Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (/biːˈjɒnseɪ/; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Beyoncé’s debut album, Dangerously in Love(2003), which established her as a solo artist worldwide, earned five Grammy Awards and featured theBillboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy“.
Following the disbandment of Destiny’s Child in June 2005, she released her second solo album, B’Day(2006), which contained hits “Déjà Vu“, “Irreplaceable“, and “Beautiful Liar“. Beyoncé also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Dreamgirls (2006) and starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006) and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the birth of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)“. Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), was released in conjunction with a short film of the same name.
A self-described “modern-day feminist“, her musical repertoire is often characterized by themes of love, relationships, and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. Her dynamic and highly choreographed on-stage performances have led many critics to consider her one of the most effective entertainers in contemporary popular music. Throughout a career spanning 19 years, she has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million with Destiny’s Child, making her one of thebest-selling music artists of all time. She has won 20 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award show’s history. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized her as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s (decade). In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s (decade) and received their Millennium Award in 2011. Time listed her among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and 2014. Forbes magazine also listed her as the most powerful female musician of 2015.