Beyonce Knowles Childhood

Beyonce Knowles' childhood is unusual compared to most because even from an early age, she was dancing, singing and performing for audiences. Her parents encouraged her talent and allowed Knowles to follow her dreams of becoming a singer and songwriter. Taking a look at Beyonce Knowles' childhood provides clues into the type of entertainer she would eventually become.

Background
Knowles was born in Houston, Texas on Sept. 4, 1981. Her father was a record producer and her mother was a stylist. She has a younger sister, named Solange. Her heritage is African-American, French Creole and Native American. Knowles' first name is an homage to her mother's maiden name, Beyince. In interviews, Knowles revealed that her early musical influences were Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Janet Jackson.

Early Education
Knowles first discovered her love for performing when she was cast in a school play in elementary school. She took jazz dancing lessons and discovered her talent for singing early on. Knowles also sang in the church choir, often performing solos. She won a school talent show when she was seven years old. Knowles attended Parker Elementary School, where she was considered shy until it came time to perform. She sang in the school choir at her elementary school as well.

In her teen years, Knowles attended the prestigious High School for the Performing and Visual Arts for a time, and graduated from Alief Elsik High School, both in Houston, Texas.

Early Career
When Knowles was eight years old, she auditioned for a six-member girl group. The group, named Girl's Tyme, performed at local venues, but attracted attention when they appeared on Star Search in the early 1990s. Knowles' father managed the group and worked to get the girls' talent noticed by record companies. The group performed together for nearly six years, dropping and adding members, and nearly getting their big break with a failed record deal with Electra Records.

Once the members was weaned down to four members, the girl group renamed themselves Destiny's Child and, with Knowles as the lead singer, signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1997.

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