Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child. Knowles rose to fame in the late 1990s as the lead singer of the R&B girl group Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time.
During the hiatus of Destiny's Child, Knowles released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003, which spawned two number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100—"Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy"—and became one of the most successful albums of that year, earning her a then record-tying five Grammy Awards. Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, Knowles released her second solo album, B'Day, in 2006, and included the hits "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Her third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce, released in 2008, spawned four commercially successful singles—"If I Were a Boy", "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", "Halo" and "Sweet Dreams". The album helped Knowles earn six Grammys in 2010, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. Three years later, Knowles released her fourth solo album, 4 (2011), which became her fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200 as a solo artist. This made her the second female artist and third artist overall, to have her first four studio albums debut atop the chart.
Apart from her work in music, Knowles has also launched a career in acting. She made her debut in the 2001 musical film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, prior to appearing in major films, including Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), which earned her two Golden Globe nominations, and Cadillac Records (2008). In 2004, Knowles and her mother introduced their family's fashion line, House of Deréon. In June 2010, she was ranked first on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential musicians in the world, and second on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world.
Knowles' work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including 16 Grammy Awards, 11 MTV Video Music Awards, a Billboard Millennium Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with Destiny's Child. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the 2000s decade, and ranked her as the 4th overall Artist of the decade (and as the First Female Artist of that period). The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also recognized Knowles as the Top Certified Artist of the 2000s. In the United States, Knowles has sold over 11.2 million albums and 25 million singles. She has also sold 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2010, VH1 included Knowles on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.