Wednesday, 15 February 2012



   Beyoncé Giselle Knowles born September 4, 1981, known mononymously as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. 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.

   During the hiatus of Destiny's Child, Knowles released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003, which spawned two number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100—"Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy"—and became one of the most successful albums of that year, earning her a then record-tying five Grammy Awards. Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, Knowles released her second solo album, B'Day, in 2006, and included the top 10 singles "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Her third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce, released in 2008, spawned four commercially successful singles—"If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo" and "Sweet Dreams". The album helped Knowles earn six Grammys in 2010, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. Knowles released her fourth solo album, 4, in 2011, and became her fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200 as a solo artist. This made her the third artist in history to have her first four studio albums debut atop the chart.

   Apart from her work in music, Knowles has also launched a career in acting. She made her debut in the 2001 musical film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, prior to appearing in major films, including Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), which earned her two Golden Globe nominations, Cadillac Records (2008) and Obsessed (2009). Knowles and her mother introduced their family's fashion line, House of Deréon, in 2005, and has also endorsed brands including, L'Oréal, Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, Nintendo and Vizio. In June 2010, she was ranked first on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential musicians in the world, and second on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world.

   Knowles' work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including 16 Grammy Awards, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, 4 American Music Awards, a Billboard Millennium Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Destiny's Child. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked her as the 4th overall Artist of the Decade (and as the First Female Artist of that period). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also recognized Knowles as the Top Certified Artist of the 2000s. As of May 2010, Knowles has sold over 11.2 million albums in the United States. As of January 2012, she has sold over 30.4 million digital singles in the US. Knowles has also sold 75 million records worldwide, which makes her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2010, VH1 included Knowles on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

   Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, the daughter of Mathew Knowles, a professional record manager, and Tina Knowles (née Beyincé), a costume designer and hair stylist. Knowles' father is African American. Her mother, a Louisiana Creole, has African, French, Native American, and Irish ancestry; she is a descendant of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard. Knowles was baptized after her mother's maiden name, as a tribute to her mother. She is the elder sister of Solange Knowles, a singer, songwriter and actress.

   Knowles was schooled at St. Mary's Elementary School in Texas, where she enrolled in dance classes, including ballet and jazz. Her talent in singing was discovered when her dance instructor began humming a song and she finished it, hitting the high-pitched notes. Knowles' interest in music and performing began after participating in a school talent show. She sang John Lennon's "Imagine" and won the competition. At age seven, Knowles started gaining attention from the press, having been mentioned in the Houston Chronicle as a nominee for the local performing arts award The Sammy. In the fall of 1990, Knowles enrolled in Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in Houston, where she would perform on-stage with the school's choir. She also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston and later went to Alief Elsik High School, located in the Houston suburban munincipality, Alief. Knowles was a member of the choir at St. John's United Methodist Church for two years, performing as a soloist.

   At the age of eight, Knowles met LaTavia Roberson while in an audition for an all-girl entertainment group. They, along with Knowles' childhood friend Kelly Rowland, were placed into a group that performed rapping and dancing. Originally named Girl's Tyme, they were eventually cut down to six members. West coast R&B producer Arne Frager flew into Houston to see them. He eventually brought them to his studio, The Plant Recording Studios, in Northern California, with Knowles' vocals being featured. As part of efforts to sign Girl's Tyme to a major label record deal, Frager's strategy was to début them in Star Search, the biggest talent show on national TV at the time. Girl's Tyme participated in the competition but lost it because the song they performed was not good, Knowles herself admitted. Knowles had her first "professional setback" after that defeat but regained confidence after learning that pop stars Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake had also the same experience. To manage the group, Knowles' father (who was at that time a medical-equipment salesman) resigned in 1995 from his job. He dedicated his time and established a "boot camp" for their training. The move reduced Knowles' family's income by half and her parents were forced to move into separated apartments. Not long after the inclusion of Rowland, Mathew cut the original lineup to four, with LeToya Luckett joining in 1993. Rehearsing in Tina's Headliners Salon and their backyards, the group continued performing as an opening act for other established R&B girl groups of the time; Tina contributed to the cause by designing their costumes, which she continued to do throughout the Destiny's Child era. With the continued support of Mathew, they auditioned before record labels and were finally signed to Elektra Records. They moved to Atlanta to work on their first recording, only to be cut by the record company in 1995. They returned home to start over again. This eventually put a strain on the family, and Beyoncé's parents separated briefly when she was 14. In 1996, the family reunited, and shortly after, the girls got a contract with Columbia Records.

   Knowles' music is generally contemporary R&B, but she also incorporates pop, funk, hip hop, and soul into her songs. While she almost exclusively releases English songs, Knowles recorded several Spanish songs for Irreemplazable and the re-release of B'Day. Prior to recording these, Knowles was coached phonetically by American record producer Rudy Perez.

   Since Destiny's Child, Knowles has artistically been involved in her career. She received co-writing credits for most of the songs recorded by the group, as well as her solo efforts. Known for writing personally driven and female-empowerment themed compositions, Knowles has stated that having Jay-Z in her life has changed a few of her thoughts about how men and women relate to one another, which helped her transition from writing songs such as "Independent Women" and "Survivor" to man-tending anthems such as "Cater 2 U", in which she sings about bringing him slippers and drawing his bath. Some of her songs are autobiographical, which she has admitted are taken from personal experiences, as well as her friends'. Knowles has also received co-producing credits for most of the records in which she has been involved, especially during her solo efforts. However, she does not formulate beats herself, but typically comes up with melodies and ideas during production, sharing them with producers. Knowles was recognized as a songwriter during the run of Destiny's Child in the 1990s and early to mid-2000s. She won the Pop Songwriter of the Year award at the 2001 American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards, becoming the first African-American female and second female songwriter of all time to accomplish the feat. Knowles received songwriting credits in a single year for co-writing "Irreplaceable", "Grillz" and "Check on It", all of which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, the only woman to have written three songs which went to number-one in the same year since Carole King did it in 1971 and Mariah Carey in 1991. In terms of credits, she is tied with Diane Warren at third with nine number-one singles.

   Knowles possesses a mezzo-soprano vocal range that spans more than three octaves. She has often been identified as the centerpiece of Destiny's Child. Jon Pareles of The New York Times commented that she has the voice that defines the group, writing that her voice is "velvety yet tart, with an insistent flutter and reserves of soul belting". Other critics praise her range and power. In reviewing her second album B'Day, Jody Rosen of Entertainment Weekly wrote "Beyoncé Knowles is a storm system disguised as a singer. On her second solo album, B'Day, the songs arrive in huge gusts of rhythm and emotion, with Beyoncé's voice rippling over clattery beats; you'd have to search far and wide—perhaps in the halls of the Metropolitan Opera – to find a vocalist who sings with more sheer force ... No one—not R. Kelly, not Usher, to say nothing of her rival pop divas—can match Beyoncé's genius for dragging her vocal lines against a hip-hop beat." Chris Richards of The Washington Post wrote, "Even when she's coasting, she soars above her imitators. It's all in her voice—a superhuman instrument capable of punctuating any beat with goose-bump-inducing whispers or full-bore diva-roars. Smitten, scorned, amorous, antagonistic—Beyoncé sings from all of these vantage points with undeniable virtuosity." Knowles has often been criticized for oversinging. A prominent employer of melisma, she earns frequent comparison to such artists as Mariah Carey, whose vocal embellishments have been known to detract from the melody of their songs.

   Knowles' credits Michael Jackson as her major musical influence and idol. Knowles has also named Diana Ross as another one of her influences because "she's an all-around entertainer: a great actor, a good singer, and a beautiful, elegant woman. She's one of the few singers able to cross over into really good movies." Knowles cites Whitney Houston as another idol saying she "inspired [her] to get up there and do what [she] did." Her other musical influences include Cher, Tina Turner, Prince, Lauryn Hill, Aaliyah, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker and Rachelle Ferrell. Knowles credits Mariah Carey's singing and her song "Vision of Love" as influencing her to begin practicing vocal runs as a child, as well as helping her pursue a career as a musician. She is also inspired by Oprah Winfrey and US First Lady Michelle Obama. Knowles says Winfrey is "the definition of inspiration and a strong woman. When I'm around her, I want to stand up straight, pronounce my words right, and articulate."

   Many of the themes and musical styles on Knowles' second solo album B'Day (2006) were inspired by her role in Dreamgirls (2006). She was inspired to produce an album with an overriding theme of feminism and female empowerment. Knowles also cited Josephine Baker as an influence on the album. Knowles' paid homage to Baker by performing "Déjà Vu" at the Fashion Rocks concert on September 8, 2006, with Knowles and her female dancers wearing Baker's trademark mini-hula skirt embellished with fake bananas. For Knowles' third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), she was inspired by Jay-Z and especially by Etta James, whose "boldness" inspired Knowles to explore other musical genres and styles. On her fourth solo album 4 (2011), Knowles acknowledged that she was inspired by Fela Kuti, 1990s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie with additional influences by The Jackson 5, New Edition, Adele, Florence and the Machine and Prince. Knowles also mentioned that she was influenced by Jay-Z's own work as well.



   Dangerously in Love is the debut solo album of American R&B singer Beyoncé Knowles, released on June 22, 2003, by Columbia Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in 2002 to 2003 at several studios, during the hiatus of her then-group Destiny's Child. The tracks in the album are a mixture of uptempos and ballads, which are basically inspired by R&B and soul genres; it also features elements of hip hop and Arabic music. Although Knowles remained discreet about her interpretation of the songs, its underlying meanings were attributed by music writers as an allusion to her intimate relationship with then-boyfriend and well-known music mogul Jay-Z.

   Dangerously in Love propelled Knowles in becoming a viable solo star, as well as one of the most marketable singers in the recording industry. It became a worldwide commercial success, earning multi-platinum certifications in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 317,000 copies in its first week. Dangerously in Love received mixed to positive reviews from music critics upon its release and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards.


   B'Day is the second studio album by American R&B recording artist Beyoncé Knowles, released on September 4, 2006 by Columbia Records in collaboration with Music World Music and Sony Urban Music. It was released to coincide with Knowles' twenty-fifth birthday. The album was originally planned for a 2004 release as a follow-up to her debut album Dangerously in Love (2003). However, the project was put on hiatus due to the recording of Destiny's Child's final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled (2004), and her starring role in the film Dreamgirls (2006).While on vacation after filming Dreamgirls, Knowles began contacting various producers; she rented Sony Music Studios, and completed B'Day in three weeks. Most of the lyrical content of the album was inspired by Knowles' role in the film. The album's musical style ranges from 1970s–80s funk and balladry to urban contemporary elements such as hip hop and R&B. Live instrumentation was employed in recording most of the tracks as part of Knowles' vision of creating a record using live instruments.

   Upon its release, B'Day received generally positive reviews from most music critics and has since earned Knowles several accolades, including the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 49th Grammy Awards. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 541,000 copies in its first week, the highest debut-week sales of Knowles. The album has been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. It was also successful in international music markets and yielded six singles, including three commercial hits: "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". B'Day Anthology Video Album, which features thirteen music videos to accompany the songs, was released alongside the deluxe edition of B'Day. Knowles then embarked on her second solo concert tour in 2007, which she titled The Beyoncé Experience. A live album, The Beyoncé Experience Live, was released which featured footage from the tour. As of February 2008, B'Day had sold over 7 million copies worldwide.


   I Am... Sasha Fierce is the third studio album by American R&B recording artist Beyoncé. It was released on November 18, 2008, by Columbia Records. The album was released in dual disc format, in which both discs represent a contrasting facet to Knowles' personality and musical style. The first disc, I Am..., incorporates slow and mid-tempo R&B and pop ballads, while the second disc, Sasha Fierce, named after Knowles' on-stage alter ego, contains uptempo dance songs that blend Europop and electropop genres. A deluxe edition of the album was released simultaneously with the standard edition.

   Knowles credited her husband and rapper Jay-Z and jazz singer Etta James for inspiring her to effectively incorporate other genres and melodies into the album. Musically, I Am... drew inspiration from folk music and alternative rock, while blending acoustic guitar elements into the contemporary ballads. The tracks on the first disc were written and produced by Knowles, with assistance from Kenneth Edmonds, Christopher Stewart, Terius Nash, and Ryan Tedder. Sasha Fierce incorporated production and songwriting from Rodney Jerkins, Sean Garrett, and Solange. The album received mixed to positive reviews from music critics, with many commenting on the album's failure to differentiate between Knowles and her alter-ego, something that would have been avoided in a one disc collection.

   I Am... Sasha Fierce debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, having sold 482,000 units in its first week, becoming Knowles' third consecutive US number-one solo album. It became a commercial success, earning at least fifteen platinum certifications in separate markets worldwide. As of March 2011, I Am... Sasha Fierce had sold over seven million copies worldwide, with its digital tracks alone having sold more than 15 million units globally. The album garnered eight Grammy Award nominations at the 52nd annual ceremony, eventually collecting five wins. To promote the album, Knowles made several award show and televised appearances across Europe and America, as well as embarking on the worldwide I Am... Tour.

   The album spawned several singles, some serving as international and stateside releases, while others were for promotional purposes. The two lead singles from I Am... Sasha Fierce, "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", were both international chart toppers. The former topped the charts in over eight countries and reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, while the latter peaked inside the top ten in several major music markets, becoming her fifth number one single on the Hot 100 chart. "Diva" and "Ego" were released as US-only singles, while "Halo" and "Sweet Dreams" were promoted internationally as the third and fourth singles respectively. "Broken-Hearted Girl" was released internationally as the fifth single and "Video Phone", the final single, was released in November 2009.


   4 is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Beyoncé Knowles, released through Columbia Records on June 24, 2011. Three weeks before its scheduled release, 4 had leaked onto the Internet. The twelve-song set (eighteen on the deluxe edition) marks the first release by Knowles since separating professionally with father and manager, Mathew, in March 2011. In 2010, Knowles took a break from her career to rest and gain perspective. During the hiatus, she dedicated herself to enjoying the everyday things in life, which she claims reignited her creativity and became a source of inspiration. Knowles also drew inspiration from Fela Kuti, Earth, Wind & Fire, Lionel Richie, with additional influences from The Jackson 5, New Edition, Florence and the Machine, Adele, and Prince, among others.

   Knowles allowed herself the artistic freedom to record songs in which she wanted the melody and lyrics to come together naturally. She mixed the 1970s R&B, the 1990s rock ‘n’ roll as well as her hip hop character and used a lot of horns to create a new and broader sound with musical changes, bridges, vibrata, live instrumentation, and classic songwriting. Knowles' main objective was to bring back the emotion, live instruments and soul music, which according to her, were missing out of the music industry. Allowing herself to belt out some ballads featured on the track-listing of 4 which she described as "a labor of love" Knowles further explained that she used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in her voice that people had heard in her live performances, however, not necessarily on her studio material.

   The record is predominately a R&B and pop music album; critics noted a predominant late 1970s and early 1980s R&B and soul music influences. 4 takes on matters of the heart with a mixture of ballads, mid- and up-tempos. Common themes in the album include womanhood and monogamy. Upon its release, 4 received mostly positive reviews from critics, who viewed it as a progression from Knowles' previous albums and commended its mid-tempo musical style, understated production, and her vocal performance. However, some criticized its ballads and songwriting. In the United States, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 310,000 copies in its first week. It also became a number-one chart hit in several other countries.

   Preceding the album's release, lead single "Run the World (Girls)" was released for digital download worldwide on April 21, 2011. The single was rushed for release after an early demo leaked on April 18, 2011. "Best Thing I Never Had" was released on June 1, 2011, as the album's second single. "Countdown" was released as the third single in the US, it was sent to US mainstream and rhythmic radio on October 4, 2011. "Love on Top" was released as the fourth single in December 2011.

And now guys enjoy this wonderful woman's music:

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