Beyonce Giselle Knowles is the elder of two children. Her father is Matthew Knowles, a former business salesman, who now works as Beyonce’s manager, and her mother is Tina Knowles (nee Beyince), a costume designer. Beyonce’s parents are both African Americans, and her maternal grandparents, Lumis and Agnez, were French-speaking Creoles from Louisiana. Beyonce’s very unusual christian name is derived from her mother’s maiden name, and she was christened with this name in recognition of her Creole heritage.

Beyonce showed her gifts for singing and performing right from a very early age. By the time she was seven, she was attending dance school, and she distinguished herself as a soloist with the local church choir. She became the star student of her dancing school, and was greatly encouraged by her dancing teacher – as a child, Beyonce ended up winning over 30 dancing competitions.

As a teenager, Beyonce attended Alief Elsik High School, but also studied at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In her spare time she had teamed up with her childhood best friends LaTavia Roberson and Kelly Rowland, and together with LeToya Luckett, they formed a vocal foursome. They began singing at local functions, sometimes even in Beyonce’s mum’s hairdressing salon. The group called themelves Girl’s Tyme, and entered the TV talent show, Star Search – but alas, they weren’t successful. Beyonce’s father was nevertheless convinced that the girls had the talent to succeed, and decided to commit his time and energy to helping them secure a major recording contract. Despite the fact that he was earning a good salary working as a salesman for Xerox, Matthew Knowles left his day job in order to help promote Beyonce and her three singing companions.

The girls’ group changed its name several times – at various times they were called Girl’s Tyme, The Dolls, Something Fresh and Cliché, before the budding songstresses finally hit upon the name of Destiny’s Child. Beyonce’s mum Tina had suggested that they call themselves Destiny, but since that name was already taken, they decided to plump for Destiny’s Child. The group made their recording debut with a number called “Killing Time”, which was featured in the soundtrack to the 1997 hit movie, Men in Black. But they really hit the big time in 1998, with the Billboard Hot 100 number one single, “No, No, No, part 2”. The group went through quite a few upsets and changes as LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson decided to quit and pursue their own careers. But Destiny’s Child survived to become a threesome, and went on to become one of the top-selling R&B/pop ensembles of the new millennium, with four Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, several top ten hits and no less than two number One albums to their credit.

Amazingly, Destiny’s Child debut album sold platinum soon after it was released in 1998. The album was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri; perhaps the most famous track was the double platinum number-one single, “No, no, no Part 2”. Destiny’s Child followed up this phenomenal success with their second album, which was called “The Writing’s On The Wall, which was released in 1999. The most popular tracks on this album were the number One hits, “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name”, as well as the very successful “Bug A Boo” and “Jumpin’ Jumpin’.” The song “Say My Name” also went on to win two awards at the 2001 Grammy Awards; “Best R&B Song” and “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals”.

The group’s next album, Survivor, was another huge success for the girls and made number One on both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, as well as the UK and Canadian Albums Charts. The tracks “Independent Woman Part I” and “Bootylicious” zoomed straight to the top of the Hot 100, while the title track, “Survivor”, reached number Two. By the time Destiny’s Child announced their intention to disband in 2005, they had established themselves as one of the most famous and top-selling female groups in recording history.

Beyonce’s individual career went from strength to strength, as she earned awards for her skills as a songwriter, as well as a singer. In 2001, she won the award for “Songwriter of The Year”, given to her by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Pop Music Awards, thus becoming the very first African-American woman to receive this award, and only the second woman ever to do so.

In addition to her singing and performing commitments with Destiny’s Child, Beyonce was also carving out time to work on solo recording projects. In July 2000, she released her debut solo single, “I Got That”, featuring the rapper Amil, but the single did not sell particularly well. Refusing to be discouraged, Beyonce persevered, and in late spring 2003, she released her debut solo album, called Dangerously in Love. This time, her solo work was a massive success, right from the word go. The album burst into the Billboard 200, going straight to Number One, and sold over 300,000 copies in its first week alone, and making platinum just three short weeks later, in June 2003. Phenomenally, the album went on to top the album charts all over the world.

In addition, the lead single on the album, which was a number called “Crazy in Love” soon became one of the biggest hits of that year. The song stayed at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks running, and topped the singles charts in the UK and Ireland, as well as the USA. But even greater successes were still to come! That year, Beyonce’s single and album topped both charts at the same time, making her the first artist to achieve this astonishing level of sales since the Beatles, Rod Stewart and Simon and Garfunkel in the Sixties and Seventies. To date, Beyonce is also not only the first, but also the only female recording artist ever to do this.

Beyonce was thus one of the biggest-selling artists of 2003, so it was hardly a surprise when she won no less than five Grammy Awards for her solo singing at the 2004 Grammy Awards ceremony: these awards included “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” for Dangerously in Love”, “Best R&B Song” for “Crazy In Love”, and “Best Contemporary Album”.

In 2005, Beyonce released a song called “Check On It”, which was featured in the Destiny’s Child greatest hits compilation, and which subsequently became the soundtrack to the movie The Pink Panther, which came out in 2006. This track became another huge hit for Beyonce. Also in 2006, she released her second studio album, called B’Day, which was launched on 4 September, to coincide with her 25th birthday. It sold even better than its predecessors; in the first week alone, sales reached 541,000 copies in the US, giving Beyonce her highest first-week sales ever. The album’s lead single, “Deja Vu”, also became a number One hit on the US R&B charts.

It’s hard to believe it, but alongside her amazingly busy recording career as both a solo and group artist, Beyonce also found time to launch yet another career – this time as a movie actress. In 2001, she co-starred with actor Mekhi Phifer in the MTV Tv movie, “Carmen: A Hip Hopera”. In summer 2002, she appeared in the highly successful movie, Austin Powers in Goldmember, where she played the part of Foxxy Cleopatra, alongside Michael Caine and Mike Myers. In 2003, she appeared with Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie The Fighting Temptations, and recorded a track of the same name with female rappers Missy Elliott, MC Lyte and Free.

Most recently, Beyonce appeared in a movie called Dreamgirls, which is a movie adaptation of the 1980s hit Broadway musical based on the lives of the Tamla Motown female group, The Supremes. In this film, Beyonce played the part of Diana Ross, who also went on to pursue a phenomenally successful solo singing career. The movie Dreamgirls was a massive success, and Beyonce has gone on record as saying that this is her “first real acting film”. The film was released in December 2006, and opened at number three in the movie charts with an $8 million dollar opening weekend. So far, Dreamgirls has grossed over $100 million and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Song, for “Listen” – for which it won two awards.

In addition to her outstandingly successful singing and acting career, Beyonce has also devoted a considerable amount of time and money to various charitable concerns. As part of Destiny’s Child, who recorded a song called “Stand Up For Love”, Beyonce lent her support as a world ambassador for the 2005 World Children’s Day programme of events. In conjunction with Kelly Rowland, her parents Matthew and Tina Knowles, as well as her sister Solange Knowles, Beyonce helped establish the Survivor Foundation, to help give aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the storm evacuees in the Houston area. On a visit to Ethiopia, where she performed and met the President Girma Wolde-Giorgis, Beyonce also expressed her interest in becoming involved in humanitarian concerns in Ethiopia.

 

 

BEYONCÉ

I AM… SASHA FIERCE

“When I started the record,” says Beyoncé about her new double album I AM… SASHA FIERCE, “I knew that, artistically, I had to grow. Even though I’ve been very successful and very fortunate, I want to still be challenged and still be nervous and still be anxious about all the things that make my career exciting.”

One of 2008’s most anticipated new album releases, I AM… SASHA FIERCE is Beyoncé’s first new studio collection since her Grammy-winning multi-platinum-selling B’DAY debuted at #1 on charts around the world shortly after its international release on September 4, 2006 (in celebration of Beyoncé’s 25th birthday).

Each of the discs on Beyoncé’s new double album reveals a distinctly different side of her personality, character and sensibility, a forum for the yin-and-yang of her developing artistry.

One of the discs, titled I AM…, provides Beyoncé with a musical showcase for a group of intimate heartfelt ballads while the SASHA FIERCE disc gives voice to Beyoncé’s up-tempo dance-oriented other side.

“SASHA FIERCE is my alter ego,” says Beyoncé, “and now she has a last name. I have someone else that takes over when it’s time for me to work and when I’m on stage, this alter ego that I’ve created that kind of protects me and who I really am. That’s why half the record, I AM…, is about who I am underneath all the makeup, underneath the lights, and underneath all the exciting star drama. And SASHA FIERCE is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage. The double album allows me to take more risks and really step out of myself, or shall I say, step more into myself, and reveal a side of me that people only know me see.”

With I AM…, Beyoncé reveals a variety of musical aspects and interests that may take her fans by surprise. Citing a range of influences including “folk songs and alternative songs and acoustic guitar…stuff that’s different from what I sing,” Beyoncé has produced, written, recorded and performed a finely crafted selection of contemporary ballads that combine the best elements of pop and soul music while expanding the possibilities of both genres.

“You can hear with ‘If I Were A Boy,’ (one of the album’s first singles), it’s not a traditional R&B song,” she offers. “It’s difficult to grow and to break out and do new things because people have strong expectations. I feel like at this point, I wanted people to hear songs with stronger lyrics and songs that made you feel. I love singing ballads because I feel like the music and the emotion in the story is told so much better. It’s a better connection because you can hear it and it’s not all these other distractions. I really wanted people to hear my voice and hear what I had to say.”

For her I AM… collection, Beyoncé collaborated with some “writers and producers that I normally hadn’t worked with” including producer Toby Gad on “If I Were A Boy” and UK songwriter Amanda Ghost on “Disappear,” which reminds Beyoncé “of the Beatles a tad bit,” “Satellites” and “Ave Maria,” in which Beyoncé re-imagines a classic aria in a new and original musical setting. “When I knew that certain things I wanted to say, I couldn’t say myself, I invited other writers to come in,” she says. “Lyrically, it’s the best album I’ve ever had. If a song didn’t say anything or mean anything to me, I didn’t put it on the record.”

According to Beyoncé, “SASHA FIERCE is kind of the opposite, she’s more the other side because sometimes you don’t want to think; sometimes you just want to feel good. She’s the party girl, she’s Bootylicious. She is but I’m not. She’s my alter ego. I’m finally revealing who I am.”

The lead-in track on the SASHA FIERCE disc is “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Beyoncé’s scorching anthem of personal empowerment. “That song is all about: ‘I’ve been with you all this time, you’re taking too long and now I’m looking hot and you see it and you gotta suffer because you shoulda put a ring on it,'” Beyoncé explains. “In my life, when I put on the stilettos, it’s all about being confident, sometimes overly confident, and hearing all the things that women need to hear to boost themselves and go out and to move on.”

“SASHA FIERCE is fun. There’s an up-tempo song called ‘Radio’ that basically talks about my childhood. It just seems like a feel-good record but when you really listen to the lyrics, it’s about me growing up. In my household, I didn’t go to all of the parties and I didn’t do all the things that a lot of the other teenage girls did because I was so in love with my radio and my music. I was so in love with this radio and my parents were happy that I was into something positive. I try to make up-tempo records that feel good but underneath they’re still saying something. SASHA FIERCE is a collection of the kinds of songs that I’m usually known for and I love just as much as the more intimate side of me.”

Songs on Beyoncé’s I AM… include “If I Were A Boy,” “Halo,” “Disappear,” “Broken Hearted Girl,” “Ave Maria,” and “Satellites.” Beyoncé’s SASHA FIERCE records include “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” “Radio,” “Diva,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “Video Phone.”

Producers and writers collaborating with Beyoncé on I AM… SASHA FIERCE include Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Stargate, C. “Tricky” Stewart & Terius “The Dream” Nash, Rodney “DarkChild” Jerkins, Sean “The Pen” Garrett, Solange, Jim Jonsin, Rico Love and Ryan Tedder.

I AM… SASHA FIERCE is Executive Produced by Beyoncé Knowles and Mathew Knowles for Music World Productions, Inc.

* * * * *

In addition to the multiple artistic achievements on I AM… SASHA FIERCE, Beyoncé has recently completed work on a pair of high profile movie projects including her role as R&B legend Etta James in Darnell James’ “Cadillac Records.” According to Beyoncé, becoming Etta James on-screen, “was a challenge for me emotionally because Etta had a lot of challenges in her life, things that I’ve never experienced. I had to really dig deep so that I could have the right performance and represent her well. One thing she taught me is her fearlessness; she was Etta all the time. She was bold and she did not try to change who she was for anyone. She was one of the queens. If it weren’t for her crossing over -she was the first African-American woman to cross over on the radio, I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have. It was the best performance I think I’ve done on screen. It gave me the strength and the confidence to step out of my comfort zone even more.”

2010 Grammy Awards: Beyonce stole the show: Beyoncé dominates the Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles on 31/01/2010 and takes 6 awards.But album of the year is Taylor Swift. The favouritism for Beyoncé at the 52nd Grammy award was confirmed by the Recording Academy in the United States, who delivered this Sunday for the singer award six out of the ten that she was running the most important event in the country music business. However, the best album of the year went by Taylor Swift “Fearless” was also nominated as the best album category in the country and was the youngest winner of the category of album of the year.

Driven by the hit single “Single Ladies”, Beyoncé got only three awards with this track: song of the year, best performance of R & B song and best R & B She, who has toured in Brazil in February, has also driven gramophones best pop singer of “Halo,” best album of contemporary R & B with “I Am … Sasha Fierce” and better performance of traditional R & B as “At Last” ( the film “Cadillac Records”).

Taylor Swift, who was running the eight awards, also took the trophy for best country vocal performance for the song “White Horse”, the same band that gave her the award for best country song. Lady Gaga, who had five nominations, went out with the trophies for best dance album for “The Fame” and best dance recording for “Poker Face”.

The Black Eyed Peas, which was nominated for six awards, was awarded the gramophones better performance of the group with “I Gotta Feeling”, best pop vocal album for “The END” and best short music video for “Boom Boom Pow.

The record of the year went to “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon, who won other big hits of 2009, “Halo” and Beyonce, “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, “Poker Face” Lady Gaga and ” You Belong With Me “by Taylor Swift. The Green Day took the prize for best rock album for “21st Century Breakdown”. “Now I can compete with the Kings of Leon,” joked the singer Billie Joe Armstrong to thank for the trophy.

Tributes to Michael Jackson at 2010 Grammy Awards:

Announcement tribute to Michael Jackson took the two older children of the king of pop to the stage at the Staples Center. Presented by Lionel Richie, Prince Michael and Paris thanked the tribute given to the singer. “We are very proud to receive this award on behalf of our father. He always loved the fans too, was always concerned about the planet and humanity. His message was simple: love above all. We will continue to spread their message the world, “said Prince, 12 years.

Celine Dion, Jennifer Hudson, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Usher joined their voices to the King of Pop in a virtual performance, to perform “Earth Song”, which Michael had come in that would do shows in London in 2009.

After the tribute to Michael, the producer Haitian Wyclef Jean opened a space for the Grammy dedicated to raising funds for the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, presented by Andrea Bocelli, Mary J. Blige singing together “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, the duo Simon and Garfunkel.

The traditional tribute to the loss of music in 2009 remembered names like Mercedes Sosa, DJ AM, Jay Bennett, Vic Chesnutt, Al Martino, Maurice Jarre, Bob Beagle, Koko Taylor, Teddy Pendergrass and Willie Mitchell, among others. Les Paul, guitarist and inventor who changed the course of music with the electric guitar, has won a tribute to Jeff Beck and Imelda Mar.

2010 Grammy Awards show begins:

The ceremony began to be broadcast live on television at 23h, with Lady Gaga singing a snippet of “Poker Face”, hit that ran for three categories. The singer also received Elton John’s performance, with whom he shared the verses of “Your Song”, one of the great successes of the composer.

Bon Jovi sang a snippet of the single “We Were not Born To Follow”, shared the vocals with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland performed the song and most voted by the public, “Livin ‘on a Prayer.” Fans voted on the music that the band should play at the ceremony, a choice that included “Always”, “Bed of Roses”, “Have a Nice Day, It’s My Life” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

We also took the stage to sing Green Day and the cast of the musical “American Idiot”, Pink, Dave Matthews Band, Roberta Flack and Maxwell, Eminem and Lil Wayne, and the favorite of the night Beyonce, who did a medley of “If I Were a Boy “with” You Oughta Know “by Alanis Morissette.

Black Eyed Peas had the megahit of 2009, “I Got A Feeling,” while Taylor Swift sang “Today Was A Fairytale” and also shares the vocals with a veteran in the music Stevie Nicks “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, and “You Belong With Me, “the newcomer pop singer. Leon Russell and Zac Brown Band revelation is presented with “America the Beautiful”, “Dixie Lullaby” and “Chicken Fried”.

Main winners Grammy 2010:

Album of the Year
“I Am .. Sasha Fierce” – Beyonce
“The E.N.D.” – The Black Eyed Peas
“The Fame – Lady Gaga
“Big Whiskey Groogrux And The King” – Dave Matthews Band
“Fearless” – Taylor Swift

Song of the Year
Poker Face – Lady Gaga & RedOne
“Pretty Wings” – Maxwell
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Beyoncé
“Use Somebody” – Kings Of Leon
“You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Record of the Year
“Halo” – Beyoncé
“I Gotta Feeling ‘- The Black Eyed Peas
“Use Somebody” – Kings Of Leon
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
“You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Revelation
Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
MGMT
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Pop Categories

Best Singer (performances soil)
Adele – “Hometown Glory”
Beyonce – “Halo”
Katy Perry – “Hot N ‘Cold”
Pink – “Sober”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Singer (performances soil)
John Legend – “This Time”
Maxwell – “Love You”
Jason Mraz – “Make It Mine”
Seal – “If You Do not Know Me By Now”
Stevie Wonder – “All About The Love Again”

Best Performance by a duo or group
The Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Bon Jovi – “We Were not Born To Follow”
The Fray – “Never Say Never”
Daryl Hall John Oates and – “Sara Smile”
MGMT – “Kids”

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
Rosanne Cash and Bruce Springsteen – “Sea Of Heartbreak”
Ciara and Justin Timberlake – “Love Fri Magic”
Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat – “Lucky”
Willie Nelson and Norah Jones – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat – “Breathe”

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
Herb Alpert – “Besame Mucho”
Béla Felck – “Throw Down Your Heart”
Imogen Heap – “The Fire”
Maxwell – “Phoenix Rise”
Marcus Miller – Funk Joint ”

Best Pop Instrumental Album
“In Boston” – Chris Botti
“Legacy” – Hiroshima
“Potato Hole” – Booker T. Jones
“Modern Art” – The Rippingtons and Russ Freeman
“Down The Wire” – Spyro Gyra

Best Pop Vocal Album
“The E.N.D.” – The Black Eyed Peas
“Breakthrough” – Colbie Caillat
“All I Ever Wanted” – Kelly Clarkson
“The Fray” – The Fray
“Funhouse” – Pink

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