Beyoncé stuns the world with new 'Renaissance' album - read about her life and challenges

Beyoncé's Renaissance is trending
Texan child star
The beginning of Destiny's Child
Beyoncé's parents: very involved
Her sister Solange
Early concerts with Destiny's Child
Enormous success in the late 90s
'Survivor' and solo projects
Jay-Z
12 years older than Beyoncé
Crazy in Love
Beyoncé's solo album: 'Dangerously in Love'
2004 Grammy Awards
Reunion with Destiny's Child
Beyoncé: acting as well as music
Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Her 25th-birthday album
Secretly married
Independent from her father
Beyonce's philanthropy
Sasha Fierce
'Put a Ring on It'
New music
Spectacular concerts
Blue Ivy
Public appearances of Blue Ivy Carter
Beyoncé at 2017 Grammys, pregnant with twins
Sir and Rumi
A most scrutinized couple
Jay-Z's alleged infidelity
Was Beyoncé unhappy in her marriage?
Lemonade
'Better call Becky with the good hair'
They did not break up
Jay-Z said sorry
Beyoncé and Jay-Z mean business
The net worth of Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Controversies
A blood diamond?
Controversies of 'Renaissance'
Beyoncé is untouchable
Beyoncé's Renaissance is trending

Social media are buzzing with the new album of Queen B, 'Renaissance.' According to music fans, the 40-year old star has done it again: Her seventh studio album, the first since 2016, is likely to become a bestseller.

Texan child star

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born on September 4, 1981 in Houston, Texas (United States). After she won a school singing competition, her parents decided to encourage her to continue making music and enrol in a specialized school.

The beginning of Destiny's Child

At 9, she formed her first group with her cousin Kelly Rowland and two friends: Destiny's Child.

In this photo from 1998, LeToya Luckett (L) and LaTavia Roberson (R) stand beside Kelly and Beyoncé.

Beyoncé's parents: very involved

In 1995, when Beyoncé was 14 years old, her father quit his job to devote himself full-time to managing the group.

Her sister Solange

Solange Knowles, whom we now know as a successful artist in her own right, used to perform with Destiny's Child as a singer and backup dancer.

Early concerts with Destiny's Child

The young teens of Destiny's Child gave concerts and toured the country with Beyoncé's father as their manager. In 1997, they signed a contract with Columbia Records.

Enormous success in the late 90s

Having signed with Columbia, Destiny's Child released two albums in less than two years. The first album 'Destiny's Child' included the hit single 'No no no' and the second, 'The Writings on the Wall,' songs like 'Say My Name.'

 

'Survivor' and solo projects

After their third album 'Survivor,' which also became a huge success and earned them two Grammys in 2001, the three remaining members of Destiny's Child each tried a solo project.

Jay-Z

It was around that time that Beyoncé met rapper Jay-Z and started dating him. The singer would later tell Oprah that she got to know Jay-Z when she was 18. They first communicated by phone before settling on a first date.

12 years older than Beyoncé

"I was 18 years old when we met, 19 when we started to go out," Beyoncé told Oprah. "There was no rush, no one was expecting me to get married." Jay-Z was 12 years older than the singer.

Crazy in Love

Having worked together on the song 'Bonnie & Clyde' in 2002, the two artists became closer with time. In 2003, they made a single together that sparked rumours of a romance: 'Crazy in Love'.

Beyoncé's solo album: 'Dangerously in Love'

'Crazy in Love' blew away the singles' charts and its music video was on TV all the time. Beyoncé's solo album on which it appeared, 'Dangerously in Love', sold 11 million copies in the years to follow.

2004 Grammy Awards

Beyoncé once again confirmed her star status at the 2004 Grammy Awards. She took home five awards, including 'Best R&B Album' and 'Record of the Year,' after singing a medley with pop legend Prince.

Reunion with Destiny's Child

In November 2004, Destiny's Child reunited and released their latest album 'Destiny Fulfilled.' Despite immense success, the group announced its dissolution during their world tour.

Beyoncé: acting as well as music

Beyoncé decided to pursue acting as well as singing. She played in 'Austin Powers in Goldmember' (2002) and 'Dreamgirls' (2006), for example. Here she's promoting the latter at the Cannes Film Festival of 2006.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Things with Jay-Z became more and more serious. The rapper would later reveal that winning the heart of Queen B was a difficult task. In fact, Beyoncé waited two years to formalize her relationship with Jay-Z.

Her 25th-birthday album

On her 25th birthday, Beyoncé released her new solo album 'B'day.' It reached three times certified platinum and sold over 10 million copies.

Secretly married

After several years of happiness, Beyoncé and Jay-Z married in 2008 in the greatest secrecy. The ceremony took place in their Tribeca, New York home.

Independent from her father

In 2011, Beyonce and her father announced their professional breakup. Since then, she has managed her career with her own management team.

Beyonce's philanthropy

The singer is a committed philanthropist who created the 'Survivor' foundation, an organization to help relocate victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Sasha Fierce

Since her performance as a strong and bawdy woman in the 'Crazy in Love' video, Beyoncé has portrayed an alter ego of hers - Sasha Fierce - as an assertive woman who goes after the things she wants. Sasha Fierce is more aggressive than Beyoncé in her daily life.

'Put a Ring on It'

Her double album from 2008 ('I am...' and 'Sasha Fierce') had sweet songs on it, like 'If I were a Boy' and 'Halo,' but also bolder lyrics like 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' - the latter on her 'Sasha Fierce' album.

New music

In June 2011, Beyoncé released her fourth solo album, simply titled '4,' which some described as going back to her roots with a sound inspired by funk and soul. Her fifth album, 'BEYONCÉ', was more electronic.

Spectacular concerts

Neither album was as successful as her first two, but Beyoncé's tours were the biggest spectacles one could imagine. She's been known for putting on great shows.

Blue Ivy

Queen B was also busy building a family with Jay-Z. At the end of 2011, a radiant Beyoncé announced her first pregnancy. On January 7, 2012, she gave birth to a baby girl, Blue Ivy.

Public appearances of Blue Ivy Carter

Little Blue Ivy sometimes joins her parents to official events, such as the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

Beyoncé at 2017 Grammys, pregnant with twins

In early 2017, Beyonce made the buzz by announcing her new pregnancy on social media. She gave an unforgettable performance at the Grammys dressed as a (pregnant) goddess.

Sir and Rumi

This Instagram post was one of the most shared and commented upon at the time. Beyoncé presented her two children, the baby girl Rumi and boy Sir, a month after they were born. People hadn't even known that she had given birth already.

(Image: @beyonce)

A most scrutinized couple

The children remained largely hidden from the press, especially the twins, but Yoncé and Jay-Z continued to be prominently in the news. A flipside of that scrutiny was that Jay-Z's alleged infidelity was investigated by all kinds of media.

Jay-Z's alleged infidelity

The suggestions of Jay-Z hitting on his musical protegés Rihanna and Rita Ora, as well as Belgian model Claudia Scheelen, were quickly debunked by the women involved. However, one name never really went away: that of fashion designer Rachel Roy.

Was Beyoncé unhappy in her marriage?

Fans and journalists had been looking into Beyoncé's lyrics to see if she said anything about her relationship with Jay-Z. There was the suggestion of infidelity in her song 'Jealous' in 2013, for example.

Lemonade

But then the album 'Lemonade' arrived in 2016, and Beyoncé showed herself as a strong woman denouncing any harm done to her by men in society, and the infidelity of one man in particular. Written as a general tribute to black women, the album became her most acclaimed work to date.

'Better call Becky with the good hair'

'Lemonade' is filled with references to infidelity, and it seemed to be a direct reckoning with her husband Jay-Z. In the song 'Sorry', for example, she sings: "Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home... He only want me when I'm not there / He better call Becky with the good hair." It seemed like the run-up to a divorce.

They did not break up

Despite everything, the couple showed themselves united in the face of the media. They even went on tour together and released a joint album in 2018 that was called 'Everything is Love'.

Jay-Z said sorry

What Jay-Z did do, however, was a public apology in the form of his 2017 album, titled '4:44'. The rapper described the ups and downs of his relationship and asked his wife for forgiveness for all the pain he had caused her.

(Image: the couple with Blue Ivy at the 2018 Grammys)

Beyoncé and Jay-Z mean business

What the two pop stars had basically done, was to translate their publicized marriage problems into (best-selling) music albums. And somehow, this didn't surprise showbiz and business reporters...

The net worth of Beyoncé and Jay-Z

After all, Beyoncé and Jay-Z are a very successful business duo. Since 2009 they have been among the music industry's richest couples. According to estimates from Forbes, they are worth approximately $1.5 billion together.

Controversies

As soon as she had mounted the throne of pop royalty, Beyoncé began getting criticism from her following for being overly commercial. Her works of charity couldn't shield Queen B from the critics. One example was the controversy surrounding her athletic fashion line Ivy Park, which according to The Sun on Sunday was made by poorly paid workers in Sri Lanka sweatshops.

A blood diamond?

Another, more recent controversy came out of Beyoncé's cooperation with Tiffany's in August 2021. It was a celebrated occasion at first, as no other African-American woman had ever modelled for them. As it turned out, though, Beyoncé was wearing a controversial diamond in some of the photos. It had come from unethical mining practices in South Africa in 1877. Beyoncé was flooded with criticism.

Controversies of 'Renaissance'

With 'Renaissance,' too, there are a few minor scandals. Beyoncé's colleague Kelis is disappointed because her sample is on the album but she wasn't notified about it. Others, meanwhile, have heard an ableist slur on the album (which we will not repeat here).

Beyoncé is untouchable

But even those recent scandals are unlikely to affect the superstar. Beyoncé has built an empire in music as well as a beautiful - though sometimes troubled - family. She will not go under so easily, and she won't fail to surprise us either.

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