Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (; born September 4, 1981) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, director, record producer and dancer. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of the R&B girl-group Destiny's Child. Managed by her father, Mathew Knowles, the group became one of the best-selling girl groups in history. Their hiatus saw Beyoncé's theatrical film debut in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), and the release of her first solo album, Dangerously in Love (2003). The album established her as a solo artist worldwide, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and earned her five Grammy Awards. The album also featured the Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles, "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy".
Following the break-up of Destiny's Child in 2006, she released her second solo album, B'Day (2006), which contained her fourth number-one single, "Irreplaceable", as well as the top ten singles, "Déjà Vu", and "Beautiful Liar". Beyoncé also continued her acting career, with starring roles in The Pink Panther (2006), Dreamgirls (2006), and Obsessed (2009). Her marriage to rapper Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008), influenced her third album, I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008), which saw the introduction of her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce and earned a record-setting six Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Beyoncé took a hiatus from music in 2010 and took over management of her career; her fourth album, 4 (2011), was subsequently mellower in tone, exploring 1970s funk, 1980s pop, and 1990s soul. Her critically acclaimed eponymous album, released in 2013 with no prior announcement, was distinguished from previous releases by its experimental production and exploration of darker themes. Her sixth album, Lemonade (2016), also received widespread critical acclaim, with many referring to it as her most personal and political work to date, and subsequently became the best-selling album of 2016. In 2018, she released Everything Is Love, a collaborative album with her husband Jay-Z, as The Carters.
Throughout her career, Beyoncé has sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist, and a further 60 million records with Destiny's Child, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She is a multi-platinum, Grammy-Award-winning recording artist, who is acclaimed for her thrilling vocals, videos, and live concert shows. The Recording Industry Association of America recognized Beyoncé as the Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s decade. In 2009, Billboard named her the Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade and the Top Female Artist of the 2000s decade. Among numerous awards and accolades, Beyoncé has won 23 Grammy Awards and is the most nominated woman in the award's history. She is also the most awarded artist at the MTV Video Music Awards, with 24 wins, including the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. In 2008, she was awarded the Legend Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts at the World Music Awards. In 2011, Beyoncé was presented with the inaugural Millennium Award at the Billboard Music Awards. In 2014, she became the highest-paid black musician in history and was listed among Time's 100 most influential people in the world for a second year in a row. Forbes ranked her as the most powerful female in entertainment on their 2015 and 2017 lists, and in 2016, she occupied the sixth place for Time's Person of the Year. In 2016, she was awarded the Fashion Icon lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. With the release of Lemonade, Beyoncé became the first and only musical act in Billboard chart history to debut at number one with their first six solo studio albums.