Beyonce Giselle Knowles (known as Beyonce in music) was born in Houston, Texas in 1981 to record manager Matthew Knowles and Tina Beyince, a costume designer. Matthew Knowles is African American while Tina is of Creole descent. Beyonce was given her name after her mother's maiden name.
Beyonce was trained in music and dance from an early age. She took ballet and jazz at St. Mary's Elementary School and found an interest in music after winning a talent show at age seven. At this talent show, Beyonce sang John Lennon's "Imagine."
At around the same time, Beyonce met LaTavia Roberson when auditioning for a girl group. The two were placed in the group, along with Beyonce's friend Kelly Rowland. The group was called Gyrl's Time and saw popularity in the region. With the help of R&B producer Arne Frager, the girls entered on Star Search, but lost the competition.
In 1995, Beyonce's father quit his job as a medical-equipment salesman and served as the girls' manager. He cut the other girls from Gyrl's Time and added LeToya Luckett to make the group total four. The girls auditioned before many labels and were signed to Elektra Records, only to be dropped months later.
Gyrl Time changed their name to Destiny's Child in 1993, taking the name from the Book of Isaiah. The girls finally got the deal they wanted in 1997 and became a dominant force in R&B. Destiny's Child scored #1 hits with singles like "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," "Independent Women," and "Bootylicious." The girls sold millions of albums and were a global phenomenon.
However, while a member of the group, Beyonce took several opportunities to perform solo. She released a single "Work It Out" for the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack in 2002 and "Fighting Temptation" on the soundtrack for The Fighting Temptations in 2003.
Beyonce released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love in 2003. The album debuted at number one and sold 317,000 copies in its first week. The album went on to become 4X platinum. The album featured several hit singles with "Crazy In Love" topping the Hot 100 and going gold, "Baby Boy" which went platinum and topped the Hot 100, "Naughty Girl" which reached #3 on the Hot 100, and "Me Myself and I" which reached #4 on the Hot 100. With the immense success of the album, Beyonce won five Grammy Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song and Best Contemporary R&B Album.
In 2004, Beyonce was going to continue her solo career with a second album, but put it on hold to reunite with Destiny's Child. The group put out a last album titled Destiny Fulfilled. Beyonce then put her album further on hold to appear in the movie Dreamgirls. However, the work in the movie inspired Beyonce and a lot of the emotion she felt after the filming was poured into her next album.
This album would go on to be called B'Day and was released in September, 2006. The album opened with 541,000 copies sold in the firs week. It went 3X platinum despite some critics feeling that the album was rushed. The album's singles included "Ring The Alarm" which reached #11 on the Hot 100, "Irreplaceable" which topped the Hot 100, and "Deja Vu" which reached #4 on the Hot 100.
Beyonce's third studio album is expected to release in November 2008.
Outside of music, Beyonce has done many product endorsements. She did a promotional deal with Pepsi in 2002 and has also worked with companies including L'Oreal, Tommy Hillfiger, and Emproio Armani. It was reported that she made $80 million in 2007.
In her personal life, Beyonce is married to rapper Jay Z. The two got married in April 2008, and had been dating since 2002.
Another active area of Beyonce's career has been her work in the movie industry. Beyonce has starred in Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Fighting Temptations and The Pink Panther. She also played a star role in the film Dreamgirls and is set to appear in the films Cadillac Records and Obsessed.