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Beyoncé Knowles

Beyoncé Knowles (born September 4, 1981) is an American pop singer and songwriter in the group Destiny's Child. She is sometimes known just by her first name, Beyoncé.

Born in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé and Destiny's Child toured as an opening act for both Christina Aguilera and TLC before their first hit album, also called Destiny's Child. The band is managed by her father, Matthew Knowles, who is acknowledged as a strong force in her life.

In 2002, she won the title "Songwriter of the Year", from the ASCAP Pop Music Awards. She is the first African American woman to win the award and the second woman.

She co-starred in the 2002 film Austin Powers in Goldmember, for which she recorded a song and music video "Work It Out".

During the fall of 2002, Beyoncé was the featured vocalist on Jay-Z's smash single, "03 Bonnie And Clyde". The two were seen so often in public together that it started rumors that they were more than just friends. Both have denied that they are anything but friends.

In 2003, Beyoncé released her debut solo album. Its first single, "Crazy In Love" featured a guest rap from Jay-Z and became one of the biggest hits of that summer, staying at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart for ten weeks.

On July 4, 2003, Beyoncé came under controversy from the Grant Memorial Association for dancing in a "patently inappropriate" way on the steps of the tomb of President Ulysses S. Grant. President Grant's great-grandsons Ulysses Grant Dietz and Chapman Foster Grant, spoke up on Knowles' behalf. "The way the world is now, who cares?" said Chapman Grant, "who knows? If the old guy were alive, he might have enjoyed it."

In the spring of 2003, Beyoncé remade a duet with Luther Vandross, called "Closer I Get to You", originally performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, but they flipped around.

Towards the end of the summer, "Baby Boy", the album's second single which featured reggae star Sean Paul, began to climb the charts. It, too, went on to become one of the biggest hits of 2003, dominating radio airplay for the fall of 2003.

Around the same time, Beyoncé starred in the movie The Fighting Temptations and recorded a song for it called "Fighting Temptation", with rappers Missy Elliott, Free, and MC Lyte. Unlike Beyoncé's own singles, the song did not become popular, although the movie was a moderate success.