Grown Woman, Diva, Queen Bee; Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter
Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation! Those words kept ringing in my head as I began writing this. Beyonce was a massive influence on me.
The first time I heard or even thought about feminism was in Beyonce's 'Flawless'.
Also, My childhood best friend Stephanie has been an active member of the Beyhive since I met her when we were about ten years old, so I didn't have a choice.
Beyonce Giselle Knowles was born on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas, to Celestine Tina Knowles, a hairdresser and salon owner, and Matthew Knowles, a Xerox sales manager. Tina is Louisiana Creole, and Mathew is African American. Beyoncé reminds us of her ancestry in 'Formation'.
Beyoncé's younger sister, Solange Knowles, is also a singer and a former backup dancer for Destiny's Child. Solange and Beyoncé are the first sisters to have both had number one albums. The Knowles sisters are a force to reckon with.
Early Music and Destiny’s Child
Beyoncé and her childhood pals founded Destiny's Child, a singing and rapping girl group, in 1990 when she was nine.
The group was dropped from a recording deal three years after losing the Star Search television talent competition in 1992. This happened before the group's album had even been released.
After signing a recording deal with Columbia and releasing a first album that included the number-one hit "No, No, No Part 2," Destiny's Child's fortunes turned around in 1997.
Their second album, 'The Writing's on the Wall', was released in 1999 and sold more than eight million copies in the US while winning the group's two Grammy Awards.
The band's third album, Survivor (2001), peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
Beyoncé, who wrote successful songs for Destiny's Child like the sassy "Bootylicious," was undoubtedly the group's leader.
Solo Artist Bey
Beyoncé created her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003 using her songwriting skills. The album received acclaim upon release and quickly rose to the top of the charts worldwide, largely thanks to the upbeat hit "Crazy in Love," which featured rapper Jay-Z.
Beyoncé received five Grammy Awards in 2004, including the best female R&B vocal performance and the best contemporary R&B album.
2004 saw the reunion of Destiny's Child to record Destiny Fulfilled. Although usually not as well received as the band's earlier works, the album sold more than seven million copies globally and produced several hit singles.
In 2005, the trio set out on a globe tour, during which they officially announced that they were breaking up. They published #1's, a compilation of well-known songs and number one singles, in the same year.
Beyoncé's second solo studio album, 'B'Day', was released in 2006 and included the Neptunes, a hit-making partnership, among other co-producers. Even though the album's funk influences could be heard throughout much of it, the pop ballad "Irreplaceable" became its most famous song.
In 2008, She married Jay-Z, and their relationship helped them become one of the highest-earning couples in the entertainment business. 'I Am...Sasha Fierce', Beyoncé's double album, was released later that year.
She was more reflective in the first half (I Am), whilst the second half (Sasha Fierce) saw her win the most Grammys won by a female artist in a single night.
The entire album produced several singles, including the bold 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)', which helped Beyoncé win the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Days after giving a stunning headline performance at the Glastonbury Festival in England, Beyoncé released "4 (2011)", a genre-defying collection of ballads and dance music that drew inspiration from everything from Motown torch songs to rapper M.I.A.
Early in 2013, Beyoncé won a Grammy for "Love on Top" and came back with 'Beyoncé', a confidently sensual and expressive album that featured top producers and guest appearances from celebrities like the Nigerian scholar Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the singer's little daughter Blue Ivy.
The album, which was first only available on iTunes, was marketed as a "visual album," with music videos created to go along with each track. Jay-collaboration Z's on the tune "Drunk in Love" won numerous Grammys, including best R&B song.
Beyoncé centred on the themes of betrayal and tenacity in 'Lemonade (2016)', a vast and musically diverse album. It made its premiere as an HBO television special and was intended to be another visual album.
Lemonade, my favourite, received a lot of praise, and Beyoncé won two Grammys for it, including one for the best music video for the anthem "Formation."
Everything Is Love, a joint album by Beyoncé and Jay-Z and credited to the Carters, was released in 2018 and won the Grammy for the Best Urban Contemporary Album.
Beyoncé was the first Black woman to perform as the festival's headlining act in Indio, California, the same year.
Homecoming, a Netflix documentary and live album released in 2019, was about her critically lauded performance, which included marching bands from historically Black universities.
Although Beyoncé worked on numerous projects between studio albums, fans had to wait for a new solo album while studio albums were being released. Act I: RENAISSANCE was the last Album she delivered in 2022.
Beyoncé made her acting debut in the 2001 MTV television film 'Carmen: A Hip Hopera'. She became a movie sensation after playing Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers: Goldmember (2002), which led to roles in The Fighting Temptations (2003) and The Pink Panther (2006). She portrayed Deena Jones in Dreamgirls in 2006, a movie version of the Broadway musical from 1981 about a 1960s singing quartet.
Beyoncé's performance and song "Listen" have received nominations for Academy Awards. She next portrayed singer Etta James in 'Cadillac Records' (2008) and the suspense film 'Obsessed' (2009) before lending her voice to an animated forest queen in the film 'Epic' (2013).
Beyoncé voiced Nala in the 2019 adaptation of Disney's The Lion King and sang several songs from the soundtrack, including "Spirit," an original song she co-wrote, and a cover of "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."
She published "The Lion King: The Gift", an album influenced by the motion picture. Later, songs from that album were included in the Disney+ streaming service's visual album "Black Is King"(2020).
Beyoncé won the Grammy for best R&B performance in 2021 for the song "Black Parade." She won three additional prizes that year, making it the most Grammys (28) ever won by a female performer.
Later, Beyoncé co-wrote and performed the song "Be Alive" for the movie King Richard (2021), for which it was nominated for an Oscar for best original song. Beyonce's influence is an enigma, and her music has touched so many people and inspired many across generations.