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Beyonce
1988
A Standing Ovation

Beyoncé enters her first talent show at age 7. Singing John Lennon's "Imagine," she doesn't just win, she beats 15- and 16-year-olds and receives a standing ovation.

circa 1990
It's Gyrls Time

With hands-on help from her parents, Beyoncé performs with the girls group Gyrls Tyme, which included future Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson. They practice on the deck outside the Knowles home before hitting the talent show circuit in Houston.

1996
A Father's Gamble for Destiny

Beyoncé's father, Mathew, leaves his six-figure sales job at Xerox to manage the girls full-time, and helps negotiates a deal for them with Columbia Records. They are eventually renamed Destiny's Child and release their self-titled debut in 1998. Their standout single from the album is a remix of "No, No, No," with Wyclef Jean.

1999 July 27
"Jumpin'" Off the Shelves

The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, quietly debuts at No. 6 on the Billboard charts. After the CD gains momentum thanks to singles "Say My Name" and "Jumpin', Jumpin'," it goes on to sell more than 8 million copies.

2000 February
The Lineup Shuffles

Beyoncé announces on TRL that original DC members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson have left the group, and the "Say My Name" video premieres with new members Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin. Claiming to have discovered their dismissal only after seeing the video, Luckett and Roberson file a lawsuit, and eventually settle out of court. In July, Franklin leaves the group and Destiny's Child remains a trio.

2000 October
Charlie's Angels Soundtrack

Destiny's Child contributes "Independent Women Part I" to the Charlie's Angels movie soundtrack (starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu). The song spends 11 weeks at No. 1, raising the group's profile to full-fledged pop phenomenon.

2001 February 21
A Grammy Says Her Name

After making her acting debut in MTV's "hip-hopera" Carmen, Beyoncé wins her first Grammy with Destiny's Child for "Say My Name," a song she cowrote. She goes on to write "Survivor," a song about success despite trying circumstances off the group's third album, which sells more than 4 million copies. In 2002, Beyoncé becomes the first black woman to win ASCAP's Pop Songwriter of the Year Award.

2002 July 26
Welcome to the Big Screen

In her big-screen debut, Beyoncé plays Foxxy Cleopatra in the Austin Power's movie Goldmember, which tops the box office and makes $73.1 million its first weekend. In 2006, she takes a leading-lady role in The Pink Panther opposite Steve Martin. The movie remake also hits No. 1 and earns $20.2 million opening weekend.

2002 October
The Dating Dirt

Reports begin to circulate that Beyoncé is dating hip hop mogul Jay-Z after she appears on his song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde." (They play a couple on the run in the video.) The duo will go on to collaborate on Beyoncé's solo hits, 2003's "Crazy in Love" and 2006's "Deja Vu" before going public as a couple.Born Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, Jay-Z attended several high schools but did not graduate. He developed a love of music and began writing rhymes to music, and then gained neighborhood and recording studio attention by winning rap battles. When no major label company would give him a record deal, Jay-Z and some friends created their own independent label and released his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. After a series of very successful albums, Jay-Z sold his interest in the record company.
Music was not the only successful venture for Jay-Z. In 1999, he co-founded Rocawear, a brand of urban clothing. In 2007, Jay-Z sold his rights to the Rocawear brand for $204 million but still owns a share in the company and oversees the marketing, licensing and product development. Other business ventures include a part ownership in the New Jersey Nets NBA team and a real estate development venture named J Hotels. In Forbes 2007 (June 2006 to June 2007) Celebrity 100 rankings, Jay-Z is shown to have made an estimated $83 million.

After years of speculation, on April 4, 2008, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were married in New York City. A lavish party at the Jay-Z's Tribeca, New York apartment followed the very private ceremony with only close friends and family attending.
Beyoncé's wedding ring was not officially seen in public until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008 in New York City but the ring has garnered considerable attention since then.

The 18-carat flawless diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz is valued at more than $5 million. The diamond is a reported to be an 18-carat octagon-cut diamond and is set in a platinum split-shank mounting.


2002 December 18
Sipping Spears' Pepsi

Replacing Britney Spears, who famously starred in Pepsi commercials for two years, Beyoncé lands pop's most sought-after endorsement. Before taking over for Spears, Beyoncé stars with her and Pink as ancient Roman gladiators singing "We Will Rock You" at the Coliseum. The sonic vibrations of their voices cause Pepsi cans to fall out of the emperor's box to the feet of the three pop stars in the arena.

2003 June 24
Beyonceé's Solo Success

Beyoncé's first solo disc, Dangerously in Love, sells 317,000 copies in its first week. The album's lead single, "Crazy in Love," spends eight weeks at No. 1 and becomes the summer's party anthem.

August 28
Rocking the MTV Awards

For Beyoncé's first solo performance at MTV's Video Music Awards, she is lowered from the ceiling in a harness to sing "Crazy in Love" with Jay-Z. She's also rewarded for the music video, winning Best R&B Video, Best Female Video and Best Choreography for "Crazy in Love" – every award she was nominated for that night except for the Viewer's Choice award, which goes to Good Charlotte for "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous."

2004 February 08
A Record Win

After opening the show with Prince on a medley of his hits and her "Crazy in Love," Beyoncé performs again two hours later solo, singing "Dangerously in Love." She takes home five Grammys, tying the record for the most wins ever for a female artist. "This is unbelievable. Performing was enough for me," she says in her acceptance speech.

November 15
Fourth Time's a Charm

Despite reports that they wouldn't get back together, Destiny's Child releases its fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. The album debuts at No. 2, selling more than 497,000 copies its first week. In September, they play their tearful final show in Vancouver. "'Breakup' sounds so final," Beyoncé tells PEOPLE, "It's more a growing up." In March 2006, the ladies receive a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

2005 November 15
Mom, Let's Do Couture

Known for never looking less than red-carpet ready, Beyoncé launches House of Deréon – a high-end clothing company named for her maternal grandmother – with her mother and former stylist Tina. "It's a little vintage and a little couture," Beyoncé tells PEOPLE.

2006 September 05
Celebrating B'Day

The day after her 25th birthday, Beyoncé releases B'Day, her sophomore solo album. It debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and her single Irreplaceable becomes her fourth No. 1 single as a solo artist. At the 2007 Grammys, she is nominated in four categories and wins Best Contemporary R&B album for B'Day.

December 25
Playing the Diva

Beyoncé portrays a Diana Ross-like character in the musical Dreamgirls. She gets star billing, but it's costar Jennifer Hudson, as Effie, who wins a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Beyoncé, who does not receive an Oscar nod, denies rumors that she is jealous of Hudson's success. "Because I'm a star they just automatically assume that I'm not humble enough to sit down and take a back seat, which I am," Beyoncé says at a press event.

2007 February
Coveted Beauty Duties

Beyoncé is the first nonmodel and nonathlete (and the second African-American – Tyra Banks was the first in 1996 and 1997) to land the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. "These are photos I can show my kids some day," she tells PEOPLE, "so I can say, 'See, momma was beautiful. Look how good I looked!'" In May, she is named one of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful, with Giorgio Armani picking her as the face for his women's fragrance, Emporio Armani Diamonds.

November 18
Beyoncé Makes AMA History

At the 35th Annual American Music Awards, Beyoncé sings a Bluegrass version of her No. 1 hit "Irreplaceable" with country group Sugarland and ends the night making history as the first woman to win the International Artist Award. When Usher presents her with the honor, the stunning songstress says, "I'm so blessed to wake up every morning and do what I love. I don't take it for granted."

2008 April 04
Beyoncé Marries Jay-Z

Beyoncé and Jay-Z secretly wed in New York. Although they keep mum for months on the details of their intimate wedding, Beyoncé eventually reveals to Essence that she didn't want the drama of a large affair. "It's been my day so many days already," she says. "We've been together a long time…We always knew it would happen."

2008 October
'Single Ladies' Sensation

With the release of her double album, I Am...Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé debuts two singles, "If I Were a Boy" and "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)", which inspires countless choreography copycats. "The double album allows me to take more risks and really step out of myself," she says of her No.1 album, "or shall I say, step more into myself, and reveal a side of me that only people who know me see."

December 05
Playing Etta James

Beyoncé portrays music legend Etta James in Cadillac Records, a film that chronicles the rise of Chess Records and its recording artists. "This is the first time I felt that naked and vulnerable acting," she tells Essence. "After I finished the scene, me, my mom, my acting coach, [my cousin and executive assistant] Angie, we were all just jumping up and down, like, 'Oh my God, that was it!'"










 
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