Born: September 4, 1981 Height: 5' 7"
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, often referred to mononymously as Beyoncé, first began her musical career when she was 7 years old and met LaTavia Roberson while auditioning for a children's group. Beyoncé's cousin, Kelly Rowland, soon joined the girls, and the trio was finally joined by the fourth part of the group, LeToya Luckett.
Managed by Music World Management's Matthew Knowles -- who is also Beyoncé's father and Kelly's legal guardian -- the four young girls with big dreams became Destiny's Child.
Worshipping the moves and voices of R&B legendary groups such as the Supremes and the Jackson 5, the children of Destiny's Child started small by performing at local events and moved on to their national television debut with their performance on Star Search. Not only did their strong voices standout, but their originality and refreshing rap performance was only a preview of what the music industry was in store for.
Soon enough, the group had moved up from the ranks of performing at small-time gigs, to becoming the opening act for popular R&B and hip hop acts Dru Hill, SWV and Immature.
The group's first album, the self-titled Destiny's Child, was released in 1998, under the Columbia Records label. The album features Wyclef Jean, Pras and Jermaine Dupri as collaborating producers, as well as their hit single "No, No, No", which went platinum.
If the three awards that Destiny's Child received at the 1998 Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards wasn't enough of an indication of their upcoming success, their next album sure was. The Writing's on the Wall, which was released in 1999, reached the top ten Billboard album charts upon its release.
The album has so far spawned 4 hit singles, "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," "Bug a Boo," and "Jumpin', Jumpin'." With their album reaching triple platinum status by the end of the year, 2 Grammy nominations in 1999, an "Image Award" for Outstanding Duo or Group by the NAACP, and contributions to the soundtracks for the films Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Life, and Romeo Must Die, one would think that the Houston-based group would know no problems -- but that would be wrong.
In March of 2000, it was announced that group members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson had left the group. It was later revealed that the two members were unhappy with the management of Matthew Knowles, and that they left because of existing "creative differences." LeToya and LaTavia took the group and its management to court, while the remaining members found two replacements, Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin.
Just when it seemed that Destiny's Child had seen the last of their problems, Farrah Franklin left the group after 5 months, leaving Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (not to be confused with the blonde Dawson's Creek star) as a trio, basking in the glory of consecutive number one hits with the release of the group's third album, Survivor.
In 2002 Beyonce broke into acting, playing ‘Power’s Girl’ Foxxy Cleopatra in the thrid Austin Powers movie, Austin Powers in Goldmember. The following year she released a solo album, Dangerously In Love. The success of three solo albums has established Knowles as one of the most marketable artists in the industry. She has added acting and endorsement deals to her repertoire. In 2006, she starred in the comedy film The Pink Panther, and, scored the main role in the film adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Knowles launched her family's fashion line, House of Deréon, and has many lucrative commercial deals with Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oréal. After much speculation, Knowles married boyfriend Jay-Z.