Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), usually referred to as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She was born and grew up in Houston, Texas, and as a child she enrolled in various performing arts schools and took part in singing and dancing competitions. Knowles became famous 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. In 2003, Knowles released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, which included two number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100—"Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy"—becoming one of the most successful albums of the year, and earning her a then record-tying five Grammy Awards.
After the dissolution 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, gave birth to four commercially successful singles—"If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo" and "Sweet Dreams". The album earned her six Grammys in 2010, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist overnight. Beyoncé released her fourth solo album, 4, in 2011, which became her fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200 as a solo artist. This made her the third artist in history whose first four studio albums topped the chart.
Besides her career music, Knowles has also taken up acting. She debuted in the 2001 musical film Carmen: A Hip Hop era, before appearing in such major films as Austin Powers in Gold member (2002), Dream girls (2006), which brought her two Golden Globe nominations, Cadillac Records (2008) and Obsessed (2009). Knowles, together with her mother, introduced the 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.
Beyoncé is the holder of many awards and recognitions, 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 Beyoncé 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). She was also recognized as the Top Certified Artist of the 2000s by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Having sold 75 million records worldwide, Beyoncé is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2010, VH1 included Knowles in its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and ranked her third in their 2012 list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.
In 2008 Beyoncé married the rapper Jay-Z, and On January 7, 2012, they had a daughter, named Blue Ivy Carter.