Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, known by her stage name Beyoncé (pron.: /bi??j??nse?/ bee-YON-say; born September 4, 1981), is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B group Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
Knowles' debut solo album Dangerously in Love (2003), released during the group's hiatus, established the singer as a viable solo artist worldwide, earning her five Grammy Awards and Billboard number one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy." Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, Knowles's second solo album B'Day (2006) contained the top five singles "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". Her performance in Dreamgirls (2006) earned her two Golden Globe nominations. Her work playing Etta James in the film Cadillac Records (2008) inspired her subsequent album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which in turn spawned hits "If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo", and "Sweet Dreams". The album also helped Knowles earn six Grammys in 2010, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. Her fourth album 4 (2011) deviated towards traditional R&B and became her fourth consecutive number one album on the Billboard 200. In January 2012, Knowles gave birth to daughter Blue Ivy Carter, her first child with husband Jay-Z.
Knowles has sold over 13 million albums in the US and 118 million records worldwide (as well as a further 50 million records with Destiny's Child), and is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with total sales of $75 million. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Knowles as the Top Certified Artist of the 2000s. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the decade and ranked her the Top Female Artist and the fourth Artist of the Decade. Beyoncé Knowles is the most nominated woman in Grammy Award history, receiving 17 awards; other accolades include 12 MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Awards including a Millennium Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of Destiny's Child.