Beyoncé enters her first talent show at age 7. Singing John Lennon's "Imagine," she doesn't just win, she beats 15- and 16-year-olds and receives a standing ovation.
With hands-on help from her parents, Beyoncé performs with the girls group Gyrls Tyme, which included future Destiny's Child members Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson. They practice on the deck outside the Knowles home before hitting the talent show circuit in Houston.
Beyoncé's father, Mathew, leaves his six-figure sales job at Xerox to manage the girls full-time, and helps negotiates a deal for them with Columbia Records. They are eventually renamed Destiny's Child and release their self-titled debut in 1998. Their standout single from the album is a remix of "No, No, No," with Wyclef Jean.
The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, quietly debuts at No. 6 on the Billboard charts. After the CD gains momentum thanks to singles "Say My Name" and "Jumpin', Jumpin'," it goes on to sell more than 8 million copies.
Beyoncé announces on TRL that original DC members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson have left the group, and the "Say My Name" video premieres with new members Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin. Claiming to have discovered their dismissal only after seeing the video, Luckett and Roberson file a lawsuit, and eventually settle out of court. In July, Franklin leaves the group and Destiny's Child remains a trio.
After making her acting debut in MTV's "hip-hopera" Carmen, Beyoncé wins her first Grammy with Destiny's Child for "Say My Name," a song she cowrote. She goes on to write "Survivor," a song about success despite trying circumstances off the group's third album, which sells more than 4 million copies. In 2002, Beyoncé becomes the first black woman to win ASCAP's Pop Songwriter of the Year Award.
In her big-screen debut, Beyoncé plays Foxxy Cleopatra in the Austin Power's movie Goldmember, which tops the box office and makes $73.1 million its first weekend. In 2006, she takes a leading-lady role in The Pink Panther opposite Steve Martin. The movie remake also hits No. 1 and earns $20.2 million opening weekend.
Reports begin to circulate that Beyoncé is dating hip hop mogul Jay-Z after she appears on his song "'03 Bonnie & Clyde." (They play a couple on the run in the video.) The duo will go on to collaborate on Beyoncé's solo hits, 2003's "Crazy in Love" and 2006's "Deja Vu" before going public as a couple.
Replacing Britney Spears, who famously starred in Pepsi commercials for two years, Beyoncé lands pop's most sought-after endorsement. Before taking over for Spears, Beyoncé stars with her and Pink as ancient Roman gladiators singing "We Will Rock You" at the Coliseum. The sonic vibrations of their voices cause Pepsi cans to fall out of the emperor's box to the feet of the three pop stars in the arena.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Music World Music; WENN; Pam Francis/Time Life Pictures/Getty; DAVE ALLOCCA/DMI/REX USA; Melinda Sue Gordon/New Line/ZUMA; Frank Micelotta/Getty; Alpha/Globe