Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American R&B recording artist, actress and fashion designer. 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 the number-one hits "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 group's disbandment in 2005, Knowles released her second solo album, B'Day in 2006. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and included the hits "Irreplaceable" and "Beautiful Liar". Her third solo album I Am... Sasha Fierce was released in 2008, and included the anthemic "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". The album earned Knowles six Grammys at the 52nd Grammy Awards, breaking the record for most Grammy Awards won by a female artist in one night. In 2011, Knowles released her fourth studio album 4, which became her fourth consecutive solo number-one album on the Billboard 200. This made Knowles 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. In 2001, she made her debut in the musical film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, prior to appearing in major films, including 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; Knowles has also endorsed brands such as Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and L'Oréal. In June 2010, Knowles was ranked second on Forbes list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential celebrities in the world, and first on its list of the Most Powerful and Influential musicians in the world.
Knowles has earned numerous awards and accolades. She is one of the most honored artists by the Grammys, and third among female artists, with a total of 16 Grammy Awards—13 as a solo artist and 3 as a member of Destiny's Child. At the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, Knowles was honored with the Billboard Millennium Award for recognizing her career achievements and influence in the music industry. She was ranked the 4th Artist of the 2000s decade by Billboard, and was listed the most successful female artist of the 2000s, as well as the top radio artist. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), also recognized Knowles as the top certified artist of the 2000s. As of May 2010, Knowles has sold more than 11.2 million albums and 25 million singles in the United States. As of September 2009, she has sold 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.