Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, simply known as Beyoncé, (/bi'j?nse?/ bee-yon-say) (born September 4, 1981) is an American recording artist and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child, and rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time. Their hiatus saw the release of Knowles' debut album, Dangerously in Love (2003), which established her as a viable solo artist worldwide; it sold 11 million copies, earned five Grammy Awards and featured the Billboard number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained hits "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Knowles also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe-nominated performance in Dreamgirls (2006), and starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006) and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the birth of her alter-ego Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Knowles took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; 4 (2011) was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop and 1990s soul. Her fifth album, Beyoncé (2013), was critically acclaimed and distinguished from previous releases for its exploration of darker themes.
A self-described "modern-day feminist", Knowles' songs are often characterized by themes of love, relationships and monogamy, as well as female sexuality and empowerment. On stage, her dynamic, highly-choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music. Throughout a career spanning 16 years, she has won 17 Grammy Awards and sold over 118 million records as a solo artist and 60 million with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Knowles as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and their Artist of the Millennium in 2011. In 2013, she was also included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Source: Wikipedia 2014.