Born in Texas to Matthew Knowles, a former salesman, and his salon-owner wife, Tina, Beyoncé Knowles shot to fame as the lead vocalist for girl group Destiny’s Child when she was just 17 years old.
After partnering with rapper Jay Z and launching her solo career, however, the singer rose the celebrity ranks to become one of the best-selling and most influential female artists of all time.
In 2011, Beyoncé's daughter, Blue Ivy, was born, which gave the deeply spiritual mother an even greater sense of purpose.
“I felt like God was giving me a chance to assist in a miracle,” she revealed in her HBO documentary, Life Is But a Dream. “You’re playing a part in a much bigger show. And that’s what life is. It’s the greatest show on earth.”
To celebrate Beyoncé on her 33rd birthday (Sept. 4), we look back at Queen Bey’s life and career in photos.