Beyoncé's first solo disc, Dangerously in Love, sells 317,000 copies in its first week. The album's lead single, "Crazy in Love," spends eight weeks at No. 1 and becomes the summer's party anthem.
For Beyoncé's first solo performance at MTV's Video Music Awards, she is lowered from the ceiling in a harness to sing "Crazy in Love" with Jay-Z. She's also rewarded for the music video, winning Best R&B Video, Best Female Video and Best Choreography for "Crazy in Love" – every award she was nominated for that night except for the Viewer's Choice award, which goes to Good Charlotte for "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous."
After opening the show with Prince on a medley of his hits and her "Crazy in Love," Beyoncé performs again two hours later solo, singing "Dangerously in Love." She takes home five Grammys, tying the record for the most wins ever for a female artist. "This is unbelievable. Performing was enough for me," she says in her acceptance speech.
Despite reports that they wouldn't get back together, Destiny's Child releases its fourth and final studio album, Destiny Fulfilled. The album debuts at No. 2, selling more than 497,000 copies its first week. In September, they play their tearful final show in Vancouver. "'Breakup' sounds so final," Beyoncé tells PEOPLE, "It's more a growing up." In March 2006, the ladies receive a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
Known for never looking less than red-carpet ready, Beyoncé launches House of Deréon – a high-end clothing company named for her maternal grandmother – with her mother and former stylist Tina. "It's a little vintage and a little couture," Beyoncé tells PEOPLE.
The day after her 25th birthday, Beyoncé releases B'Day, her sophomore solo album. It debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and her single Irreplaceable becomes her fourth No. 1 single as a solo artist. At the 2007 Grammys, she is nominated in four categories and wins Best Contemporary R&B album for B'Day.
Beyoncé portrays a Diana Ross-like character in the musical Dreamgirls. She gets star billing, but it's costar Jennifer Hudson, as Effie, who wins a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Beyoncé, who does not receive an Oscar nod, denies rumors that she is jealous of Hudson's success. "Because I'm a star they just automatically assume that I'm not humble enough to sit down and take a back seat, which I am," Beyoncé says at a press event.
Beyoncé is the first nonmodel and nonathlete (and the second African-American – Tyra Banks was the first in 1996 and 1997) to land the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. "These are photos I can show my kids some day," she tells PEOPLE, "so I can say, 'See, momma was beautiful. Look how good I looked!'" In May, she is named one of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful, with Giorgio Armani picking her as the face for his women's fragrance, Emporio Armani Diamonds.
At the 35th Annual American Music Awards, Beyoncé sings a Bluegrass version of her No. 1 hit "Irreplaceable" with country group Sugarland and ends the night making history as the first woman to win the International Artist Award. When Usher presents her with the honor, the stunning songstress says, "I'm so blessed to wake up every morning and do what I love. I don't take it for granted."
Beyoncé and Jay-Z secretly wed in New York. Although they keep mum for months on the details of their intimate wedding, Beyoncé eventually reveals to Essence that she didn't want the drama of a large affair. "It's been my day so many days already," she says. "We've been together a long time…We always knew it would happen."
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