|BeyonceBorn in Houston in September 1981, Beyonce Giselle Knowles began performing at age seven, winning upwards of 30 local competitions for her dancing and vocal abilities. She also joined her cousin Kelly Rowland and classmates LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett in forming an adolescent vocal group. Mathew Knowles, Beyonce's father and Rowland's legal guardian, signed on to be the girls' manager, eventually quitting his full-time job to focus on their efforts. This situation would ultimately lead to the creation of one of the most popular female R&B groups of all time -- Destiny's Child.Destiny's Child gained momentum throughout the 1990s, appearing on Star Search in 1992 (under the name Girl's Tyme) and weathering several lineup changes before signing to Columbia Records in 1997. Four studio albums later, the group has officially become the best-selling female group of all time, with such smash hits as "Jumpin' Jumpin'," "Bills, Bills, Bills," "Say My Name," and "Survivor" bolstering the girls' momentum despite a continued string of lawsuits from former members Roberson and Luckett (who contested Mathew Knowles' management, claiming he withheld profits and unjustly favored his daughter and niece). In 2001, Beyonce, Rowland, and replacement member Michelle Williams allowed themselves a break from the group to pursue individual solo careers. Before landing several movie roles, Beyonce became the first African-American female artist and second woman ever to win the annual ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year Award. An appearance in the MTV drama Carmen: A Hip Hopera quickly followed, but it was her role as Foxxy Cleopatra in 2002's Austin Powers in Goldmember that established Beyonce as a true Hollywood star.While her inclusion on the movie's soundtrack failed to chart nationally, Beyonce's full-length solo debut, 2003's Dangerously in Love, reached multi-platinum status. Featuring collaborations with Sean Paul, Missy Elliott, OutKast's Big Boi, and romantic interest Jay-Z, the album spawned a total of four Top Ten singles and garnered the singer five Grammys. Destiny's Child reconvened the following year to release Destiny Fulfilled; upon completing the resulting tour, the group issued one final album, a greatest-hits compilation entitled 1's, and subsequently disbanded. Beyonce turned her full attention to her burgeoning solo career, releasing the sophomore effort B'day in September 2006 and, three months later, turning in an award-winning performance for the movie musical Dreamgirls. The singer then embarked on the Beyonce Experience concert tour, releasing a live DVD in November 2007.The following year proved to be another busy one as Beyonce Knowles landed the role of Etta James in Cadillac Records, a musical biopic that explored the heyday of Chicago's Chess Records. Shooting commenced in February 2008, with Beyonce also serving as co-executive producer. One month before the film's December release, the singer released her third studio album, I Am...Sasha Fierce. The double-disc effort emphasized her two distinct personalities, allowing Beyonce to explore both mainstream sounds and traditional R&B.