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Born September 4, 1981 in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé has become one of the most widely recognized and highly respected women in pop culture. She established herself as a founding member and front woman of Destiny's Child and later developed into an iconic solo artist, actress, philanthropist and businesswoman.
The journey to superstardom began when Destiny's Child was formed in Houston, Texas in 1990. Beyoncé was only 9 years old. Destiny’s Child went on to become the top-selling female recording group of all-time.
In 2001, Beyoncé became the first African-American woman and the second woman ever to take home the ASCAP PopSongwriter of the Year Award. She made chart history in 2003 when she became the first artist in 20 years, and the first female recording artist ever, to simultaneously reach #1 in the U.S and the U.K with both her debut solo album Dangerously In Love and single "Crazy In Love", a feat accomplished by a mere handful of artists -- including the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Rod Stewart, and Men At Work. Beyoncé toured America for the first time as a solo artist in 2004 in support of her #1 multi-platinum debut solo album, Dangerously In Love which earned her five Grammy Awards that year including Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best R&B Song for "Crazy In Love" featuring Jay-Z. With her five-in-one-year Grammy win, Beyoncé tied the record for the most Grammy’s to be won in a single year by a female artist.
On September 4, 2006 (September 5 in the U.S.), Beyoncé released her second solo album B'DAY to coincide with her 25th birthday. B'DAY closed out 2006 as one of the year's most successful albums, entering the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart at #1 and achieving 2006's highest first week's sales of any female recording act, group or solo.
On February 11, 2007, B'DAY won the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album, resulting in Beyoncé's 10th Grammy win overall and 7th win as a solo artist. In November of that year, the American Music Awards honored Beyoncé with the International Artist Award making her the first woman in AMA history and sixth artist overall to be recognized with the prestigious award. In December of 2007, Beyoncé received two more Grammy nominations for chart-topping singles from B’DAY: Record of the Year for "Irreplaceable" and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Beautiful Liar," her superstar duet with Shakira. "Beautiful Liar" set the all-time record for the biggest chart jump in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 bulleting upward an unprecedented 91 slots (#94* to #3*) in a single week.
In 2007, Beyoncé embarked on the tour of the year, "The Beyoncé Experience" which showcased the international music and film star, along with her sizzling all-female band,"The SUGAMAMA'S" performing musical hits, classics, and surprises in an innovative and high-tech concert environment. November 2007 saw the release of The Beyoncé Experience LIVE!, a deluxe DVD capturing all the visual thrills and musical excitement of her spectacular world concert tour. Recorded on September 2, 2007 during Beyoncé's performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, The Beyoncé Experience LIVE! DVD contains Beyoncé's full concert performance and features a cameo from Jay-Z and the historic reunion of R&B/pop super group Destiny's Child. The Beyoncé Experience LIVE! has been certified platinum by the RIAA.
November 18, 2008 marked the release date for the most anticipated album of the year, I AM…SASHA FIERCE. The two-disc set was a musical showcase for Beyoncé as never seen nor heard before from the artist. Each of the discs revealed a distinctly different side of her personality, character and sensibility; a forum for the yin-and-yang of her developing artistry. “I AM” displayed the intimate, heartfelt ballads while “SASHA FIERCE” boldly gave voice to Beyoncé’s up-tempo, dance-oriented other side. It was the most-talked about album of 2009, with the video for the track, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” becoming the most-watched and most mimicked around the globe.
Beyoncé started the year 2010 with historic wins at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Coming into the awards ceremony as the most nominated artist of the year with ten nominations, most from her worldwide #1 album, I AM…SASHA FIERCE, Beyoncé took home six Grammy’s®, setting a record for the female artist with the most wins in one single year. She has now earned 16 Grammy’s overall.
Her historic six wins include: Song of the Year “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance “Halo”, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance “At Last”, Best R&B Song “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”, Best Contemporary R&B Album I AM…SASHA FIERCE. The win for “At Last” honored her work on the Cadillac Records soundtrack for her rendition of the Etta James hit which was seen by a worldwide audience in 2009 on Inauguration night, when she performed for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at their request.
The “I AM…” World Tour in support of the critically acclaimed album opened in Canada in March 2009 and took Beyoncé to over 100 cities around the world. She performed to sold-out crowds on every continent, including her biggest live solo concert audience ever in Sặo Paulo, Brazil, where 60,000 fans attended the show on February 6, 2010 at Morumbi Stadium. Billboard Magazine named the “I AM” World Tour the #1 concert attraction of 2009. Billboard also named Beyoncé Woman of the Year in October 2009 and Top Female Artist of the Decade in December 2009.
At the end of the North American leg of the tour in August 2009, Beyoncé performed four sold-out nights at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. She re-worked and re-imagined her arena show as “I AM…YOURS An Intimate Performance At Wynn Las Vegas,” to fit the smaller, more intimate 1500 seat theater. The show was released as a concert DVD on November 23, 2009 featuring a biographical story telling woven between many songs and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. On Thanksgiving Night, the ABC television network aired a one-hour special of the live Vegas show. The I AM…WORLD TOUR , directed by Beyoncé for her own Parkwood Entertainment, debuted exclusively on ABC television as a 90-minute Thanksgiving Day primetime special. The DVD was released on November 26, 2010.
Beyoncé took most of 2010 off after the tremendous success of all things I AM…, the album, the tour, the TV special and the DVD. She traveled around the world and listened to different influences that inspired her latest album, 4, released on June 28, 2011. Two days before the album’s release Beyoncé made her historic debut on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, performing for a crowd of 200,000.
The critically acclaimed 4 is a shape-shifting piece of musical work for Beyoncé . Opening with three platinum-plated ballads to mid-tempos, 4 sets out its vision as a radical sidestep from the era-defining club and pop hits of Destiny's Child. For the first half of the album, before she jumps off into the street-smart 90s NewJack bounce of "Party", a collaboration with Kanye West and Andre 3000, you might even call it her rock record. Touring the world along with her husband, Jay-Z and his entourage in 2010 had opened her up to the possibilities of new genres and the magnitude of the festival experience. She had started looking beyond stadiums, watching Linkin Park and Muse and Rage Against The Machine whip up their adoring fans in different ways than pop music intuits. She liked what she saw. Beyoncé started thinking about the possibility of re-writing her place in musical history. 4is bold, experimental and showcases Beyoncé’s formidable, flawless voice to perfection on some impressive ballads, including “1+1,” “I Care,” and “I Was Here.” The bolder side of 4 include “Countdown,” “Love On Top,” and the album’s debut single, “Run The World (Girls).”
In August 2011, Beyoncé performed the album 4 to an intimate audience over four nights at New York’s famed Roseland Ballroom. The “Live At Roseland” DVD, also directed by Beyoncé, was released on November 21, 2011.