Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles

Born: Sept. 4, 1981 Houston, Texas, USA

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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born in Houston, Texas on September 4, 1981. Knowles’ talent was discovered at a young age when she would sing in the church choir at the age of seven. She took singing and dancing classes and with her childhood friend Kelly Rowland, started a singing group called Girl’s Time. The group, which also featured Támar Davis, LaTavia Roberson, and sisters Nikki and Nina Taylor, hoped their first big break would be on Ed McMahon’s Star Search.

When they didn’t win, Davis and the Taylors left. They added LeToya Luckett and changed their name to Destiny’s Child. They signed with Elektra Records but were dropped before they could release an album. Matthew Knowles was able to negotiate a new deal and the group signed with Columbia, releasing their self-titled debut. After the release of their second album, Roberson and Puckett tried to stop having Beyoncé’s father manage them. They discovered they were out of the group when Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin appeared in the “Say My Name” video. Franklin eventually left for personal reasons. The remaining three went on to become one of the best-selling trios of all time before splitting in 2005. Though all released solo projects, it was Beyoncé’s career that really took off.

Even before the split, Knowles had been offered acting work. In 2001, she was offered the title role in the MTV film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, alongside Joy Bryant, Mekhi Phifer and Mos Def. She struck gold, so to speak, opposite Mike Myers playing Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember, with Seth Green, Robert Wagner and Michael Caine.

In 2003, Knowles starred with Cuba Gooding Jr. in The Fighting Temptations and followed that with the 2006 Steve Martin remake of The Pink Panther with Kevin Kline, Jean Reno and Henry Czerny. That same year she also starred in Dreamgirls with Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, Anika Noni Rose and Eddie Murphy.

On the personal side, Beyoncé began dating rapper Jay-Z in 2002. Though they never officially confirmed it. The pair did file a marriage license and had a lavish ceremony on April 4th, 2008.

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