Beyoncé Knowles

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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981) is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, dancer, and fashion designer.

Beyoncé rose to stardom as a founding member of R&B group Destiny's Child. After a series of commercially successful records with the group, she released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which topped both the R&B and Billboard 200 charts in the U.S. and the main album charts in Canada and the United Kingdom. Beyoncé has won nine Grammy Awards — six for her solo work, and three as a member of Destiny's Child.

Beyoncé released her second solo album, B'Day, on September 4, 2006 around the world and September 5, 2006 in the United States, to coincide with the celebration of her twenty-fifth birthday. The album became her highest debut as a solo artist on the Billboard album charts in the U.S., selling over 540,000 copies in the first week.

Beyoncé is the elder of two daughters born to Mathew and Tina Knowles (née Tina Beyince) in Houston, Texas. Her father and mother are African American, Lumis Beyince a (seamstress)and Agnes Dereon--Beyonce's maternal grandparents, were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles. Her parents decided on her first name as a tribute to her mother's surname. Her sister is Solange Knowles, an actress and a singer.

By age seven, Beyoncé was attending dance school and was a soloist in her church choir. Her dance instructor took an interest in Knowles and took her star student to various competitions. Knowles went on to win over 30 local singing and dancing competitions.

As a teenager, Beyoncé attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where she showed her musical talents. She later went to Alief Elsik High School, also in Houston.

Destiny's Child rose to fame in with the Billboard top ten hit, "No, No, No Part 2". Even after much-publicized turmoil involving the departure of LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, Destiny's Child (eventually a trio and became one of the most successful R&B/pop acts of the early 2000s, charting four number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles, several top-ten hits, and two number-one albums. The group also earned number ones on various other Billboard and non-Billboard charts.

Their 1998 platinum-selling debut album was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri and featured the platinum top three single "No, No, No". The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, released in 1999, featured two number-one hits in "Bills Bills Bills" and "Say My Name". "Bug A Boo" and "Jumpin', Jumpin'" were also popular singles from the album. "Say My Name" won two awards at the 2000 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best R&B Song .

Their next album, Survivor, proved to be another big success, going to number one on both the American Billboard 200 and R&B Albums charts, as well as the Canadian and the UK album chart. Two singles from the album went to the top of the Hot 100: "Independent Women", "Bootylicious," and "Survivor" the album's title track reaching number two. In the United Kingdom, the first two tracks released reached number one consecutively. "Independent Women Part 1" had been the theme song for the film Charlie's Angels 2000, before the album's release. The title track, "Survivor", should win the group their fourth Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

In 2006, Beyoncé won the Songwriter of the Year award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards.

After the three year hiatus that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Beyoncé rejoined Rowland and Williams for Destiny's Child's fourth (and so far final) studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, released in November 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hits "Lose My Breath", "Soldier", "Girl" and "Cater 2 U". The album title itself was a hint that Destiny Fulfilled may in fact be the last Destiny's Child album and so far that has been the case.

In 2005, Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour sponsored by McDonald's titled, Destiny Fulfilled and Lovin' It, visiting over 70 cities throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and North America from April to September. On June 13, 2005 it was announced that the group would disband after their world tour ended in September 2005.

In October 2005, the group released their final album, entitled #1's, including all of Destiny's Child's number-one hits and most of their well-known songs. The Greatest Hits collection also includes three new tracks, including "Stand Up for Love". The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and number six on the UK Top 75 chart.

In 2005 at the World Music Awards, Destiny's Child were given the award for the biggest-selling girl group of all time with record sales of over 50 million. When Houston hosted the 55th NBA All-Star weekend in 2006, Destiny's Child peformed a version of Starred Spangled Banner as one of their last performances together.

During the autumn of 2002, Beyoncé was the featured vocalist on rapper Jay-Z's hit single, "'03 Bonnie & Clyde". In the spring of 2003, Beyoncé remade a duet with the late Luther Vandross, "The Closer I Get to You", originally made famous by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. In this version, the vocal parts are switched, with Vandross taking Flack's part and Knowles taking Hathaway's. The song was included on both her solo debut album and on Vandross's Dance with My Father album, and the two shared the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals that same year.

In 2003, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No.1 selling 317,000 copies in its first week. It was certified Platinum just two weeks later on July 29, 2003. Its first single, "Crazy in Love", featured a propulsive riff and a guest rap from Jay-Z, rapidly becoming one of the biggest hits of that summer, staying at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for eight weeks. Dangerously in Love went to the top of the album charts in the UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, Greece and the Philippines, and peaked on both the U.S. Billboard 200 and R&B charts. The album has sold four million copies domestically and 11 million copies worldwide. When her single and album simultaneously topped the pop charts in both the U.S. and the UK, she became the first act to achieve this feat since Men at Work in 1983 and The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and Rod Stewart in the 1960s and 1970s - thus becoming the first and so far, the only female artist to do so. Beyoncé was consequently one of the biggest-selling artists of 2003.

Towards the end of the summer, "Baby Boy", Dangerously in Loves second single, which featured Sean Paul, began to climb the charts. It went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2003, dominating radio airplay in the autumn of 2003, and spending nine weeks at number one — one week longer than "Crazy in Love". Afterwards Beyoncé released her third solo single, "Me, Myself and I"; Dangerously in Loves fourth single, "Naughty Girl", came out in mid-2004. Both songs peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

At the 2004 Grammy Awards ceremony, Beyoncé won a record-tying five Grammy awards for her solo effort. These awards included Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Dangerously in Love 2", and Best Contemporary R&B Album. Three other female artists hold this record: Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and Norah Jones. She also won a Brit Award in 2004 for Best International Female Solo Artist in United Kingdom which made her the first female solo artist to have won prominent awards both domestically and internationally in the same year.

In December 2005, Beyoncé released "Check on It", featuring Slim Thug and (in the official remix) Bun B. The song was from the Destiny's Child compilation, #1's and the The Pink Panther soundtrack and it was Knowles' sixth top five hit and third number one.

At the 2006 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé won a Grammy in the category of Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the song "So Amazing", a duet with Stevie Wonder from the Luther Vandross tribute album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross.

Knowles' sophomore album B'Day was released worldwide on September 4, 2006 and on September 5, 2006 in the U.S. to coincide with the celebration of Beyoncé's twenty-fifth birthday. In its first week the album sold more than 540,000 copies domestically, immediately coming in at number 1, making it her highest selling first week as a solo artist. "Deja Vu", the album's first single, features Jay-Z with co-production by Rodney Jerkins. Other co-producers on B'Day included Rich Harrison, The Neptunes and Swizz Beatz. Beyoncé finished work on her second studio album in two weeks and has said the album's tracks came to her in a dream.

The album's lead single "Deja Vu" became a top 5 hit in the United States, a #1 hit on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at #1 in the UK, making it Beyoncé's second UK number one single, when it climbed 20 spots to take the top spot over Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie" in the week of August 27, 2006.

The second single "Ring the Alarm", was leaked on the internet August 8, 2006. The video for "Ring the Alarm" was released on August 16, 2006 on Yahoo.com and peaked at #1 on the site's video chart. Though the song failed to enter the top 10 of the U.S. Hot 100, "Ring The Alarm" became Beyonce's highest single charting debut, when it debuted at #12 on the singles chart, eventually peaking at #11. Outside Nothern America "Irreplaceable", was released as the album's second international single from B'Day in October of 2006.

In September 2006, Beyoncé won three awards at the UK's MOBO Awards ceremony.

In 2001, Beyoncé turned to acting, starring alongside actor Mekhi Phifer in the MTV television movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera.

In the summer of 2002, Beyoncé co-starred in the film Austin Powers in Goldmember, playing Foxxy Cleopatra opposite Mike Myers and Michael Caine. The film is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest-Grossing Box Office Film Comedy. Beyoncé also recorded the song "Work It Out" for the film's soundtrack. "Work It Out" was a top-ten hit in the UK and a top-forty hit in the Netherlands, Australia, and Ireland, despite being Beyoncé's biggest commercial disappointment to date in the U.S., where radio stations barely played the song and the video received very minor exposure, playing only on digital video channels, MTV Jams and VH1 Soul.

In 2003, Beyoncé starred opposite Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the film The Fighting Temptations, and recorded a song for it called "Fighting Temptation", featuring Missy Elliott, MC Lyte, and Free. Unlike Knowles' own singles, the song did not become a hit, although the film was a moderate success at the box office.

Beyoncé co-starred in the film The Pink Panther, playing the role of Xania, an international pop singer, opposite Steve Martin, who plays Inspector Clouseau. The film was released on February 10, 2006 and was #1 at the box office on its opening weekend. With Austin Powers in Goldmember and The Pink Panther, Knowles now has starred in two films that opened at #1 at the box office; her films have grossed over $481,364,728 worldwide.

Beyoncé has completed filming the movie Dreamgirls, the film adaptation of the hit 1981 Broadway musical about a 1960s singing group loosely based on The Supremes, as the Diana Ross-based character Deena Jones. The film is scheduled for release on December 22, 2006.

Beyoncé, music producer David Foster, and his daughter, Amy Foster Gillies, wrote Destiny's Child's single "Stand Up for Love" for World Children's Day, an event which takes place annually around the world on November 20 to raise awareness and funds for children's causes worldwide. Destiny's Child lent their voices and support as global ambassadors for the 2005 World Children's Day program.

Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, along with Matthew Knowles, Tina Knowles, and sister Solange Knowles recently announced the formation of the Survivor Foundation, a charitable entity set up for the purpose of providing transitional housing for Hurricane Katrina victims and storm evacuees in the Houston, Texas area. The Survivor Foundation extends the philanthropic mission of the "Knowles-Rowland Center For Youth", a multi-purpose community outreach facility in downtown Houston.

* Animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have voiced concern over Beyoncé wearing and using fur in her clothing line, House of Dereon. After winning an online eBay auction, offered by VH1 for the Save the Music Foundation, to dine with Knowles in June 2006, two PETA members confronted the singer at a restaurant in New York City about her use of fur. Knowles did not respond, and the PETA members were escorted out.

* On August 25, 2006, PETA wrote a letter of concern to Beyoncé, about the actions made to baby alligators in a photoshoot. Knowles spoke to Arena magazine about the photoshoot for Ring the Alarm, where a baby alligator's mouth shut. She told Arena, "There was a shot where I held an alligator. It had its mouth taped -- that was my bright idea." Knowles added, "He was really cute, but since his mouth was taped, he didn't have any way to defend himself. He was upset, so he peed on me. That was an experience." The organization contacted a biologist, who wrote a letter to Beyoncé. "As a specialist in reptile biology and welfare, I'm concerned about your posing with a terrified baby alligator for your new album cover." He added, "Humans and alligators are not natural bedfellows, and the two should not mix at events such as photo shoots. In my view, doing so is arguably abusive to an animal."Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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