Born: September 04, 1981
One of the most recognizable characters in modern-day R&B, Beyoncé first rose to fame as the siren-voiced centerpiece of Destiny's Child before embarking on a multi-platinum solo career in 2001. Booming record sales, Grammy awards, movie roles, and a romance with rapper/CEO Jay-Z combined to heighten her profile in the 2000s, making the singer a virtual mainstay in the entertainment world. While some media outlets derisively championed Paris Hilton as "the next Marilyn Monroe," Beyoncé was a much better contender for the role, her glittering pop culture persona only matched by her success onscreen and on record.
Born in Houston in September 1981, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles began performing at age seven, winning upwards of 30 local competitions for her dancing and vocal abilities. She also joined her cousin Kelly Rowland and classmates LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett in forming an adolescent vocal group. Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and Rowland's legal guardian, signed on to be the girls' manager, eventually quitting his full-time job to focus on their efforts. This situation would ultimately lead to the creation of one of the most popular female R&B groups of all time -- Destiny's Child.
Destiny's Child gained momentum throughout the '90s, appearing on Star Search in 1992 (under the name Girl's Tyme) and weathering several lineup changes before signing to Columbia Records in 1997. Four studio albums later, the group had officially become the best-selling female group of all time, with such smash hits as "Jumpin' Jumpin'," "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," and "Survivor" bolstering the girls' momentum despite a continued string of lawsuits from former members Roberson and Luckett (who contested Mathew Knowles' management, claiming he withheld profits and unjustly favored his daughter and niece). In 2001, Beyoncé, Rowland, and replacement member Michelle Williams allowed themselves a break from the group to pursue individual solo careers. Before landing several movie roles, Beyoncé became the first African-American female artist and second woman ever to win the annual ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year Award. An appearance in the MTV drama Carmen: A Hip Hopera quickly followed, but it was her role as Foxxy Cleopatra in 2002's Austin Powers in Goldmember that established Beyoncé as a true Hollywood star. ... full Beyonce biography