Beyonce, a force of nature | Sunday Observer

Beyonce, a force of nature

4 October, 2020

Beyoncé (born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981, in Houston, Texas) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, record producer, dancer, and filmmaker. Beyoncé first rose to prominence as one part of Destiny’s Child, one of the best-selling groups of all time. However, much more awaited the woman who would be crowned ‘Queen’ by her fans. A career as a solo artist would lead Beyoncé to greater musical and cultural significance, transforming the Houston native from a singer to a force of nature.

Career

Born and raised in Houston, Beyoncé began singing and dancing at a young age. Along with childhood friend Kelly Rowland and LaTavia Roberson, the three joined a girl group called Girl’s Tyme. The band performed throughout the talent show circuit in Houston, eventually landing on Star Search in the mid-1990s.

Though Girl’s Tyme failed to win the televised competition, it laid the foundation for the band that would become Destiny’s Child. The group made their major-label debut on the Men In Black soundtrack in 1997. At the end of 2001, the group announced a hiatus, with the members pursuing solo careers.

Beyoncé’s ‘Work It Out’ was released in the summer of 2002 as the lead single off the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack. The song failed to cause a stir in stateside but it was the quiet before the storm: in October 2002, Beyoncé teamed with then-boyfriend/future husband Jay-Z on ‘03 Bonnie & Clyde’. The following year, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously In Love. It premiered at the top of the Billboard 200, and the title track (which also featured Jay-Z) became her first No. 1 single as a solo artist. It also picked up five awards at the 46th Grammy Awards. As of 2020, Dangerously In Love remains Beyoncé’s best selling album.

‘Single?Ladies’

Her second and third albums – 2006s B’Day and 2008s I Am…Sasha Fierce – also debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. The latter included ‘Single Ladies’, a song that has become one of Beyoncé’s biggest hits. It would also be the impetus for Kanye West’s rushing the stage when Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me” won the Best Female Video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. In 2010, Beyoncé announced a career hiatus, but it only lasted a year. She returned in 2011 with her album 4. Though not as commercially successful as the others, 4 debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, and by 2018, it reached one billion streams on Spotify, giving Beyoncé the honor of being the first female artist to have three of their albums cross the 1 billion mark on the streaming platform.

She released the self-titled Beyoncé in 2013. Powered by “Drunk In Love,” another collaboration with Jay-Z, the album premiered at the top of the Billboard 200. By that time, Jay and Bey had already tied the knot, and the couple announced the On The Run Tour in 2014. The co-headlining stadium tour was a smash hit, grossing $96 million in the first 19 North American shows.

By 2016, Beyoncé had already established her as a music icon and a pop culture phenomenon. With Lemonade, she cemented herself as a cultural force. In Feb. 2016, she shared the video for “Formation,” hinting at a project deeply rooted in her identity as a Black woman. Her performance at the NFL Super Bowl 50 Halftime show was so incredible, many have since forgotten that it was Coldplay who was the headliner.

In Apr. 2016, she released Lemonade. Lemonade is, so far, Beyoncé’s most critically acclaimed album. Two years after Lemonade, Beyoncé would team up with her husband for Everything is Love, the first album by The Carters.

‘Homecoming’

The show, with its ‘homecoming’ theme, would make up the Homecoming Netflix documentary, as well as Homecoming: The Live Album. Beyonce would also be part of the live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King, voicing the character Nala. She also contributed new music to The Lion King: The Gift, an album released alongside the film, one produced and curated by Beyoncé.

In 2020, she released Black Is King, a visual album based on The Lion King: The Gift.

In 2020, she joined her fellow Houston native Megan Thee Stallion for a remix of “Savage,” a song that made its way to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Beyoncé is also an actress, appearing in films like 2003’s The Fighting Temptations, 2004’s Fade To Black, 2006’s The Pink Panther and Dreamgirls.

She has won countless awards and her influence — on music and culture — is too great to list.

In 2010, she formed Parkwood Entertainment, which has been the launching pad for her brands in music, videos, movies, and fashion.

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