Methodology

          I conducted this research by finding scholarly journal articles that included both Beyoncé’s background information as well as her philanthropy and reasoning for being as successful as she is today. Her foundations, fan base, and even mentorship have influenced women worldwide and I learned a lot more about her based on those articles. I researched her as both a mentor and influence to young women as well as her career as a renowned pop star. In that research, I was able to find more substantial evidence of how and why she is so successful in articles that talked more about her as a philanthropist than that of the articles who talked more about being a great singer.

Summary & Abstract:

          Beyoncé Knowles is a renowned R&B artist who has been in the music industry since she was just 7 years old. Beyoncé started off in her church’s choir before entering in pageants and then going into becoming a member of a female pop group called Girls’ Tyme along with her longtime best friend, Kelly Rowland. Girls’ Tyme then went onto becoming Destiny’s Child which is still known to be one of the best female R&B groups to this day. Beyoncé, who was the lead singer of both groups, stood out become of her deep voice and capability to break the barriers of melodic tunes and timbre. Beyoncé started her solo career in 2004 when she debuted her first solo album Dangerously in Love. Her career then took off and she has been listed as not only one of the most successful female artists but also as one of the richest music artists worldwide. Beyoncé has won several awards including Grammy’s, VMA’s, BET Awards, and much more. Beyoncé only competes with Beyoncé. Beyoncé is, without a doubt, the most eminent, successful, and hardworking female artist of the 21st century.

Early Life

          Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter was born on September 4, 1981, to Matthew Knowles, sales manager turned music manager, and hairdresser, businesswoman, and fashion designer Celestine “Tina” Knowles. Her father, Matthew, worked for many years selling medical equipment while her mother owned her own beauty salon, which later became one of the most successful salons in Houston. “As a young child, Beyoncé was shy and had very few friends. Her parents signed her up for a dance class when she was seven years old. She attended St. Mary’s Elementary School where she initially learned to dance” (Tauber, 2003). In Harper Bazaar’s interview, Solange Knowles states, “She loved singing from a young age. The first time our parents saw her perform, they were stunned. She began singing and winning in local talent contests and beauty pageants and soon her parents realized that performing made her happy as she finally gained the ability to further express herself through her talents” (Solange, 2017). She enrolled at Parker Elementary School, a music magnet school in 1990 and also attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts before moving on to the Alief Elsik High School. In 1990, Beyoncé auditioned for an all-girl entertainment group when she was eight. She was selected, along with Kelly Rowland, LaToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson, and put in a group called Girl’s Tyme. The group performed in several talents shows and later bagged a contract with Columbia Records.       

Life Destiny...

          The girls’ group completed a demo recording to send to record labels. “They performed wherever they could, practiced singing and dancing all the time and they endured strict diets to keep their weight down” (Tauber, 2003). In 1995, they signed a deal with Silent Partner Productions, a division of Elektra Records, but turned to bitter disappointment when the deal fell through. In 1997, however, Columbia Records signed the group and that is where they got their name Destiny’s Child. The group consisted of Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, LaToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson. Soon after being signed to Columbia Records, the girls began to work on their first album. In 1998, Destiny’s Child released their self-titled debut. Their first single, No, No, No”found a huge audience and quickly sold over one million copies and reached the top of the R&B charts. Although it was not considered a smash hit, the album performed well overall, selling enough to encourage the girls to return to the studio to record a second album. After the release of the first Destiny’s Child album, the group was one among many all-female R&B groups trying to make it to success, but after their second album The Writing’s on the Wall, was released in 1999, they soon shot to stardom. However, like many other pop groups, their newfound success was not enough to keep the group together. Problems concerning money and decision-making powers drove them apart and both LaToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson left Destiny’s Child. The controversy of the band’s troubles actually gained them more fandom and audience interest which resulted in more album sales for the group and The Writing’s on the Wall eventually sold more than eight million copies. The new Destiny’s Child now included Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams but Franklin quit Destiny’s Child only after a few short months leaving the group with a trio. As the group’s career went on, Beyoncé noticeably emerged as the group’s most visible member. For the third album, Survivor, she flourished and took an expanded role in the writing and producing, and her increased involvement soon paid off. After the album came out in spring of 2001, it immediately hit number one on the Billboard 200 album chart with Survivor and Bootylicious is the two hit singles in the album. This album also won them their very first Grammy Award. However, soon after, Destiny’s Child announced that each member of the group would be pursuing solo projects. And this is where Beyoncé took flight in her solo career and became the renowned star she is today.

Solo Artist & Film Career

          In 2002, Beyoncé recorded a song and produced a music video called Work It Out which was also used in a movie she starred in titled Austin Powers in Goldmember. Later that fall, Beyoncé worked with Jay-Z on a single titled, ’03 Bonnie And Clyde. Soon after that, the two started dating and got engaged before secretly tying the knot on April 4, 2008. In the spring of 2003, Beyoncé remade a duet with Luther Vandross titled, The Closer I Get to You. That same year, Beyoncé released her debut solo album Dangerously in Love. The first single, Crazy in Love featuring a guest rap from boyfriend Jay-Z quickly became one of the biggest hits of that summer. Soon afterward, Dangerously in Love went to the top of the album charts in the UK and Canada, as well as on both the American Pop Billboard 200 and R&B charts. Dangerously in Love was the one which successfully cemented her reputation as a solo artist as it debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was a big commercial hit as well as a critical success which earned her 5 Grammy awards. From that point on, Beyoncé concentrated more on her solo career and even entered the world of fashion by launching her first fashion line, House of Dereon, which was named after her grandmother, Agnes Dereon. Beyoncé also got inspired by her mother stating, “The whole theme is taking nothing and turning it into something because that’s what my grandmother did with all kinds of fabrics. She just turned everything into masterpieces, and that’s what my mother does,” (Aces ShowBiz, 2015).

          In 2006, Beyoncé released her second album, B’Day, which sold more than 540,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week in stores, eventually coming in at number one on the Billboard 200 and making it her highest selling first week as a solo artist. This album was accredited multi-platinum in the U.S. and internationally. Beyoncé continued on in her solo career by making a groundbreaking album in 2008 and introducing her alter ego Sasha Fierce in a double-CD album titled, I Am… Sasha Fierce. After releasing her third album, Beyoncé ruled the charts and received a total of eight Grammy Award nominations and received six of the eight awards at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.

          In addition to her music career, she has also appeared in several movies that have also channeled her musical talents. She starred in MTV’s Carmen: A Hip Hopera (2001) without having any previous acting training. After Carmen, Beyoncé continued her acting exploration by starring in Austin Powers in Goldmember as Foxxy Cleopatra opposite of co-star Mike Myers. She also starred in movies such as The Fighting Temptations (2003)Dreamgirls (2006)The Pink Panther (2006)Cadillac Records (2008), and Obsessed (2009).

          In 2011, Beyoncé released her fourth album titled, 4, although not as successful as her previous album, it still managed to chart number 1 on the Billboard 200. In January 2012, Beyoncé gave birth to her first child Blue Ivy Carter and took some time away from the spotlight to focus on motherhood as well as supporting her husband’s rap career. In 2013, Beyoncé surprised fans by releasing a self-titled album, Beyoncé, in December of that year. Despite no prior single, announcement, and promotion, the album was a huge success. An article titled All Hail the Queen states, “It became the fastest-selling album in iTunes history with an estimated total of 828,000 albums sold worldwide in just the first three days after its released, including 617,000 in the United States” (Harris, 2013). 

When Life Gives You Lemons...

          In late 2014, rumors that Beyoncé was readying a collaborative album with her husband Jay-Z began to swoon the nation. Although the rumors remained unconfirmed, she did hint at her next solo album when she dropped her single Formation in 2016 and revealed plan to go on the “Formation tour. Whilst album rumors were amidst, on March 31, 2016, Beyoncé released a new activewear clothing line named Ivy Park which has been a huge success in the world of women’s activewear. Her next and most recent album finally dropped in late April of 2016 and was titled Lemonade. Similar to its predecessor, Beyoncé, the album released a surprised and features accompanying music videos for all of its cuts. It quickly opened at number 1 on Billboard 200 with more than 630,000 units sold the first week. Lemonade became one of Beyoncé’s most personal albums as it discussed cheating allegations of her husband Jay-Z. Article Beyonce’s Lemonade states, “This record soon stirred up controversy in Beyoncé’s relationship with husband Jay-Z as it referenced some alleged infidelity” (Williams, 2016). She seemingly talks about being cheated on by her husband on the album and reports soon began to stir about the alleged mistress either being designer Rachel Roy or British singer Rita Ora, which led to both women eventually being attacked by Beyoncé’s major fandom The BeyHive.

Philanthropy

          Beyoncé is also a philanthropist and is the founder of both BeyGood and Survivor Foundation. Beyoncé’s BeyGood foundation aims to make the world a more beautiful place. Her organizations raised money for the thousands in Nepal who were affected by the recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015. The superstar raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight for gender equality worldwide, given school supplies to students across the nation and hosted food drives in Houston after the destruction of Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. As it relates to the Survivor Foundation, Beyoncé initially teamed up with her parents, Solange and Kelly Rowland and founded this foundation 2005 to offer assistance to those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. To accompany the inception of the foundation, Beyoncé held food drives during her 2006 tour.

Queen Bey: THE ICON.

          In June 2017, Beyoncé gave birth to twins Sir and Rumi Carter and has been taking a break from the spotlight ever since. Although she is still active in her charity work, she has not announced any upcoming album or concert tours to date. TIME article states, “Beyoncé has become the embodiment of modern feminism for a generation that has been reluctant to claim the word” (Dockterman, 2013). Beyoncé is a true Renaissance woman: a musician, a business mogul, a feminist, a mother, and a brand whose cultural gravity seems to emanate not from any one of these talents but from all of them in concert.

Bibliography Citations

Bradley, Regina, and Dream Hampton. “Close To Home: A Conversation About Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’.” NPR. NPR, 26 Apr. 2016. Web.

Dockterman, Eliana. “Beyoncé: Lessons in Modern Feminism.” Time. Time, 17 Dec. 2013. Web.

Goodridge, Tyler. ““LEMONADE”: BEYONCE’S ODE TO BLACK WOMEN…AND BLACK MEN?” Gnovis Journal. Georgetown University, 6 May 2016. Web.

Harris, Tamara Winfrey. “All Hail the Queen? What Do Our Perceptions of Beyonce’s Feminism Say about Us?” Bitch Media. N.p., 20 May 2013. Web.

Lasha. “Bell Hooks vs. Beyoncé: What This Feminist Scholarly Critique Gets Wrong about.” Salon.com. N.p., 17 May 2016. Web.

Miles, Corey. “Beyoncé’s Lemonade.” Humanity & Society. N.p., 7 Sept. 2016. Web.

Ray, Catherine Demi. “Queen B: A Modern Feminist Critique of Beyoncé.” Cal Poly: Digital Commons. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 2013. Web.

Shah, Neil. “Beyoncé’s Biggest Project Yet: CEO.” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 22 Sept. 2016. Web.

Termini, Alyssa. “Crazy in Love with a Smooth Criminal: An In- Depth Look at Parasocial Relationships and How Celebrities A Ect the Relationship.” Johnson & Wales University ScholarsArchive@JWU. Johnson & Wales University, 2015. Web.

Williams, Juliet. “Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’: A Complex and Intersectional Exploration of Racial and Gendered Identity.” U.S. Studies Online. N.p., 03 June 2016. Web.

Gonzales, Erica. “Solange Shares What It Was Like Growing Up with Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland.” Harper’s BAZAAR. Harper’s BAZAAR, 06 Oct. 2017. Web.

Presentation PowerPoint

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter: Queen Bey.
By: Tiana Gibson
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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter

General Background: Born: September 4, 1981 (36 years) Birthplace: Houston, TX Spouse: Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter Children: Blue Ivy Carter, Sir Carter, Rumi Carter R&B &

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