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Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé KnowlesBeyoncé 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.

Early Life

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

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 things work.

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

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 Knowles.

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 Hot 100.

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.

Solo Career:

Acting

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.

Beyoncé Knowles

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.

Music

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 in Love".

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.

Charity Work

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 Day program.

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 downtown Houston.

Records

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

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).

Beyoncé Knowles Picture Gallery

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