other
Billboard and non-Billboard charts.
Beyoncé Knowles and Destiny's Child toured as an opening
act for TLC before their self-titled debut album Destiny's Child
was released. The band was managed by her father, Matthew Knowles,
who is acknowledged as a strong force in Beyoncé's life.
Beyoncé Knowles is generally regarded as its leader.
Their 1998 platinum-selling debut album was produced by Wyclef
Jean and Jermaine Dupri and featured the platinum-selling, number-one
Hot 100 single "No, No, No". The group's second album,
The Writing's on the Wall, released in 1999, featured two number-one
hits in "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name".
"Bug A Boo" and "Jumpin', Jumpin'" were also
popular singles from the album. "Say My Name" won two
awards at the 2001 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance by
a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song, the latter of
which was awarded to the songwriters, which included Beyoncé
Their next album, Survivor, proved to be another big success, going
to number one on both the American Billboard 200 and R&B Albums
charts, as well as the Canadian and the UK album chart. Two singles
from the album went to the top of the Hot 100: "Independent
Women Part 1" and "Bootylicious", with the album's
title track reaching number two. In the United Kingdom, the first
two tracks released reached number one consecutively. "Independent
Women Part 1" had been the theme song for the film Charlie's
Angels in late 2000, before the album's 2001 release. The title
track, "Survivor", would win the group their third Grammy
for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album's
fourth single, "Emotion", was a cover of the Bee Gees
hit of the same name; it continued the group's impressive string
of top ten hits.
In 2001, Beyoncé 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 woman, and the
second woman of any race to win the award.
After the three year hiatus that involved concentration on individual
solo projects, Beyoncé Knowles rejoined Rowland and Williams
for Destiny's Child's fourth (and so far final) studio album, Destiny
Fulfilled, released November 2004. The album hit #2 on the Billboard
200 and spawned the hits "Lose My Breath", "Soldier",
"Girl" and "Cater 2 U". The album title itself
was a hint that Destiny Fulfilled may in fact be the last Destiny's
Child album and so far that has been be the case.
In 2005, Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour sponsored by
McDonald's titled, Destiny Fulfilled and Lovin' It, visiting over
70 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 #1 hits and most of their
well-known songs. The Greatest Hits collection also includes three
new tracks, including "Stand Up for Love" and "Check
on It". The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album
chart and #6 on the UK Top 75 chart. The song "Check on It"
was Beyoncé Knowles's third number one hit on the U.S. Billboard
In 2005 at the World Music Awards, Destiny's Child were given the
award for the biggest-selling girl group of all time with record
sales of over 50 million.
In 2001, Beyoncé Knowles, without any previous experience,
turned to acting, starring alongside actor Mekhi Phifer in the MTV
made for television movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera.
In the summer of 2002, Beyoncé Knowles co-starred in the
film Austin Powers in Goldmember, playing Foxxy Cleopatra opposite
Mike Myers as Austin Powers. The film is listed in the Guinness
Book of World Records as the Highest-Grossing Box Office Film Comedy.
Beyoncé Knowles also recorded a song called "Work It
Out" for the film's soundtrack. "Work It Out" was
a top-ten hit in the UK and a top-forty hit in the Netherlands,
Australia, and Ireland, despite being Beyoncé Knowles's biggest
commercial disappointment to date in the U.S, where radio stations
barely played the song and the video received very minor exposure,
playing only on digital video channels, MTV Jams and VH1 Soul.
In 2003, Beyoncé Knowles starred opposite Cuba Gooding,
Jr. in the film The Fighting Temptations, and recorded a song for
it called "Fighting Temptation", with rappers Missy Elliott,
MC Lyte, and Free. Unlike Beyoncé Knowles's own singles,
the song did not become popular, although the film was a moderate
success at the box office.
Beyoncé Knowles co-starred in the film The Pink Panther,
playing the role of Xania, an international pop singer, opposite
Steve Martin, who plays Inspector Clouseau. The film was released
on February 10, 2006 and was #1 at the box office on opening weekend.
With Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Pink Panther, Beyoncé
Knowles now has starred in two films that opened at #1 at he box
office; her films have grossed over $438,025,632 worldwide.
Beyoncé Knowles is currently filming the movie Dreamgirls,
about a 1960s singing group loosely based on The Supremes, as the
Diana Ross-based character Deena Jones. The film is scheduled for
release on December 22, 2006.
During the autumn of 2002, Beyoncé Knowles was the featured
vocalist on singer Jay-Z's smash single, "'03 Bonnie &
Clyde". In the spring of 2003, Beyoncé Knowles remade
a duet with the late Luther Vandross, "The Closer I Get to
You", originally made famous by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway.
In this version, the vocal parts are switched, with Vandross taking
Flack's part and Beyoncé Knowles taking Hathaway's. The song
was included on both her solo debut album and on Vandross's Dance
With My Father album, and the two shared the Grammy for Best R&B
Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
In 2003, Beyoncé Knowles released her debut solo album, Dangerously
in Love. Its first single, "Crazy in Love", featured a propulsive
riff and a guest rap from Jay-Z, rapidly becoming one of the biggest
hits of that summer, staying at number one on the Billboard Hot 100
Singles chart for eight weeks. "Dangerously in Love" went
to the top of the album charts in the UK and Canada, and peaked on
both the American Billboard pop (Billboard 200) and R&B charts.
The album has sold over four million copies in U.S. and more than
eight million copies worldwide. When her single and album simultaneously
topped the pop charts in both the U.S. and the UK, she became the
first act to achieve this feat since Men at Work in 1983 and The Beatles,
Simon and Garfunkel, and Rod Stewart in the 1960s and 1970s. Beyoncé
Knowles was consequently one of the biggest-selling R&B artists
of 2003, and Dangerously in Love was the 6th biggest-selling album
in the United States.
On the televised celebration of July 4 in 2003, Beyoncé Knowles
provoked controversy with the Grant Memorial Association for her performance
of "Crazy in Love", in which she danced in a "patently
inappropriate" way on the steps of the tomb of President Ulysses
S. Grant. Grant's great-grandsons Ulysses Grant Dietz and Chapman
Foster Grant spoke up on Beyoncé Knowles' behalf. "The
way the world is now, who cares?" said Chapman Grant, "who
knows? If the old guy were alive, he might have enjoyed it".
Towards the end of the summer, "Baby Boy", Dangerously
in Love's second single, which featured dancehall star Sean Paul,
began to climb the charts. It went on to become one of the biggest
hits of 2003, dominating radio airplay in the autumn of 2003, and
spending nine weeks at number one one week longer than "Crazy
Fresh from the success of "Baby Boy", Beyoncé
Knowles released her third solo single, "Me, Myself and I"
towards the end of 2003; Dangerously in Love's fourth single, "Naughty
Girl", came out in mid-2004. Both songs peaked at number three,
respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100.
At the 2004 Grammy Awards ceremony, Beyoncé Knowles won
a record-tying five Grammy awards for her solo effort. These awards
included Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Dangerously
in Love 2", and Best Contemporary R&B Album. The other
female artists who hold this record are Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys
and Norah Jones. She also won a Brit Award in 2004 for Best International
Female Solo Artist in United Kingdom which made her the first female
solo artist to have won prominent awards both domestically and internationally
in the same year.
In December 2005, Beyoncé Knowles released a new song, "Check
on It", featuring Slim Thug. The song is from the Destiny's
Child album, #1's and the The Pink Panther soundtrack and is Beyoncé
Knowles's sixth top five hit and third number one. Beyoncé
Knowles announced that she will start writing songs for her new
album, which she will begin to record sometime in mid-2006, after
she has completed filming her new movie, Dreamgirls. Until then,
Beyoncé Knowles has said that she will concentrate mainly
on the film.
At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé Knowles won a Grammy
in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with
Vocals for the song "So Amazing", a duet with Stevie Wonder
for Luther Vandross tribute album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute
To Luther Vandross.
Beyoncé Knowles, music producer David Foster, and his daughter,
Amy Foster Gillies, wrote Destiny's Child's single "Stand Up
for Love" for World Children's Day, an event which takes place
annually around the world on November 20 to raise awareness and
funds for children's causes worldwide. Destiny's Child lent their
voices and support as global ambassadors for the 2005 World Children's
Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, along with Matthew Knowles, Tina
Knowles, and sister Solange Knowles recently announced the formation
of the Survivor Foundation, a charitable entity set up for the purpose
of providing transitional housing for Hurricane Katrina victims
and storm evacuees in the Houston, Texas area. The Survivor Foundation
extends the philanthropic mission of the "Knowles-Rowland Center
For Youth", a multi-purpose community outreach facility in
Beyoncé Knowles is the first female artist to have a number-one
album and a number-one single in the U.S. and the UK simultaneously.
Within the same week in February 2006, Beyoncé Knowles had
the number one song ("Check on It"), won a Grammy for
"So Amazing", and had the number one movie at the box
office, The Pink Panther. With "Check on It" ascending
to the top rung of the Hot 100 during the week of February 4, 2006,
Beyoncé Knowles also managed to debut at #1 in five countries
with her movie The Pink Panther in the U.S., Mexico, Brazil, Spain,
and Taiwan, within her 5 week rein of "Check on It", also
debuting at #1 in Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, United Arab
Emirates, Russia, and New Zealand.
Beyoncé Knowles has now spent more time at the top of Billboard
Hot 100 as a solo artist than she did as part of Destiny's Child.
Destiny's Child spent 17 weeks at #1, with "Bills, Bills, Bills"
(one week), "Say My Name" (three weeks), "Independent
Women Part 1" (11 weeks) and "Bootylicious" (two
weeks). Beyoncé Knowles has so far spent 22 weeks at #1,
with "Crazy in Love" (eight weeks), "Baby Boy"
(nine weeks), and her current hit, "Check on It" (five
weeks; currently at #15).
Beyoncé Knowles has also been voted #1 on BET's All Shades
Of Fine: 25 Hottest Females of the Past 25 Years, #1 on MuchMusic's
"Who To Do: 20 Sexiest Girls" list in 2005 (she was #1
on that list in 2004), #1 on the VH1 show 100 Hottest Hotties 2004,
#1 on the E! 50 Steamiest Southern Stars (2005), #14 on Rolling
Stones "2005 Top Money Makers", #19 on the Frobes Celebrity
100 on 2004 and #4 on the E! show 100 Most Wanted Bodies (2006).
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