Singer, Actress, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Can you name this female artist? Top Certified Artist in America during the 2000s decade, Top Radio Songs Artist of the Decade in 2009, the Top Female Artist of the 2000s and Artist of the Millennium in 2011, one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and 2014, and finally, Forbes magazine’s most powerful female musician of 2015. And, she’s married to Jay-Z.
Of course, we are talking about Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, known as simply “Beyoncé.” Maybe you saw her at one of the TWO Super Bowl halftime shows where she performed or in the movie “Dreamgirls,” where she received a Golden Globe nomination for her role. She is one undeniably talented person, and it seems she has always been a great performer.
When Beyoncé was five years old, she saw Michael Jackson in concert, and she was hooked. She wanted to do what he did. She started singing and dancing and entering competitions, and started her long list of awards with a prize at the school talent show when she was only seven years old.
When it was clear how good she was, her father quit his job to become her manager, and by the time she was fourteen, she signed her first record deal with the group “Girls’ Tyme,” which soon became “Destiny’s Child.” The group made four records, the most successful of which (The Writing’s On the Wall) sold more than 8 million copies worldwide. Beyoncé’s solo career eclipsed this number – she has sold over 15 million albums in the US, and over 118 million records worldwide, in addition to 60 million records with Destiny’s Child. Oh, and she achieved all this by the time she was 34 years old.
One of the most successful women in the world, she is also one of the richest. And she has been generous with her money. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Beyoncé contributed $250,000 to set up “The Survivor Foundation” to provide transitional housing for hurricane victims in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She also opened a Cosmetology School that provides a 7-month training program for residents of a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization in New York City.
She has often used her fame and art instead of money to help causes she believes in. She was the official face of a campaign to help earthquake victims in Haiti that raised $1 million through t-shirt sales. She has recorded several songs for charity, including a re-write of her single “Get Me Bodied” to support Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign, and a cover of “God Bless the USA” to raise money for the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund. She has also performed at several benefit concerts, including Gucci’s “Chime for Change” campaign, which aims to spread female empowerment. What will she do next? The world is watching.