35 things you probably didn't know about Beyoncé
Despite her fame and massive social-media following, Beyoncé is known for staying pretty private.
After losing on "Star Search" as a child, she has gone on to break records in the music industry.
She adopted an alter ego, Sasha Fierce, to overcome stage fright.
In 2020, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter became the only solo artist besides Mariah Carey to have hit No. 1 in four different decades.
After soaring through the ranks of the Billboard Hot 100 throughout the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s, she scored her first No. 1 of the 2020 decade with her feature on Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" remix.
She competed on the competition series "Star Search" in 1993.
At 12 years old, Beyoncé appeared on the series as part of the singing and dancing troupe Girls Tyme.
The group earned three stars from the judges for their performance but were eliminated after losing to another group, Skeleton Crew.
Beyoncé has since called the experience a "defining moment" in her childhood, and even included a soundbite from the show in her song "Flawless."
She's named after her mother.
According to People magazine, Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, was born Celestine Beyoncé.
After she married Beyoncé's father, she worried about losing the legacy of her maiden name — her brother's last name is "Beyincé" due to a clerical error. As a result, the matriarch named her daughter after her own surname.
Bey's uncle, Roland Beyincé, shared the story during the 2013 premiere of her documentary "Life Is But a Dream."
He said, "My sister Tina [Knowles] didn't think we had enough boys in the family to keep the name going, so she gave Beyoncé our last name as the first name."
Four is her favorite number.
Beyoncé has said that the number is special to her because it represents many important dates in her life, including her own birthday (September 4), her husband's birthday (December 4), her mother's birthday (January 4), and her wedding anniversary (April 4, which falls on the fourth month of the year).
It's also the name of her fourth studio album.
In fact, she loves the number so much she and her husband, Jay-Z, have the Roman numeral of it, IV, tattooed on their ring fingers.
Some fans have suggested the Roman numeral, which stands for four, inspired the second part of the couple's daughter's name, Blue Ivy. The name Ivy is pronounced the same way the letters "I" and "V" would be.
At 7 years old, she won a talent show against competitors over twice her age.
She apparently even earned a standing ovation for singing John Lennon's "Imagine."
According to Rolling Stone, the win prompted Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles, to enter the singer in more local talent shows, in which she won 35 competitions in a row.
As she got older, she started performing in front of customers at her mother's salon.
It seems she has always been a natural performer.
In her documentary "Life Is But a Dream," she explained, "I grew up in a house with my mother, who was a hairstylist … My mom would let me sweep up the hair, and if people would listen, [my friends and I] would perform for [the customers] in the hair salon."
"Most of them were like … 'I do not wanna hear this.' But we made them listen … and then we insisted on money," she added.
A major part of her vocal training included running a mile while singing.
According to Rolling Stone, her father insisted that this training would help her develop the ability to sing and dance at the same time.
Even years later, she has used that technique to build stamina — her personal trainer told Insider in 2017 that he once had Beyoncé sing through an entire album "in the Georgia heat."
She adopted an alter ego, Sasha Fierce, to overcome stage fright.
The singer told the Herald Sun in 2008, "There's a certain confidence I gain from her … If Beyoncé was onstage for two hours, I don't know whether it would be as interesting. I think people come to the show to be entertained. There are certain things I'd never say in my normal life; there are certain things I wouldn't wear."
The persona became a part of her image, so much so that she named her 2008 album "I am...Sasha Fierce," stylized in all capital letters.
Although it's unclear what specific moment marked the end of Miss Fierce, Bey publicly announced that she had outgrown the persona when she declared, "Sasha Fierce is done. I killed her," in a 2010 interview with Allure magazine.
She used to have a pet snake.
During a 2002 interview with Rove, Beyoncé revealed that she and her cousin once shared a pet python named Fendi.
"It was actually my cousin's [snake] … We shared rooms so it became our snake," the singer told Rove.
Although Beyoncé enjoyed the company of her scaly friend — going as far as sleeping next to it — her father, fearful of the reptile, forced the pair to get rid of their pet.
Her go-to karaoke song is "Hotel California" by the Eagles.
The singer revealed this detail during a questionnaire with Elle UK in 2019 and told the publication, "The guitar solo is my jam!" about the Eagles hit.
She's also a fan of Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)."
She was the first solo-artist to have six consecutive albums hit and debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The singer made history when her sixth album, "Lemonade," earned an astounding 653,000 equivalent album units (units equal to the purchase of one album copy) in the first week.
She is passionate about art.
The singer has made her love for art clear, from visiting the Louvre museum in Paris four times in 10 years to renting out the entire building with Jay-Z to film the music video for their song "Apeshit."
After the music video, the famous museum had over 10 million visitors in 2018 — breaking its previous 2012 record of 9.7 million.
She is a thrill-seeker.
From saving her money to ride roller coasters at Six Flags as a kid, filming herself on a toboggan in her self-made documentary "Year of 4," and bungee jumping in New Zealand, Beyoncé seems to love a good adrenaline rush.
In 2018, Beyoncé became the first Black woman to headline Coachella.
Her Coachella performance, which fans have dubbed #Beychella, featured a live 200-person band, clad in signature "BK" uniforms alongside her highly detailed choreography.
The performance required eight months of intense rehearsal and was commemorated in the Netflix documentary and concert film "Homecoming."
Beyoncé signed R&B duo Chloe x Halle to her record label in 2013.
She signed the sisters to her label, Parkwood Entertainment, after coming across their cover of Bey's "Pretty Hurts."
On the topic, Halle Bailey told Insider in 2016, "It's crazy how she's our boss lady, but she's just a wonderful person. We're inspired by seeing how she works, and how she remains in control. That's just so empowering for us, especially as young women."
She auditioned for a role in "Josie and the Pussycats" (2001).
Film director Harry Elfont told Billboard in 2017 that Beyoncé was one of several singers who auditioned for a part in the musical film back in 2000.
Although she didn't get the part, she later appeared in classics like "Austin Powers in Goldmember" (2002) and "The Pink Panther" (2006).
She was asked to play the lead in "A Star Is Born" (2018).
Long before Lady Gaga was cast as the aspiring singer Ally in the film's award-winning remake, Beyoncé was slated for the lead role.
However, the triple-threat had to turn down the project, in the hands of director Clint Eastwood at the time, due to scheduling conflicts.
In a 2012 statement to E! News, she said, "For months we tried to coordinate our schedules to bring this remake to life but it was just not possible."
She donated her salary from the film "Cadillac Records" to Phoenix House, a US drug treatment center.
The singer said she chose to give her earnings to the charity after spending time at one of their facilities to prepare for her role as Etta James in the film.
When speaking about the experience, Beyoncé said, "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 singer also partnered with her mother to open the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center in conjunction with the Phoenix House Career Academy in 2010.
She performed at both of President Barack Obama's inauguration events.
Her rendition of Etta James' "At Last" at the 2009 Inaugural Ball reportedly brought the audience to tears.
Beyoncé later recalled the performance in a 2011 interview with Harper's Bazaar as "one of the biggest moments" of her life.
And that wouldn't be the last time Bey sang for the former president. He later called upon the "Crazy in Love" singer to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration ceremony, which brought in about 20.6 million viewers.
She received a lifetime-supply card to Popeyes.
The "Drunk in Love" singer once said during an interview with "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2003 that the restaurant chain gave her free food for life after they learned about her love for its chicken.
Bey said she told her friend, " ... at one point, everywhere I went people would buy me Popeyes, like the fans! And Popeyes heard, so they gave me a lifetime membership … But I've never used it because I've been too embarrassed."
She won an award from the New York Association of Black Journalists for her 2011 essay in Essence magazine.
The award-winning first-person piece — "Eat, Play, Love" — detailed the singer's experiences during her year off from touring and included insights into her personal life.
Her 2017 pregnancy announcement broke an Instagram record.
The uncaptioned Instagram post featured a photograph of Beyoncé sitting on her knees in front of a floral wreath with her hands placed on her pregnant belly.
Within eight hours of being published, it racked up over 6.3 million likes, beating out a record previously held by singer Selena Gomez.
Even though this benchmark has since been passed, Bey's post still has nearly 11 million likes to this day, making it an iconic piece of social-media history.
Her surprise pregnancy announcement at the 2011 VMA ceremony also caused a Twitter frenzy.
The news came after the singer performed a live rendition of her single "Love on Top" and opened her suit jacket to reveal her pregnant belly.
At one point, according to Statista data, Twitter was inundated with 8,868 tweets per second about the performance, breaking the record for most tweets per second.
Prior to this, neither Beyoncé nor her husband had spoken to the press about the pregnancy.
She has been extremely involved in editing and producing her projects.
Whenever she's working on a project, Beyoncé ensures every last detail fits her vision.
"In 2008, I started a production company and sat in a room full of editors who taught me how to use Final Cut Pro. I spent a year editing and creating 'Life Is But a Dream,'" the singer told Elle in 2020."
"I went through hundreds of shows worth of footage, and that experience taught me to love the filmmaking process," she continued. " I love how mixing media can take you on a journey, which inspired projects like 'Lemonade' and 'Homecoming.'"
And whenever she's on tour, she watches videos of all her performances and critiques them.
Bey is known for taking immense pride in her work, so it makes sense that she wants to continually push herself and those she works with to improve.
One of her critiques can be seen in her film "Homecoming," when she had a talk with her crew about translating her vision to the film.
When speaking about rehearsals, Beyoncé said, "Until I see that some of my notes are applied, it doesn't make sense for me to make more."
In 2018, Beyoncé helped make Vogue history.
Chosen to be on Vogue's cover for the iconic September issue, Beyoncé specifically selected Tyler Mitchell to photograph the shoot, making Mitchell the first Black photographer to shoot for the magazine's cover.
She has been credited with revolutionizing the music industry after she released her self-titled studio album, "Beyoncé," on digital platforms without any prior warning.
The album's success inspired the trend of surprise music releases, with prominent artists like Drake, Donald Glover, and Taylor Swift following in Beyoncé's footsteps.
In fact, according to Billboard, the trend is now considered "pulling a Beyoncé."
Bey seems to be aware of this, too — she referred to her historic achievement on Nicki Minaj's 2014 track "Feeling Myself" by rapping about how she "changed the game with that digital drop."
That same album broke the record for fastest-selling album on iTunes.
Guinness World Records awarded her the title after "Beyoncé" — which featured the tracks "Drunk in Love," "Partition," and "XO" — sold over 800,000 copies worldwide within three days of its release.
In 2012, researchers discovered a new fly species and named it after her.
According to Live Science, researchers named the fly Scaptia (Plinthina) beyonceae in part because of the vibrant, golden mane on its abdomen.
Bey said she feels peaceful at sea.
During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," she said the only way she can relax is if she's on a boat.
"The only time I can really relax is on a boat because then I have no excuse. I'm stuck and I have to take care of myself," she explained.
She once hired a full-time videographer to film her life.
Her visual director told GQ in 2013 that her motivation to film everything came about after MTV refused to grant her access to the footage they took of her.
The "Summer Renaissance" singer wanted more control of her own narrative, so she decided to film her own life and performances.
She made music history again when her visual album, "Lemonade," charted 12 songs at once on the Billboard Hot 100.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Beyoncé earned this status in 2016 when she surpassed Taylor Swift's 2010 record of 11 songs simultaneously charting on the Hot 100.
She is the most-nominated and -awarded woman in Grammy history.
Of her 88 nominations, Beyoncé has won 28 awards.
Some of her notable wins include song of the year for her chart-topping hit "Single Ladies," best music video for "Formation," and best R&B performance for "Drunk in Love."
And in 2021, Beyoncé won four of her nine nominations, breaking Alison Krauss' record of 27 wins and making her the most-awarded woman in the history of the Grammys.
She became the first artist to be nominated across four different genre categories at the Grammys in the same year.
With "Lemonade," Bey snagged nominations in pop, urban contemporary, rap-sung, and rock.
Her most recent release, "Renaissance," became Spotify's most-streamed album in a day by a female artist this year.
On July 29, Beyoncé released her seventh studio album, "Renaissance."
The next day, Spotify announced in a tweet that it became the "most-streamed album in a single day by a female artist in 2022 so far."
Additionally, every song on the album debuted on US Spotify's Top 25 chart.
Read the original article on Insider