Beyoncé is a pop-culture icon, one of the most successful women in the history of music, and one-half of hip hop’s biggest power couple. Her career has earned her countless awards, set records for solo artists, and won the undying loyalty of millions of fans around the world. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting facts about Beyoncé, taking special care to find a few that you probably haven’t heard before.
Beyoncé Started Her Music Career Early
Beyoncé has been singing, dancing, and performing almost her entire life. The best evidence is the story of her competing in a talent show at the age of seven. Most of the other contestants were teenagers, showing just how good Beyoncé was in spite of being so young. She ended up winning, allegedly earning a standing ovation for her rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine.
It was that talent show win that prompted her father to enter her in more competitions, which saw her win an illustrious 35 talent shows in a row at the local level.
Outside of that, she was often found performing in her mother’s hair salon. As she swept hair off the floor, she would often sing. Anyone who would listen got a performance from the young Beyoncé, giving her a—small—stage from her childhood onward.
Beyoncé is Named After Her Mother
Beyoncé is named after her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson. Her mother’s maiden name is Beyoncé, the name that effectively turned into the singer’s utterly famous name.
She And Destiny’s Child Performed on Star Search in 1993
Before Destiny’s Child had even changed their name to the one we all know as one of the biggest and most successful all-girl groups in music history, they were a dancing troupe called Girls Tyme. At the time, Beyoncé was 12 years old, and they did quite well. They would, unfortunately, end up losing out to another group named Skeleton Crew, but the fire that loss put into Girls Tyme would push them to incredible heights.
Destiny’s Child Officially Formed In 1996
Girls Tyme finally became Destiny’s Child in 1996, basing their name on a passage from the book of Isaiah. Their major record label debut single Killing Time was featured in the 1997 film Men In Black, and it launched their careers together into superstardom. A ridiculous number of accolades and album sales later, they would eventually be recognized as one of the best and most influential all-girl groups of all time.
Beyoncé’s Father Was One Of The Biggest Reasons Destiny’s Child Broke Up
Mathew Knowles was Beyoncé’s manager when she was a young artist, and he ended up being the principal manager of Destiny’s Child. Eventually, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson grew unhappy with the way he was managing the group. They decided to leave, but the group found replacements for them: Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams.
Beyoncé ended up going through a long bout of depression during this time, as her friends had left, her boyfriend left her, and she was blamed as the reason why Destiny’s Child broke up in the media. While it wasn’t all her fault, it took a toll on a young Beyoncé. The group would eventually go on hiatus for the members to pursue solo careers, though they would release several successful works before doing so.
Her Dad Also Stole From Her
If it wasn’t bad enough that his managing style had broken up perhaps the most successful girl group of all time, Beyoncé’s dad ended up ruining his time with his daughter after she launched a solo career. She would eventually discover that he was stealing funds from her I Am… tour.
From that point on, she became her own manager, firing her father from the role. The two would eventually reconcile and repair their relationship, but it forever altered the way she did business from that point onwards.
Four Is Her Favorite Number
It might seem insignificant that four is Beyoncé’s favorite number, but it holds an incredible significance for her. Even her fourth studio album was titled 4. But why?
She was born on September 4th, her mother was born on January 4, Jay-Z was born on January 4, and the two got married on April 4, 2008. That’s a lot of events that happen on the fourth of a month, but it doesn’t end there. She and Jay-Z made their relationship public in 2004. And overall, four seems to be a lucky number for her. So, I can’t blame her for it being such an important number in her life.
Her First Solo Recording Was With Her Eventual Husband Jay-Z
Beyoncé had already recorded plenty of music as a member of Destiny’s Child—and likely on her own time—before her solo career actually took off. But the very first time she stepped into a recording studio as a solo artist, it was under the watchful eye of her eventual husband and music producer Jay-Z. She was lined up to sing on his song ‘03 Bonnie & Clyde, a single released in 2002 that peaked at number four on the Hot 100 chart.
He returned the favor by appearing on her debut single Crazy In Love. It served as the lead single for her debut album Dangerously In Love, which debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 and sold 11 million copies worldwide.
Her First Number-One Single Was Her First Single
Crazy In Love was the lead single from her debut album, but it also turned out to be her first number-one single as a solo artist. It ended up rising to number one on the Hot 100 and started a run of chart success for songs on her debut album. Her album would also produce her second number-one single—as a solo artist—in Baby Boy, as well as two other singles that would reach the top five: Naughty Girl and Me, Myself, And I.
Beyoncé Has A Number-One Hit In Four Different Decades
We all know Beyoncé has enjoyed a successful career from the 1990s through today, from her time with Destiny’s Child to the modern era of her being one of the biggest solo artists in the world. In 2020, she became the only solo artist—other than Mariah Carey—to take the top spot of the Hot 100 in four separate decades. The song that put her over the top was her 2020 feature on Megan Thee Stallion’s Savage remix.
She Was The First Solo Artist to Have Six Consecutive Albums Hit Number-One
It comes as no surprise to most people when you tell them that Beyoncé has had plenty of number-one albums on the Billboard 200. But her sixth album, Lemonade, made her the first solo artist in history to debut at the top spot of that chart in a row. No matter what era of music you look at, it’s an incredible accomplishment that I don’t think has been replicated in the years since she achieved it.
Lemonade Also Set A Billboard Hot 100 Record
Lemonade secured Beyoncé’s spot on top of the album department, but it also set a record when it came to hits on the Hot 100. The album surpassed a record held by Taylor Swift—11 tracks—when it charted 12 songs on the Hot 100 simultaneously.
Beyoncé Was The First Black Woman To Headline Coachella
Beyoncé’s Coachella performance was one for the ages, requiring eight months of rehearsals, a 200-member band, and a ridiculously complicated choreography. A Netflix documentary was even produced to commemorate the sheer amount of effort that went into the concert, but it was her headlining the event that made the most waves. She was the first Black woman to headline Coachella, setting the stage for others in the future to have that opportunity.
Her Voice Training Involves Heavy Physical Exercise
Most people have trouble envisioning themselves running for miles at all. But Beyoncé takes it a step further. To aid in her voice training, her father insisted that she run while she sang. It ended up being an effective way to help develop her lungs and her ability to sing and dance at the same time. While we would be absolutely out of breath, she can carry the exact note she desires at any time, no matter how much energy she’s exerting. Even today, the exercises are still a part of her brutal workout regime.
Her Relationship With Jay-Z Began When She Was A Teenager
Hip hop’s power couple has been together for quite a long time. Beyoncé often keeps her personal life private, but the one sure thing about her romantic life is that she and Jay-Z are forever. The two were teenage sweethearts that actually ended up together.
Rumors started about their relationship as early as 2002 with the release of ’03 Bonnie And Clyde, but they wouldn’t officially confirm their relationship until 2004. That announcement came at the MTV Video Music Awards, as the two appeared on stage wearing matching outfits. By 2008, the pair married, eventually having their first child in 2012 and twins in 2017.
Beyoncé’s Pregnancy Picture Broke A World Record
Beyoncé took to Instagram to announce her surprise pregnancy in 2017. Fans and audiences around the world were shocked and gleeful, but the picture broke the Guinness World Record for the most liked picture on Instagram. It quickly rose to over 6.4 million likes, a record it would hold for a little over a year before being dethroned by Kylie Jenner, announcing the birth of Stormi Webster.
That’s Not The Only Record She Shattered
Beyoncé has been known to drop albums with no warning, sharing them online on streaming platforms to the delight of fans. Her self-titled album in 2013 started a trend of other artists doing the same, but it broke another Guinness World record when it came out. It took the top spot for the fastest-selling album of all time, selling over 800,000 copies in its first three days of availability.
And It Wasn’t The First Time Her Pregnancy Announcement Broke The Internet
Beyoncé took the stage at the 2011 VMA ceremony wearing a full suit jacket. During her performance of Love On Top, she ended up opening the jacket to reveal her very pregnant belly. Twitter went wild, to the point that it almost broke. A record 8,868 tweets per second were coming into the site according to Statista data, scoring another record for her. Of course, this was a huge surprise, as nothing had been said by either her or Jay-Z prior to the performance.
Jay-Z Did Admit To Cheating On Her
While a couple as powerful and interesting as this one may seem to not leave room for infidelity, it definitely happened. Beyoncé’s Lemonade album was the key to unraveling this story, as it showcased her rage and hurt feelings after the incident occurred. With an album laying out the obvious, Jay-Z was of course asked about what happened.
He eventually confirmed it in an interview with the New York Times. The couple would use music to help repair their relationship and overcome their problems, ending up stronger than they ever were in the first place.
Beyoncé Has An Aggressive Alter-Ego
Beyoncé has been open about having an alter-ego, as it allows her to go into a different mindset when she’s performing or writing music. Famously known as “Sasha Fierce,” her alter ego was actually developed to overcome stage fright rather than inspire. She spoke on her issues with the anxiety of stage fright, something that plagued her early career. Performing under an alter-ego allowed her to have the confidence to step onto a stage. According to her:
“When I perform, this confidence and this sexiness and this whatever it is that I’m completely not just happens. And you feel it, and you just start wildin’ and doin’ stuff that doesn’t even make sense, like the spirit takes over.”
She would eventually outgrow the alter-ego, revealing in a 2010 interview that she had done away with the Sasha Fierce side of her life.
She Performed At Both of Obama’s Inaugurations
Beyoncé has grown to be outright political over the years, but her involvement is just as loud as her words. She performed at both of Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremonies, in 2009 and 2013 respectively.
The one in 2009 featured an incredible rendition of Etta James’ song At Last, as it marked the first time an African-American held the office of President of the United States. She then performed at the ceremony in 2013, singing the national anthem for the ceremony and bringing in something in the realm of 20 million viewers.
The Queen Bey Has Been In A Fair Number of Films
Beyoncé has always been a performer, not just a music artist. Her work in the film industry began in 2001 when she appeared in Carmen: A Hip Hopera, but it took off when she played the role of Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers’ Goldmember in 2003. She would later appear in other big-budget productions such as The Pink Panther in 2006, Obsessed in 2009, and The Lion King in 2019. She would additionally direct four films, from Life Is But A Dream in 2013 to Black Is King in 2020.
She Watches Back All of Her Performances
How does a master of their craft get better? If you’re into sports, you know athletes often film and watch their practices or games, highlighting the things they can improve on with visual examples and studying up on the things that can help them. Beyoncé takes the same approach, watching back every one of her performances from tours to help her improve upon them later on.
Beyoncé Is Allergic to Perfume
It might seem a bit odd for a person who can’t actually wear perfume to own multiple lines of perfumes, but where there’s a will there’s a Beyoncé. She is allergic to all kinds of perfumes as they cause her to have a reaction any time she tries to wear them. Instead of just never spritzing them on, she has them chemically altered to remove the allergic elements that cause those reactions.
Her Salary From Cadillac Records Was Donated
Beyoncé is active when it comes to donating to charities, but few people know that she donated her entire salary for the film Cadillac Records to a rehab facility in Brooklyn. Named the Phoenix House, the facility helps people overcome addictions and personal struggles, striving for a better life. Her role in the film as Etta James was marvelous, but every cent she earned from the film production went directly to Phoenix House.
When asked about it, she had this to say:
“Through their stories, I realized that all of us have our personal struggles and we all have something to overcome … Addiction is a disease and these beautiful women I met did not choose to become addicts, but they have chosen to get better.”
The facility went on—with her assistance—to found a school that taught patients cosmetology skills during a seven-month program, allowing them to gain career skills after they left the facility.
Speaking of Beyoncé’s Charity Work…
Beyoncé is one of the most active artists out there when it comes to her charitable donations and involvement. In 2002, she, Kelly Rowland, and Tina Knowles built the Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth in downtown Houston. It was a community center meant to give kids a place to go and help uplift the community.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she and Rowland founded the Survivor Foundation. The goal of it was to help displaced families by providing housing and assistance with rebuilding efforts. It has expanded in the years since to work with other charities as well, providing relief for other disasters like Hurricane Ike only a few years later.
She would again work in housing by founding the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments. This outreach program is an apartment complex that offers living space for displaced individuals.
She has been an outspoken feminist for the vast majority of her career, always advocating for women’s rights and empowerment. She and Jay-Z secretly donated a lot of money to other causes like Black Lives Matter protesters and to help establish chapters of the movement across the country.
Bootylicious Is A Real Word Thanks to Her
Bootylicious might be a word that’s been used in slang for quite some time, but Beyoncé’s popularizing it led to it actually being included in the dictionary. The official definition of the word is “a woman who is sexually attractive.”
She’s A Killer Connect Four Player
Ah, the classic game of Connect Four. Beyoncé being good at the game had to be fated in some way, as it’s yet another way she’s connected to the number four. Apparently, she’s a master of the game, having beaten Kanye West nine times in a row at one point. And what did the fickle West have to say about it? He posted on his blog:
“Every now and then people would speak of this legendary Connect 4 champion……….. BEYONCÉ!!! I had 2 play her!…so last night at Jay’s new 40/40 club in Las Vegas … she beat me 9 times in a row! (and I didn’t even spaz lol).”
There’s A Fly Species Named After Her
In 2012, a scientist named Bryan Lessard discovered a species of horsefly in Australia with golden hairs on its abdomen. In honor of Beyoncé and thanks to those hairs, he named it Scaptia beyonceae. While I didn’t find a reaction from her or the fly named after her regarding how they felt about the name, I’m sure both felt some level of honor—especially the insect.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.