Biography of Houston-native Beyonce Knowles-Carter

How a girl from southeast Houston became a musical powerhouse

Beyonce Knowles, Photo Galleries
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Beyoncé at a Glance
Born in Houston, Texas in September of 1981, Beyoncé is quite possibly one of the most recognizable musical performers of this time. She began her professional singing career in 1997 as the lead vocalist of Destiny's Child. She went on to release her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003. Beyoncé's albums have earned her 20 Grammy awards and countless other accolades.  

What's Beyoncé's Real Name?
Beyoncé was born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles.

Where Is Beyoncé From?
Beyoncé was born and raised in the southwest area of Houston, Texas. She attended the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before moving on to pursue a musical career.

Beyoncé's Other Ventures
Since beginning her career as a vocal performer, Beyoncé has also delved into such industries as film and fashion design. She debuted her acting abilities in 2001 as the main character in MTV's Carmen: A Hip Hopera, then conquered the Silver Screen as Foxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember the following year. She has since performed in eight other films, including the Academy Award-winning Dreamgirls.  

In 2005, Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, launched a contemporary women's line of clothing labeled House of Dereon. The line, which features denim and fur, reflects many of the styles actually worn by Beyoncé and can be purchased in department stores and boutiques throughout the world. Beyoncé later founded the House of Dereon Media Center in Downtown Houston.

View Beyoncé's Collaborations

Beyoncé's Philanthropic Efforts
Knowles, along with her parents and former band mate Kelly Rowland, founded the Survivor Foundation which provided transitional housing Hurricane Katrina victims and storm evacuees in the Houston area. In December 2002, Knowles and Rowland donated $1.5 million to the building of the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth for her childhood church, St. John's United Methodist Church in Downtown Houston.

Beyoncé's Home Life
Beyoncé married hip-hop mogul Jay-Z on April 4, 2008. The couple has kept the details of their relationship extremely private since its beginning in 2002.

At the 2011 MTV Music Awards, Beyoncé revealed a remarkably-hidden pregnant belly after performing Love On Top. On January 7, 2012, Beyoncé and Jay Z welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter at New York City's Lennox Hill Hospital. Shortly after, the artist started a Tumblr account with photos from her personal life.

For the first time in Houston, Beyoncé and her husband, Jay Z performed together at Minute Maid Park in July 2014.

Recent Controversies
Beyoncé made waves in 2016 when she performed her song "Formation" during the Superbowl halftime show. The jaw-dropping performance and previously-released music video made references to the Black Panthers, as well as Malcolm X and the Black Lives Matter movement. While some viewed it as a nod to the struggles and strengths of African Americans, others viewed it as overtly anti-police. The after-effects of the performance were felt months later, when Beyoncé returned to Houston to perform for a sold-out audience only to be greeted by dueling demonstrators from both the Coalition of Police and Sheriffs (COPS) and the Nation of Islam outside NRG Stadium where her concert was taking place.

 

Discography

Studio Albums

  • Dangerously in Love (2003)
  • B'Day (2006)
  • I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008)
  • 4 (2011)
  • Beyoncé (2013)
  • Lemonade (2016)

Live Albums

  • Live at Wembley (2004)
  • The Beyoncé Experience Live (2007)
  • I Am... Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas (2009)
  • I Am... World Tour (2010)

Compilation Albums

  • Dangerously in Love / Live at Wembley (2008)
  • Above and Beyoncé: Video Collection & Dance Mixes (2009)
  • Beyoncé: Platinum Edition (2014)

EPs

  • True Star: A Private Performance (2004)
  • Irreemplazable (2007)
  • Heat (2011)
  • 4: The Remix (2012)
  • More Only (2014)

Filmography

  • Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001)
  • Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
  • The Fighting Temptations (2003)
  • The Pink Panther (2006)
  • Dreamgirls (2006)
  • Cadillac Records (2008)
  • Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!: Wubb Idol (2009)
  • Obsessed (2009)
  • Life Is But a Dream (2013)
  • Epic (2013)

 

This article was edited by Robyn Correll in May 2016