Beyoncé Giselle Knowles (born September 4, 1981), commonly known as Beyoncé (pronounced /biːɒnˈseɪ/), is an American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. 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 R&B girl group Destiny's Child, the best-selling girl group of all time.
In June 2003, after a series of commercial successes with the group, Beyoncé released her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love. The album became one of the most successful albums of that year, spawning the number-one singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy", and earned Knowles five Grammy Awards in a single night in 2004. The formal disbandment of Destiny's Child in 2005 facilitated her continued success as a solo artist. She released her second album, B'Day in 2006, which spawned the UK number-one singles "Déjà Vu" and "Beautiful Liar", as well as the worldwide hit, "Irreplaceable".
The success of her solo albums has established her as one of the most marketable artists in the industry. However, she has also added acting and endorsement deals to her repertoire. In 2006, she starred alongside Steve Martin and Kevin Kline in the comedy The Pink Panther, and that same year, scored the main role in the film adaptation of the 1981 Broadway musical Dreamgirls. Knowles launched her family's fashion line House of Deréon in 2004, and among her many lucrative commercial deals are Pepsi, Tommy Hilfiger, and L'Oréal. Knowles has been with long-time boyfriend Jay-Z since 2002, though they have been discreet about their relationship. After much speculation, they married on April 4, 2008.