Friday, February 14, 2014

Beyonce, The #15 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Beyonce Knowles was born and raised in Houston, Texas.  She took dance lessons and sang in choir in elementary school.  Beyonce attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and later Alief Elsik High School.  She was also a member of the choir and soloist at St. John's United Methodist Church.

At the age of eight, Knowles and friend Kelly Rowland met LaTavia Roberson while auditioning for an all-girl entertainment group.  The girls were placed with three other girls in the group Girl's Time, which eventually signed a recording contract with Elektra.  Two of the girls left the group, which then moved to Atlantic Records before being dropped.

Finally in 1996, the girls began recording a debut album for Columbia.  By this time, they were known as Destiny's Child, and they went on to become one of the top-selling girl groups of all-time.  After their third album Survivor, the group announced a hiatus in 2001.  Beyonce was named ASCAP Pop Music Songwriter of the Year for her work on Survivor.    

Beyonce starred in the movie Austin Powers in Goldmember in 2002.  She recorded the song "Work It Out" for the soundtrack album, and it became a Top 10 hit in the U.K., Norway, and Belgium.  The following year, Beyonce starred with Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the comedy The Fighting Temptations.  

Beyonce combined with Jay-Z for the song "03 Bonnie & Clyde", which reached #1 in Switzerland, #2 in the U.K. and Australia, #4 in the U.S. and New Zealand, #6 in Germany and Canada, #8 in Ireland and #9 in the Netherlands.  





She also used the time to record her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, which was released in 2003.  The album sold 317,000 copies its first week and debuted at #1 on the Album chart.  "Crazy in Love", featuring Jay-Z, topped charts in the United States, the U.K., and Ireland and was #2 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Netherlands, and #3 in Switzerland.  The song also received a Most Performed Song honor at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards.

Beyonce won three MTV Video Music Awards for the video for "Crazy in Love"--"Best Female Video, Best R&B Video and Best Choreography in a Video and she was nominated for a Viewer's Choice Award.  She also won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Performer and was nominated for Favorite Female Singer.

Beyonce toured Europe and then joined Alicia Keys and Missy Elliott for the Ladies First Tour in North America.  She then combined with Sean Paul for another #1 hit--"Baby Boy", which also hit #2 in the U.K. and Canada, #3 in Australia, #4 in Germany and #5 in Switzerland.  "Baby Boy" also received Most Performed Song honors at both the ASCAP Pop Music Awards and the BMI Awards.




The single "Me, Myself And I" hit #4 in the United States and #4 in Canada and Beyonce received a Most Performed Song award from ASCAP.  Beyonce was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.






Knowles performed the American national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 in Houston, Texas.  The single "Naughty Girl" was most popular in Canada, where it reached #2, but it also peaked at #3 in the U.S., #6 in Switzerland, #9 in Australia, and #10 in the U.K. and the Netherlands.  Beyonce picked up another ASCAP Pop Music Award for Most Performed Song.

"Naughty Girl" picked up an MTV Video Music Award for Best Female Video, and was nominated for Best Dance Video and Best Choreography in a Video.

Dangerously in Love sold 11 million copies and won a record-tying five Grammy Awards--Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sun Collaboration (both for "Crazy In Love"), Best Female R&B Vocal Performance ("Dangerously In Love") and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for "The Closer I Get To You" (with Luther Vandross).  Knowles was nominated for Record of the Year for "Crazy In Love".

Beyonce won four Billboard Music Awards:  Hot 100 Female Artist, Hot 100 Award for Most Weeks at #1, New Female Artist and New R&B Artist and she was nominated for Female Artist of the Year and Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year.  Knowles was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album and Fan's Choice Award at the American Music Awards for the Dangerously in Love album.  Beyonce was also nominated for World's Best-Selling Female Solo Artist at the World Music Awards.  

Destiny's Child resumed work on the album Destiny Fulfilled, which was released later in 2004.  Knowles and her mother introduced House of Dereon, a contemporary women's fashion line, in 2005.  

Destiny's Child split for good in 2005, and Beyonce was nominated at the Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in Dreamgirls in 2006.  Beyonce's song "Listen" from the movie was also nominated for Best Original Song. 

Knowles also starred in the movie The Pink Panther in 2006 and released the song "Check On It" on the soundtrack album as well as the Destiny's Child album #1's.  It shot up to #1 in the United States and New Zealand, was #3 in the U.K. and peaked at #5 in Canada, the Netherlands and Ireland.  "Check on It" also received Most Performed Song at the ASCAP Pop Music Awards and Award-Winning Song at the BMI Pop Music Awards.  Beyonce won another MTV Video Music Award for Best R&B Video.




Beyonce's second solo album, B'Day, was released in 2006.  It moved 541,000 copies its first week and debuted at #1 on the Album chart.  The single "Deja Vu", which included Jay-Z again, was a #1 smash in the U.K. and was #3 in Switzerland and Ireland and #4 in the U.S.  It captured Grammy Award nominations for Best R&B Song, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.





In 2007, Beyonce went on her first world tour, making 97 stops in a tour that grossed over $24 million.  The next single, "Ring The Alarm", was only a hit in the United States, and #11 at that.  "Irreplaceable" hit #1 in The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Hungary and was #2 in Canada, #3 in the Netherlands, and #4 in the U.K.  Beyonce was nominated for the prestigious Record of the Year at the Grammys.  





"Irreplaceable" was nominated for Favorite Pop Song at the People's Choice Awards and it gave Beyonce another ASCAP Pop Music Award for Most Performed Song and an Award-Winning Song designation from BMI.  Knowles pulled another hit from B'Day, a duet with Shakira that became a #1 smash in the U.K., Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, #2 in Canada, #3 in the United States and #5 in Australia.  

Beyonce won a Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album and her duet with Shakira earned a nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.  Beyonce also won an American Music Award for International Artist Award and was nominated for Artist of the Year, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album. 

Knowles was also nominated for Female Artist of the Year and Female R&B/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards.  She picked up a nomination for World's Best-Selling R&B Artist at the World Music Awards in 2006 and then won the same award in 2007.  She was also nominated for World's Best-Selling Female Pop Artist at the World Music Awards, and "Beautiful Liar" was nominated for Favorite R&B Song at the People's Choice Awards.

Knowles won an MTV Video Award for the video to "Beautiful Liar" for "Most Earthshattering Collaboration".  She was nominated for Video of the Year (for "Irreplaceable"), Female Artist of the Year and Quadruple Threat of the Year.

In 2008, Knowles married Jay-Z, and portrayed Etta James in the movie Cadillac Records.  Beyonce's song "Once In A Lifetime" from the movie was nominated for Best Original Song.  

Beyonce then released the album I Am...Sasha Fierce in November.  Beyonce achieved her third straight #1 album, with first-week sales of 482,000.  The single "If I Were A Boy" found plenty of fans in the U.K. and the Netherlands which helped take it to #1.  The song also reached #2 in New Zealand and Ireland, #3 in the U.S., Germany, Australia and Switzerland and #4 in Canada.  It was a Top Five song in every major country and Beyonce received an Award-Winning Song designation from BMI.  





The follow-up, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" topped the U.S. chart, was #2 in Canada, #4 in Ireland, #5 in Australia, #7 in the U.K. and #8 in the Netherlands.  Beyonce took home a Most Performed Song trophy from the ASCAP Pop Music Awards, and the song was nominated for World's Best Single at the World Music Awards.  The accompanying video was nominated for nine awards at the MTV Video Music Awards and won three, including Video of the Year.




Beyonce received a World Music Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in 2008, and starred in the movie Obsessed in 2009.  After two singles from B'Day failed to generate a lot of attention, Beyonce released "Halo".  Its peak of #2 in New Zealand, #3 in Australia and Canada, #4 in the U.K., Ireland and Switzerland, #5 in the United States and Germany, and #9 in the Netherlands made it a Top 10 in every major country, giving Beyonce more Top 10 songs in the new millennium than any other female artist.  Knowles won another Award-Winning Song trophy from BMI.



Beyonce's worldwide tour of 108 shows grossed $119.5 million.  But Beyonce wasn't done with the album--"Sweet Dreams" hit #1 in New Zealand, #2 in Australia, #4 in Ireland, #5 in the U.K., #8 in Germany and #10 in the United States.  Knowles picked up another Most Performed Song trophy from the ASCAP Music Awards and an Award-Winning Song trophy from BMI.

Beyonce broke a record (for the most Grammy Awards won in a year by a female artist) when she won six in 2010 and she tied an all-time record for the most nominations for a female artist in a year (10), previously held by Lauryn Hill.  Beyonce walked home with trophies for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Single Ladies..."),  Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Halo"),Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance (for "At Last").  The record of six Grammys was tied by Adele in 2012.

Knowles was also nominated at the Grammys for Album of the Year, Record of the Year ("Halo"), Best Rap/Sung Collaboration ("Ego") and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture ("Once In A Lifetime").

She also captured an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist and was nominated for Favorite pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.  Beyonce was nominated for World's Best Pop Artist and World's Best R&B Artist at the World Music Awards.  She won a Billboard Music Award for Billboard Woman of the Year and was nominated for Favorite Pop Artist, Favorite Female Artist and Favorite R&B Artist at the People's Choice Awards.

In 2010, Beyonce joined Lady Gaga for the song "Telephone", which reached #1 in the U.K. and Ireland and was #3 in every other major country in the world except the Netherlands, where it peaked at #6.   Knowles earned another Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.  The song gave Beyonce her ninth ASCAP Pop Music Award for Most Performed Song and her sixth BMI Pop Music Award.

"Telephone" was nominated for Favorite Song and Favorite Music Video at the People's Choice Awards.  Knowles and Gaga won a Video Music Award for Best Collaboration at the MTV Video Music Awards.  Beyonce also launched her first fragrance, Heat, in 2010.

Afterwards, Beyonce took a break to travel and see the world, including the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, Australia, and several European cities.  In 2011, Beyonce joined Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States, in the Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation campaign against child obesity.  After the death of Osama bin Laden, Knowles released a cover of the song "God Bless the U.S.A." to help raise money for the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund.


Beyonce won the Billboard Millennium Award at the Billboard Music Awards in 2011.  Also, Knowles launched a second fragrance, Heat Rush, then a third, Pulse.  The six editions of Heat are the world's top-selling celebrity fragrance, with sales of over $400 million.

Beyonce released the album 4 in 2011, which gave her a fourth consecutive album to debut at #1.  Two singles, "Run The World (Girls)" and "Best Thing I Never Had", achieved success in some countries, but not near the level of previous Beyonce hits.  She didn't score a worldwide Top 10 song on the album, but still received consecutive American Music Awards for Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist in 2011 and 2012, and 4 was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album.


Beyonce captured a Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Album, and was nominated for Top R&B Artist, a Fan Award for Most Favorite Artist and another Fan Award for Most Influential Style.  Knowles was nominated for six People's Choice Awards:  Favorite Female Artist, Favorite Pop Artist, Favorite R&B Artist, Favorite Album of the Year and Favorite Music Video (for "Run The World (Girls)").  


In 2013, Knowles performed the American national anthem at the second inauguration of President Obama, and then starred in the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show in February.  Beyonce signed a new global publishing agreement with Warner/Chappell Music, which would cover future songwriting and her next studio album.  


Beyonce embarked on another world tour that would feature 100 shows through the end of the year.  She earned a 31st Grammy nomination for her song with Jay-Z--"Part II (On The Run)".  

In 2013, BeyoncĂ© released her self-titled album, which has already gone Platinum in the U.S. and sold three million across the globe.  The lead single, with husband Jay-Z, peaked at #2 in the United States, #7 in New Zealand, #9 in the U.K. and #10 in Ireland.


She is nominated for World Music Awards for World's Best Female Artist, World's Best Entertainer of the Year, World's Best Live Act and World's Best Video (for "Run the World (Girls)") at this year's ceremony.


Beyonce has sold over 13 million albums in the United States and 118 million worldwide.  She has won 13 Grammy Awards, four American Music Awards, one World Music Award and seven Billboard Music Awards.  She has 31 hits to her credit, with 14 of those going Top 10 and five #1 songs.    


Editor's Note:  Combined with her work with Destiny's Child, Beyonce would obviously rank much higher in the separate Top 100 Women in Rock classification...)

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