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The Beyoncé Portal

Beyoncé as photographed by Tony Duran in 2011

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (née Knowles; born September 4, 1981), known mononymously as Beyoncé (/biˈjɒns/ bee-YON-say), is an American singer and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Beyoncé's debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a solo artist worldwide; it sold 11 million copies, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".

Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in June 2005, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained hits "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Dreamgirls (2006), and starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006) and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the birth 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 fifth studio album, Beyoncé (2013), was critically acclaimed and was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes.

A self-described "modern-day feminist", her songs are often characterized by themes of love, relationships, and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. On stage, her dynamic, highly choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music. Throughout a career spanning 17 years, she has won 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 75 million records as a solo artist, and a further 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. 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, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and their Artist of the Millennium in 2011. In 2014, she ranked atop of Forbes' Celebrity 100 and became the highest-paid black musician in history. She was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and 2014.

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Beyoncé has released several music videos, working with many directors, as well as co-producing some of them. She took her first lead role in the film for Carmen: A Hip Hopera. Beyoncé's first solo music video was the soundtrack single, "Work It Out", for a film "Austin Powers in Goldmember" she had a lead role in. The music video contained clips of the film as well as a 70's disco theme with Knowles debuting a curly afro. After the parting of Destiny's Child, Knowles debuted her first official music video as a solo artist for "Crazy in Love" featuring long time boyfriend Jay-Z. The song spent 9 weeks on the top of the billboards and the video topped charts all around the world for its iconic simple theme and fierce walking tracks. Other videos released from Dangerously in Love included cameo appearances by Sean Paul & Usher.


Selected album

Live at Wembley is a live album by American R&B singer Beyoncé, released on April 26, 2004. The DVD features her concert at Wembley Arena in London, United Kingdom, as part of her Dangerously in Love Tour in support of her first solo studio album Dangerously in Love (2003). Most of the songs on Live at Wembley originate from Dangerously in Love, although Knowles also performed a medley of past songs by her former group Destiny's Child. Live at Wembley was critically well-received, with Allmusic awarding it three-and-a-half stars out of five. The cover of Rose Royce's "Wishing on a Star", included on the album, was nominated in the category for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance at the 48th Grammy Awards.

The album debuted at number seventeen on the US Billboard 200, selling 45,000 copies in its first week. It also charted on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at number eight. It managed to top the DVD charts in the US, Australia and Spain and peaked in the top ten in Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom. The DVD was certified 2× Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association and the Recording Industry Association of America. The album was also certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan.


Selected song

"Check on It" is a song performed by American R&B singer Beyoncé, featuring American rapper Slim Thug. It was composed by Knowles, Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean, Sean Garrett, Angela Beyincé and Stayve Thomas. The song was supposed to be featured on the soundtrack album for 2006 film The Pink Panther, in which Knowles co-stars. As it was ultimately not included on its soundtrack album, the song with additional vocals from Slim Thug was featured as a new track on the 2005 Destiny's Child's greatest hits album #1's. It was also later made available as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Knowles' second studio album, B'Day (2006) in selected European territories in 2007. Columbia Records released the song in the United States on December 13, 2005.

The song's development was motivated by the phrase 'Check on It' which Knowles and her management jokingly used before they decided to turn the idea into a song. "Check on It" derives genres from R&B as well as hip hop and lyrically, the song takes place in a club, where Knowles is letting the male patrons know that they are welcome to come and look at her sexually attractive body when she is dancing. The track consists of two verse-raps by Slim Thug. The song was generally well received by music critics who universally complimented the pleasant vocals of Knowles and assertiveness with which she delivers her lyrics.

"Check on It" was not originally lined up for an official release as a single from the album #1's. However, it received heavy rotation from US radio stations, following the release of the first single, "Stand Up for Love" (2005), which performed poorly on the charts in the US. Eventually, "Check on It" debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 2005, that is, before its official release. In February 2006, the single reached the summit of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Knowles' third number-one single in the US as a solo artist. It remained at number-one for on the Hot 100 chart for five consecutive weeks, becoming one of the two longest-running number-one single in 2006, the other being Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" (2005). Additionally, the song peaked at number one on the New Zealand Singles Chart and also performed well in mainland Europe, reaching the top ten in the Netherlands and Norway, amongst others.

The music video for the song was directed by Hype Williams, and was premiered on December 16, 2005. It was shot in pink to brand the relationship with The Pink Panther. "Check on It" won the Best R&B Video at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, and was also nominated in the award category for Video of the Year at the 2006 BET Awards. Although Knowles did not perform the song in any televised appearances, the song was a part of her set list on The Beyoncé Experience at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and I Am... Tour.


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I Am... Tour 11.jpg
Beyoncé performing "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" on the I Am... Tour

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