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*Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter Knowles was born on this date in 1981. She is a Black singer and songwriter.
Beyonce Giselle Knowles is from Houston, Texas, the daughter of Celestine "Tina" Knowles (née Beyonce), a hairdresser and salon owner, and Mathew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager. Beyoncé's name is a tribute to her mother's maiden name. Her younger sister Solange Knowles is also a singer and a former backup dancer for Destiny's Child. Solange and Beyoncé are the first sisters to have both had No. 1 album. Mathew is African American, and Tina is Louisiana Creole, with distant Jewish, Spanish, Chinese, and Indonesian ancestry.
Beyoncé was raised Catholic and attended St. Mary's Montessori School in Houston, where she took dance classes. Her singing talent was discovered when her dance instructor began humming a song and she finished it, able to hit the high-pitched notes. Beyoncé's interest in music and performing continued after winning a school talent show at age seven, singing John Lennon's "Imagine". In the fall of 1990, Beyoncé enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform with the school's choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School. Beyoncé was also a member of the choir at St. John's United Methodist Church as a soloist for two years.
When Beyoncé was eight, she and childhood friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while at an audition. They were placed into a group called Girl's Tyme with three other girls and rapped and danced on the talent show circuit in Houston. After seeing the group, R&B producer Arne Frager brought them to his Northern California studio and placed them in Star Search on national TV. Girl's Tyme failed to win. In 1995 Beyoncé's father resigned from his job to manage the group. The move reduced Beyoncé's family's income by half, and her parents were forced to move into separate apartments. The girls auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records, moving to Atlanta Records briefly to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the company. This put further strain on the family, and Beyoncé's parents separated.
On October 5, 1995, Grass Roots Entertainment signed the group. In 1996, the girls began recording their debut album under an agreement with Sony Music, the Knowles family reunited, and shortly after, the group got a contract with Columbia Records. Following the 2006 ending of Destiny's Child, she released her second solo album, B'Day. She's been in multiple films such as The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), Obsessed (2009), and The Lion King (2019). On April 4, 2008, she married Jay-Z. Her marriage and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which earned six Grammy Awards in 2010.
After leaving her manager and father Mathew Knowles in 2010, Beyoncé released her musically diverse fourth album 4 in 2011. She later followed with sonically experimental visual albums, Beyoncé (2013) and Lemonade (2016), the latter exploring themes of infidelity and womanism. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband as the Carters. As a featured artist, Beyoncé topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the remixes of "Perfect" in 2017 and "Savage" in 2020. The same year, she released the musical film and visual album Black Is King to widespread acclaim.
Beyoncé has sold 118 million records worldwide. She is the first artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 with their first six solo studio albums. Her success during the 2000s includes 28 Grammy Awards, 26 MTV Video Music Awards (including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award in 2014), 24 NAACP Image Awards, 31 BET Awards, and 17 Soul Train Music Awards; all of which are more than any other singer.
In 2014, Billboard named her the highest-earning Black musician of all time, while in 2020, she was included on Time's list of 100 women who defined the last century.