Born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas, Knowles started singing at an early age. As a child, she competed in local talent shows, and won many of these events by impressing audiences with her natural singing and dancing abilities.
Teaming up with her cousin, Kelly Rowland, and two classmates, Beyoncé formed an all-female singing group. Her father, Matthew Knowles, served as the band's manager. The group went through some name and line-up changes before landing a record deal in 1997 with Columbia Records. Destiny's Child soon became one of the most popular R&B acts, with the release of their first, self-titled album. Gaining momentum, the group scored its first No. 1 single on the pop charts with "Bills, Bills, Bills," off their second album. The recording also featured another smash hit, "Say My Name."
While enjoying her group's success, Beyoncé began exploring other projects. She made her acting debut in 2001 with a starring role in MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera. She then co-starred with Mike Myers in the spy parody Goldmember the following year. On the musical front, Beyoncé took center stage as a solo artist, releasing her first album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. The recording became a huge success for her, both commercially and critically. It sold millions of copies and won five Grammy Awards. On the album, Beyoncé worked with a number of different artists, including Missy Elliott, Sean Paul and Jay-Z. She was rumored to be dating Jay-Z around this time, but the couple did not publicly acknowledge their relationship.
Destiny's Child released their last studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, in 2004, and officially broke up the following year.
On her own, Beyoncé continued to enjoy great success. Her second studio album, 2006's B'Day featured such hits as "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar." On the big screen, she starred opposite Jennifer Hudson, Jaime Foxx and Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls. The film was adapted from...