Beyoncé - American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, businesswoman and activist

Beyoncé - American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, businesswoman and activist

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, actress, dancer, businesswoman and activist. Notably praised for her boundary-pushing artistry, visually stunning music videos and live performances, and vocal prowess, her success has made her a cultural icon and earned her the nicknames Queen Bey and Queen of Pop.


As a child, she participated in various singing and dancing competitions. In the late 1990s, she rose to fame as a member of Destiny's Child, one of the most popular and best-selling girls bands of all time.

In 2003, while Destiny's Child took a break, Beyoncé released her critically acclaimed debut solo album "Dangerously in Love", which included the hit singles "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" which reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. She released her second album after the dissolution of Destiny's Child in 2006, "B'Day", and a third in 2008, "I Am.... Sasha Fierce". The latter, heavily influenced by her marriage to Jay-Z and her portrayal of Etta James in the film "Cadillac Records" (2008), was awarded a record 6 Grammy Awards in 2010.

She later received critical acclaim for her visual and sound experimental albums, "Beyoncé" (2013) and "Lemonade" (2016). The latter, which explores themes of infidelity, feminism and womanism, was the best-selling album in the world in 2016 and the most acclaimed of her career. In 2022, she received a new critical reception for her 7th studio album "Renaissance", which experiments with disco and house music, and pays tribute to LGBTQ+ ball culture.


Throughout her career, Beyoncé has released critically acclaimed and award-winning albums and hit songs, cementing her place as one of the world's biggest pop stars.

A multiple award winner, she is the most awarded female artist of all time, and the first solo artist whose first seven studio albums debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Her many honors include no less than 32 Grammy Awards and 29 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as the APEX Award at the Trumpet Award honoring achievements of Black African American, in 2005 ; the American Music Awards' International Artist of Excellence Award in 2007 ; the GLAAD Vanguard Award in 2019, given to a member of the entertainment community who does not identify as LGBT+ but has made a significant difference in promoting equal rights for that community ; and the BET Humanitarian Award in 2020.

She is also one of the world's best-selling artists, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Her success during the 2000s was recognized by the Recording Industry Association of America, which awarded her the title of Best Certified Artist of the Decade, as well as Billboard's Best Female Artist of the Decade.


In addition to her musical career, Beyoncé has also made a name for herself as an actress. Her credits include "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (2002), "The Pink Panther" and "Dreamgirls" (2006), "Obsessed" (2009), and most recently in "The Lion King" (2019) where she lends her voice to the character of Nala.

She consolidates her place in the film industry in 2020, with "Black Is King", a musical film that she directs, writes and produces, and which is accompanied by a visual album and numerous critical acclaim. She had previously directed and produced several films accompanying her albums and performances, "Life is But a Dream" (2013), "Beyoncé: Lemonade" (2016) and "Homecoming" (2019).


Globally known and influential, she uses her fame to support many social and political causes, and uses her platform to raise awareness about issues such as gender equality, police brutality and climate change. Her causes include Habitat for Humanity, which provides affordable housing for families in need ; Global Citizen, which works to end extreme poverty worldwide by 2030 ; and Black Lives Matter, a movement she ardently supports, which advocates for racial justice and systemic change, and condemns police brutality and other forms of violence against black Americans. In fact, she and Jay-Z have secretly donated tens of thousands of dollars to support Black Lives Matter protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson, and have funded the infrastructure to create Black Lives Matter chapters across the United States.


In 2002, with Kelly Rowland and Tina Knowles, she built the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth, a community center in downtown Houston. She also donated $100,000 to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund. In 2007, she founded the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments, a housing complex providing living space for 43 displaced people, and in 2016, donated $7 million to maintain the complex.

In 2012, she became an ambassador for the World Humanitarian Day campaign, donating her song "I Was Here" and its video, shot at the UN, to the campaign. In December of that year, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, she teamed up with various other celebrities to produce a video campaign for "Demand A Plan," a bipartisan effort by a group of 950 U.S. mayors and others to influence the federal government to rethink its gun control laws.

She publicly supported same-sex marriage in 2013, and spoke out in 2016, in a statement at her concert in Raleigh, against North Carolina's Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, a law passed (and later repealed) that discriminated against the LGBT+ community in public places. She also contributed to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in 2017, working with local relief efforts and organizations to support affected communities. That same year, she launched BeyGOOD Houston to support those affected by the hurricane. The organization donated basic necessities such as cots, blankets, pillows, baby products, feminine products and wheelchairs, and funded long-term revitalization projects.


In February 2017, Beyoncé also spoke out against the removal of protections for transgender students in public schools by Donald Trump's presidential administration. By posting a link to the 100 Days of Kindness campaign on her Facebook page, Beyoncé expressed her support for transgender youth and joined a list of celebrities who spoke out against Trump's decision.

In April 2020, she donated $6 million to the National Alliance in Mental Health, UCLA, and local community organizations to provide mental health and personal wellness services to critical workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. BeyGOOD also partnered with local organizations to help provide resources to communities of color, including food, water, cleaning supplies, medication and masks.


Beyoncé is also a strong feminist and advocate for gender equality. In 2013, she stated in an interview for Vogue magazine that she considers herself a "modern-day feminist."

Beyond her platform, she also uses her music and public appearances to spread messages of empowerment and equality for women. Her music often features strong, confident women who are unashamed of their sexuality and ambitions. In fact, she has been praised for her ability to promote positive female role models and challenge traditional gender stereotypes in her work.

In addition, Beyoncé supports several organizations that work to empower women and girls, including the Gucci Chime for Change campaign, which raises awareness and funds for women's health, education and justice initiatives.

In 2016, she publicly advocated for companies to offer paid maternity leave to their employees. She shared her own experience balancing motherhood with her demanding career, and called for policies that support working mothers.


Alongside her career as an artist and philanthropist, Beyoncé is making her mark in the business world. In 2005, she and her mother launched "House of Deréon", a contemporary women's fashion line inspired by three generations of women in their family. The name pays tribute to her grandmother, Agnèz Deréon, a respected fashion designer. Beyoncé has also partnered with House of Brands to produce a line of shoes for House of Deréon, and has founded, again with her mother, the family company Beyond Productions, which provides licensing and management for the brand and its junior collection. House of Deréon pieces have been featured in Destiny's Child shows and tours, and the collection is available in department and specialty stores across the United States and Canada.


Beyoncé also worked with Tommy Hilfiger for "True Star" and "True Star Gold" fragrances, promoted Emporio Armani's "Diamonds" fragrance in 2007, and launched her first official fragrance, "Heat", in 2010.

That same year, she founded her own entertainment company, Parkwood Entertainment, named after a street in Houston, Texas, where she lived. The company oversees her various brands in music, film, video and fashion. Parkwood Entertainment's staff has experience in these areas, and the company has a state-of-the-art editing room, where Beyoncé works on content for her world tours, music videos and television specials. Beyoncé has also signed other artists with Parkwood, such as Chloe x Halle, who performed at Super Bowl LIII in February 2019.


In 2014, Beyoncé signed a deal to launch an activewear line with British fashion retailer Topshop. She has since bought out Topshop owner Philip Green's 50% share after he was accused of sexual harassment, bullying and racial abuse of his employees. She now owns the brand herself.

In 2015, she and other artists became co-owners of the music streaming service Tidal, which specializes in lossless audio and high-definition music videos.

In 2019, Beyoncé became a creative partner with Adidas and further developed her Ivy Park sports brand, named after her daughter, with the company.


In 2020, she formed a multi-year partnership with exercise equipment and media company Peloton to celebrate the Homecoming season at historically black colleges and universities. As part of the partnership, Beyoncé and Peloton are offering free memberships to all students at 10 HBCUs, and Peloton is looking to establish long-term recruiting partnerships at HBCUs. Peloton's music manager, Gwen Bethel Riley, said that "when we had conversations with Beyoncé around how critical a social impact component was to all of us, it crystallized how important it was to embrace Homecoming as an opportunity to celebrate and create dialogue around Black culture and music, in partnership with HBCUs.

An incredibly talented and influential artist, Beyoncé has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on popular culture. Her powerful voice, dynamic stage presence, and fervent social activism make her a role model for millions of fans around the world.

© Photo: Sassy CC-BY-3.0

Article par Julie Henry Poutrel pour Adama Toulon