Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (/biːˈjɒnseɪ/; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, actress, songwriter, record producer, director, model, dancer, fashion designer and businesswoman. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé’s theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002) and the release of her first solo album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and earning her five Grammy Awards. The album also featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy”.
Following the break-up of Destiny’s Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B’Day, which contained her fourth solo number-one hit, “Irreplaceable”, as well as the other top ten singles “Déjà Vu” and “Beautiful Liar”. Beyoncé also continued her acting career with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce, and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”. Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album, 4 (2011), was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed eponymous album, released in 2013 with no prior announcement, was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), also received widespread critical acclaim, with many referring to it as her most personal and political work to date, and subsequently became the best-selling album of 2016. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband, Jay-Z, as The Carters.
Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist and a further 60 million records with Destiny’s Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She is acclaimed for her vocals, music videos, and live concert shows. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade and the Top Female Artist of the 2000s decade. Among numerous awards and accolades, Beyoncé has won 23 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award’s history. She is the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Beyoncé has also been honored with the Legend Award at the World Music Awards, the Billboard Millennium Award, and the Fashion Icon Award at the CFDA Awards. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time’s 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists, and in 2016, she occupied the sixth place for Time’s Person of the Year. With the release of Lemonade, Beyoncé became the first and only musical act in Billboard chart history to debut at number one with their first six solo studio albums.
2019–present: Homecoming and The Lion King
On April 17, 2019, Beyoncé alongside media-service provider Netflix, premiered the 137-minute documentary and concert film Homecoming, mainly regarding Beyoncé’s historic 2018 Coachella performances. The film was accompanied by the live album Homecoming: The Live Album. It was later reported that Beyoncé and Netflix had signed a $60 million deal to produce three different projects, one of which is Homecoming. Homecoming received six nominations at the 71st Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards.
On July 19, 2019, The Lion King (2019) was released, where Beyoncé stars in the voice-over role of Nala. On March, 2017, director Jon Favreau added that Beyoncé was his top choice for the role in the 2019 remake, and that the studio and himself would be willing to do whatever it took to accommodate her busy schedule. Later on November 1, 2017, her role was confirmed in an official announcement. On the film’s soundtrack, released on July 11, 2019, Beyoncé is featured on the remake of the song Can You Feel The Love Tonight alongside Donald Glover, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, which was originally composed by Elton John. Additionally, “Spirit”, an original song from the film by Beyoncé, was released as the lead single from both the soundtrack and The Lion King: The Gift, an album released alongside the film produced and curated by Beyoncé. Beyoncé called The Lion King: The Gift a “sonic cinema”. She also stated that the album is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat. The songs were additionally produced by African producers, which Beyoncé said was because “authenticity and heart were important to [her]”, since the film is set in Africa.