Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American Pop/R&B singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
In June 2003, during the hiatus of Destiny's Child, Knowles released her debut solo album, “Dangerously in Love,” which became one of the most successful albums of that year, and signaled her viability as a solo artist. The album, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart was a commercial and critical success, spawning the worldwide hits “Crazy in Love,” “Baby Boy,” “Me, Myself & I” and “Naughty Girl.” In 2003, “Crazy in Love” peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for eight consecutive weeks while “Baby Boy” maintained its #1 position for one additional week on the same chart. “Dangerously in Love” earned Beyoncé a then record-tying five Grammy Awards in 2004 and it remains Knowles' best-selling album to date.
The disbanding of Destiny's Child in 2005 facilitated her continued success, with the release of her third Hot 100 #1 single and worldwide hit, “Check on It,” recorded for the soundtrack to the film, “The Pink Panther,” featuring Slim Thug, and later included in her second studio album, 2006’s “B'Day.” Much of the theme and musical style of the album were inspired by Knowles' role in the feature film, “Dreamgirls.” “B'Day” became her second solo #1 album on the Billboard 200 and yielded six singles, including Top 10 hits, “Déjà Vu,” “Irreplaceable” and “Beautiful Liar.” “Ring the Alarm” became Knowles' biggest debut on the Billboard Hot 100, entering at #12 in 2006. “Irreplaceable” remained at the top of the same chart for ten consecutive weeks in 2007, becoming Knowles longest running single at the pole position of that chart. It earned her the Grammy Award for Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 49th Grammy Awards. The album has sold more than six million copies worldwide.
Her third solo album, “I Am… Sasha Fierce,” was released in November 2008. It is classified as a dual disc album, the first disc “I Am...” incorporates slow and mid-tempo R&B ballads and pop songs, while the second disc “Sasha Fierce,” named after Beyoncé's alter ego, contains more uptempo danceable songs which cross from Euro to electropop. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 giving Knowles her third consecutive #1 album. It included such singles as “If I Were a Boy,” “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks, “Halo” and “Sweet Dreams.” The debut of “Video Phone” on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, made “I Am... Sasha Fierce” the first album of the 21st century to have seven songs enter that chart. The album earned Knowles eight nominations for the 52nd Grammy Awards. Knowles also received an additional two nominations for her work in the film “Cadillac Records.” Beyoncé earned six Grammy Awards, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night.
Knowles' fourth studio album, “4,” was released in 2011. Its lead single, “Run the World (Girls),” reaching #33 on the Hot 100 and the second single, “Best Thing I Never Had,” went to #31.
Knowles is one of the most honored artists by the Grammys, and third among female artists, with 16 awards, 13 as a solo artist and three as a member of Destiny's Child. Beyoncé is currently the only artist in history to have all her studio albums win the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and debut at the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 throughout her solo music career. Knowles has attained five Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles as a solo performer and four with Destiny's Child. As a solo artist, Beyoncé has sold over 11.2 million albums and nearly 25 million singles in the United States alone. In 2010, the RIAA listed her as the top certified artist of the decade.