Photo by Noemi Nuñez via Flickr (cc-by-sa 2.0)

Background on Beyoncé

Early Life
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born on Sept. 4, 1981, to Mathew and Tina Knowles. At the age of seven, Beyoncé won the first talent show she entered, singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Her parents encouraged her musical talent, and she created the group Girl’s Tyme at the age of 9, which included future Destiny’s Child bandmate, Kelly Rowland.

 

Destiny's Child
Girl’s Tyme eventually became Destiny’s Child, the group that would propel Beyoncé and Co. to fame. She emerged as the lead singer on the group’s highest-charting tracks, including three No. 1 hits: “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Say My Name,” and “Bootylicious.” In 2001, Beyoncé became the first black woman to win the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Songwriter of the Year Award.

 

2003 - Solo Career Begins
A couple years after the break up of Destiny’s Child in 2001, Beyoncé released her first solo album, 2003’s “Dangerously in Love.” The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts after the success of her first single, “Crazy In Love.” Beyoncé won five GRAMMYs for her first solo effort, including Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best R&B Song. Her second solo album, “B’Day,” also won a GRAMMY Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album in 2007.

 

2008 - Sasha Fierce
In 2008, Beyoncé married longtime collaborator and boyfriend, Jay-Z, in addition to releasing her No. 1 album, “I Am… Sasha Fierce” in November. The lead single, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” has been certified Platinum four times in the U.S. alone, and spawned a dance craze with the ubiquitous black and white choreographed video.

 

Hiatus and Return
After a year and a half break from the industry, Beyoncé re-emerged in 2011 to release “4.” The record was not only her fourth release, but also her fourth consecutive to debut at No. 1. That same year, Beyoncé also announced her pregnancy at the MTV VMAs, and she and Jay-Z welcomed daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, in January 2012. A year later, she performed at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, and followed it up later that night with news of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, in accordance with a forthcoming fifth studio album.

 

The Silver Screen
As if her music career and family life don't keep her busy enough, Beyoncé also has found time over the years to dabble in other facets of entertainment. Some of her most notable film appearances include "Austin Powers in Goldmember," "Dreamgirls," "Cadillac Records," and as the voice of Queen Tara in "Epic." She's been nominated for three Golden Globes, twice for Best Original Song ("Once in a Lifetime" from "Cadillac Records" and "Listen" from "Dreamgirls") and once for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Deena Jones in "Dreamgirls"). She also has appeared on several soundtracks including "The Great Gatsby," "Dreamgirls," "Cadillac Records," and "The Pink Panther."

Studio Albums

  • 2003 - Dangerously in Love
    (4x Platinum)
  • 2006 - B'Day
    (3x Platinum)
  • 2008 - I Am...Sasha Fierce
    (2x Platinum)
  • 2011 - 4 (Platinum)

Musical Style

Beyoncé’s brand of music has evolved ever since going solo. Her style encompasses R&B, hip-hop, and soul, and at the core of her music is her powerful and instantly recognizable voice, as well as her ever-present message of female empowerment.

Major Awards

As a solo artist, Beyoncé has been nominated for 36 GRAMMY Awards and has won 14. Additional major accolades won by Beyoncé include four American Music Awards and seven Billboard Music Awards. The diva's music videos have also received acclaim, with 12 wins from 41 nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards since 2003.

Beyoncé Tours

  • 2003 - Dangerously in Love Tour
  • 2004 - Verizon Ladies First Tour
  • 2007 - The Beyoncé Experience
  • 2009-10 - I Am...World Tour
  • 2013 - The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour

Band Members

Dubbed "The Suga Mamas," Beyoncé's all-female backing band performs with her on tour and have appeared in several of her music videos as well. See a clip of the crew below as they prepare for the Super Bowl halftime performance.

  • Bibi McGill (guitar and musical director)
  • Divinity Walker Roxx (bass and musical director)
  • Marcie Chapa (percussion)
  • Nikki Glaspie (drums)
  • Kim Thompson (drums)
  • Kat Rodriguez (tenor saxophone)
  • Tia Fuller (alto saxophone)
  • Rie Tsuji (keyboardist and assistant musical director)
  • Brittani Washington (keyboardist)
  • Crystal Torres (trumpet)
  • The Mamas: Crystal Collins, Montina Cooper, Tiffany Monique (backup vocals)

Top Singles

    • Dangerously in Love

    • "Crazy in Love" (Gold)
    • "Baby Boy" (Gold)
    • "Naughty Girl" (Gold)
    • #1's

    • "Check On It" (Gold)
    • B'Day

    • "Déjà Vu" (Gold)
    • "Ring the Alarm" (Gold)
    • "Irreplaceable" (2x Platinum)
    • "Beautiful Liar" (Platinum)
    • I Am...Sasha Fierce

    • "If I Were a Boy" (2x Platinum)
    • "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (4x Platinum)
    • "Diva" (Gold)
    • "Halo" (2x Platinum)
    • "Sweet Dreams" (Platinum)
    • 4

    • "Run the World (Girls)" (Gold)
    • "Best Thing I Never Had" (Platinum)
    • "Countdown" (Gold)
    • "Love on Top" (Gold)