It’s hard to say which of these talented artists is the bigger star, but it’s easy to see how they wound up together. It was a clear case of mutual admiration between a native New York tough guy and a Texas belle.
Born in Houston, Beyoncé knew she could dance from an early age, but soon her vocal talents were discovered, leading to a spot on the TV show Star Search with her first group, Girl’s Tyme. Remarkably, they didn’t win, but her talent continued to shine—and by 1997 Destiny’s Child was born.
Around the same time Beyoncé was hitting it big, Jay-Z—born Shawn Corey Carter in 1969—was releasing his first solo CD, “Reasonable Doubt,” which began a string of platinum multi-million selling albums.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were actually friends first, she told Oprah in a recent interview. They spent a year and a half talking on the phone before they even had their first date. She credits this friendship to being the foundation of their relationship. Both were at the top of the charts when they finally started dating around the year 2000. Their creative talents finally merged in 2003 with the release of Jay-Z’s song “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” featuring Beyoncé. Fiercely private about their relationship, they were married in a quiet ceremony in 2008.
Beyoncé wasn’t in a hurry to get married, telling US magazine the year they were married “I really don’t believe that you will love the same thing when you’re 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: Before the age of 25, I would never get married.”
Now after nearly five years and the 2012 birth of the couple’s daughter Blue Ivy, Beyoncé remains fulfilled, telling Oprah, “I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man.”
Unlike his wife, who enjoyed a sheltered upbringing in suburban Houston, Jay-Z had a difficult youth, including dealing drugs and being shot at in his Brooklyn housing project.
“I was going to have to go through some things, and they were preparing me,” he told MTV, adding that his daughter doesn’t have to be tough. “She has to love herself, she has to know who she is, she has to be respectful and be a moral person.”
Still an active rapper and producer, Jay-Z said he was less motivated to make music after the birth of Blue Ivy, telling MTV, “I just really want to hang out with her. I just want to enjoy those moments for a bit, and I’m sure that feeling of music will come back to me.”
Soon after the birth, Beyoncé told UK Star magazine, that Jay-Z “is not only an inspirational artist, he is an inspirational husband. I know the next step on his journey is going to be being an inspirational father.”
For the most part, the pair avoids mixing in each other’s artistic affairs, allowing each other to do their own thing.
Neither appears to be slowing down. Beyoncé is gearing up for her latest tour, titled “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.” Jay-Z is working on a follow-up to his “Watch the Throne” CD collaboration with Kanye West.
In the meantime, the family continues to be seen in public, courtside at New York Knicks basketball games, at various awards shows, and walking around the Big Apple.
As for their secret to a happy marriage, Beyoncé told Oprah it was a balance between her independence and the love for her husband. “That foundation is so important in a relationship ,and just to have someone that you just like, you know, is so important, and someone that is honest.”