Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beyonce Knowles

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles  born September 4, 1981), often known by the mononym Beyoncé, is an American R&B recording artist, actress and fashion designer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
During the hiatus of Destiny's Child, Knowles released her debut solo album Dangerously in Love in 2003, which spawned the number one hits "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" and became one of the most successful albums of that year, earning her a then record-tying five Grammy Awards. Following the group's disbandment in 2005, Knowles released her second solo album, B'Day in 2006. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and included the hits "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Her third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce was released in 2008, and included the anthemic "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". The album earned Knowles six Grammys at the 52nd Grammy Awards, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night.
Apart from her work in music, Knowles has also launched a career in acting. In 2001, she made her debut in the musical film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, prior to appearing in major films, including Dreamgirls (2006), which earned her two Golden Globe nominations, and Cadillac Records (2008). In 2004, Knowles and her mother introduced their family's fashion line, House of Deréon, and has also endorsed brands such as Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and L'Oréal. In June 2010, Knowles was ranked second on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world, and first on its list of the Most Powerful and Influential musicians in the world.
Knowles has earned numerous awards and accolades. She is one of the most honored artists by the Grammys, and third among female artists, with a total of 16 Grammy Awards — 13 as a solo artist and 3 as a member of Destiny's Child.Knowles was ranked the 4th Artist of the 2000s decade by Billboardand was listed the most successful female artist of the decade, as well as the top radio artist of the decade.The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also listed Knowles as the top certified artist of the decade. In the United States alone, Knowles has sold over 11.2 million albums and nearly 25 million singles as of May 2010. As of September 2009, she has sold 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Life and career

1981–1996: Early life and career beginnings

Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Mathew Knowles, a professional record manager, and Tina Knowles (née Beyincé), a costume designer and hair stylist. Knowles' father is African American and her mother is of Creole (African, Native American, and French) descent. Knowles was baptized after her mother's maiden name, as a tribute to her mother. She is the elder sister of Solange, a singer-songwriter and actress.
Knowles was schooled at St. Mary's Elementary School in Texas, where she enrolled in dance classes, including ballet and jazz. Her talent in singing 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 began after participating in a school talent show. She sang John Lennon's "Imagine" and won the competition. At age seven, Knowles started gaining attention from the press, having been mentioned in the Houston Chronicle as a nominee for the local performing arts award The Sammy. In the fall of 1990, Knowles enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform on-stage with the school's choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and later went to Alief Elsik High School, located in the Houston suburban munincipality, Alief. Knowles was a soloist in the choir of her church, in St. John's United Methodist Church. She only lasted in the choir for two years.
At the age of eight, Knowles met LaTavia Roberson while in an audition for an all-girl entertainment group. They, along with Knowles' friend Kelly Rowland, were placed into a group that performed rapping and dancing. Originally named Girl's Tyme, they were eventually cut down to six members. West coast R&B producer Arne Frager flew into Houston to see them. He eventually brought them to his studio, The Plant Recording Studios, in Northern California, with Knowles' vocals being featured.As part of efforts to sign Girl's Tyme to a major label record deal, Frager's strategy was to début them in Star Search, the biggest talent show on national TV at the time. Girl's Tyme participated in the competition but lost it because the song they performed was not good, Knowles herself admitted. Knowles had her first "professional setback" after that defeat but regained confidence after learning that pop stars Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake had also the same experience. To manage the group, Knowles' father (who was at that time a medical-equipment salesman) resigned in 1995 from his job. He dedicated his time and established a "boot camp" for their training. The move reduced Knowles' family's income by half and her parents were forced to move into separated apartments. Not long after the inclusion of Rowland, Mathew cut the original lineup to four, with LeToya Luckett joining in 1993. Rehearsing in Tina's Headliners Salon and their backyards, the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups of the time; Tina contributed to the cause by designing their costumes, which she continued to do throughout the Destiny's Child era. With the continued support of Mathew, they auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records. They moved to Atlanta to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the record company in 1995. They returned home to start over again. This eventually put a strain on the family, and Beyoncé's parents separated briefly when she was 14. In 1996, the family reunited, and shortly after, the girls got a contract with Columbia Records.

Clothing lines

Knowles and her mother introduced House of Deréon, a ready-to-wear contemporary women's fashion line, in 2005. The concept is inspired by three generations of women in their family, with the name Deréon paying tribute to Knowles' grandmother, Agnèz Deréon, who worked as a seamstress. According to Tina Knowles, the overall style of the line best reflects Knowles' taste and style. Launched in 2006, products of House of Deréon received public exhibitions during the group's shows and tours during the Destiny Fulfilled era. The store, which is available across the United States and Canada, sells sportswear, denim along with fur, outerwear and accessories including handbags. Knowles also teamed up with House of Brands, a local shoe company, to produce a range of footwear for House of Deréon.
In 2004, Knowles and her mother founded their family's company Beyond Productions, which provides the licensing and brand management for House of Deréon. In early 2008, they launched Beyoncé Fashion Diva, a mobile game with an online social networking component, featuring House of Deréon. In July 2009, Knowles and her mother launched a new junior apparel label, Sasha Fierce for Deréon, for back-to-school selling. The collection, which is inspired by Knowles' stage presence, consists of sportswear, outerwear, handbags, footwear, eyewear, lingerie and jewelry. The clothing line was picked up by department stores including Macy’s and Dillard’s and specialty stores, Jimmy Jazz and Against All Odds.In May 2010, Knowles teamed up with clothing store C&A to release her Deréon clothing line labeled, Deréon by Beyoncé for C&A. The collection was only made available in Brazilian C&A stores.

In 2002, Knowles began dating American rapper Jay-Z, with whom she has collaborated several times. Rumors began to circulate about their relationship after Knowles was featured on his song, "'03 Bonnie & Clyde". In spite of persistent rumors , they remained discreet about their relationship. They married on April 4, 2008 in New York City. Knowles did not publicly début her wedding ring until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008, in New York City. Before they were married, Knowles and Jay-Z were listed as the Most Powerful Couple for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential people of 2006. In January 2009, Forbes ranked them as Hollywood's top-earning couple, with a combined total of $162 million. They also made it to the top of the list the following year, with a combined total of $122 million between June 2008 and June 2009.
Knowles released her third studio album, I Am... Sasha Fierce on November 18, 2008. Upon its release, it received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics; according to the music review aggregation of Metacritic, the album received an average score of 62/100. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, giving Knowles her third consecutive number one album in the US. Eventually, she became the third female artist of the 2000s decade to have her first three albums debut at the top spot of the chart. To date, I Am... Sasha Fierce has sold seven million copies worldwide.

Knowles performing "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" during her I Am... Tour in 2009
The album was proceeded with the release of its two lead singles, "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". The first single, "If I Were a Boy" topped eight charts worldwide, including the United Kingdom and reached the top-ten in many other charts. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, giving Knowles' her fifth number-one single, and was also successful in other international markets, peaking in top-ten positions around the world. The song's music video has achieved fame for its intricate choreography, which has been credited as having started the "first major dance craze of both the new millennium and the Internet". This prompted a legion of imitations and parodies from men and women all around the world, including celebrities such as pop singers Justin Timberlake and Joe Jonas, U.S. President Barack Obama and actor Tom Hanks. It received nine nominations at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and ultimately won the award for Video of the Year, and an additional two awards, though its loss in the Best Female Video category to Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me" led to a controversy during the ceremony.
In December 2008, Knowles starred in the musical biopic Cadillac Records as Etta James. She performed James' classic hit "At Last" at the Lincoln Memorial festivities in honor of the inauguration of Barack Obama and his wife Michelle's first dance as President and First lady of America, on January 20, 2009. During this time, Knowles released the fourth single off I Am... Sasha Fierce, "Halo". The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Knowles' twelfth top-ten single on the chart as a solo artist. With this feat, Knowles achieved the most top tens on the Hot 100 among any other female artists in the 2000s.In support of the album, Knowles embarked on her third concert tour, the I Am... Tour, which began in March 2009; culminating in February 2010. According to Pollstar, the tour grossed total $103.2 million for the 97 shows. In April 2009, Knowles starred opposite Ali Larter and Idris Elba in a thriller film called, Obsessed. The film proved to be a commercial success, and grossed $11.1 million on its first day of release, and ended its opening weekend at number one, with a total of $28.5 million. "Video Phone" featuring pop singer Lady Gaga received two nominations at the 2010 BET Awards for "Video of the Year" and "Best Collaboration", winning the former category on April 27, 2010. It also received five nominations at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, in the categories of "Best Choreography", "Best Collaboration", "Best Pop Video", "Best Female Video" and "Best Art Direction".
Knowles received ten nominations at the 52nd Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for I Am... Sasha Fierce, Record of the Year for "Halo", and Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", among others. This tied her with Lauryn Hill for most Grammy nominations in a single year by a female artist. Knowles ultimately set the record for the most Grammy awards won on a single night by a female artist, when she won six awards from her ten nominations; Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Halo", Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for "At Last".

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