Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, known by her stage name Beyoncé ( ; born September 4, 1981), is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B group Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
Knowles' debut solo album Dangerously in Love (2003), released during the group's hiatus, established the singer as a viable solo artist worldwide, earning her five Grammy Awards and Billboard number one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy." Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, Knowles's second solo album B'Day (2006) contained the top five singles "Déjí Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Her performance in Dreamgirls (2006) earned her two Golden Globe nominations. Her work playing Etta James in the film Cadillac Records (2008) inspired her subsequent album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which in turn spawned hits "If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo", and "Sweet Dreams". The album also helped Knowles earn six Grammys in 2010, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. Her fourth album 4 (2011) deviated towards traditional R&B and became her fourth consecutive number one album on the Billboard 200. In January 2012, Knowles gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter, her first child with husband Jay-Z.
Knowles has sold over 13 million albums in the US and 118 million records worldwide (as well as a further 50 million records with Destiny's Child), and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with total sales of $75 million. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Knowles as the Top Certified Artist of the 2000s. Beyoncé Knowles is the most nominated woman in Grammy Award history, receiving 17 awards; other accolades include 12 MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Awards including a Millennium Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of Destiny's Child.
Early lifeKnowles was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Mathew Knowles, a medical-equipment salesman for Xerox, and Tina Knowles (née Beyincé), a hairdresser and salon owner. Beyoncé was baptized with her mother's maiden name as her first. 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 her dance instructor 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 at seven, singing John Lennon's "Imagine" beating out 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. and later Alief Elsik High School. Knowles was also a member of the choir at St. John's United Methodist Church for two years, performing as a soloist.
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