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Happy Birthday, Beyoncé! The Diva's Most Memorable Moments in the Spotlight

One of the most honored solo female artists of all time, a member of hit female vocal group Destiny's Child, an actress, the wife of a music mogul, and a new mom... What's left for Beyonce to achieve? It seems there's no end to the various pinnacles this diva has reached over the past 15 years. Even more of a feat, her successes have come with relatively no scandals attached. Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter seems the women who has it all. Today, on her 31st birthday, we celebrate her most memorable moments in the spotlight.

12. Originally dubbed Girl's Tyme, Destiny's Child suffered several setbacks early on: Failing to place in the nationally syndicated TV show Star Search, cut from the roster of their first record label soon after their signing, and a lawsuit involving two of its members. Nevertheless, after rebranding themselves -- taking the name from a passage in the Old Testament -- and changing labels to Columbia Records, they quickly gained their footing. garnering Grammys, topping the charts, and becoming the top girl group of the past twenty years.

11. When the group split up in 2001, Beyonce wasted no time in establishing herself as a solo act. Her first album, Dangerously In Love, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts and sold over eleven million copies worldwide. The first single off the album, "Crazy In Love," spent eight consecutive weeks at number one as well. The album eventually spawned four consecutive top five hits and garnered her a record-tying five Grammy awards as well. Since, she's become the best-selling artist of the past decade with no less than 75 million records sold worldwide. In 2008, Forbes magazine placed her at number four on its list of the 100 Most Powerful and Influential Celebrities in the World and first among the Top Best Paid Celebs Under 30.

10. Beyonce's film career has been almost as amazing. Her first role was Foxxy Cleopatra  opposite the wacky Mike Myers as Austin Powers in Goldmember. In 2003, she appeared with Cuba Gooding Jr. in the romantic comedy The Fighting Temptations. Three years later, she acted alongside Steve Martin in the remake of The Pink Panther. However, she really came into her own when she broke out of comedy to star in Dreamgirls, a film which brought her two Golden Globe nods for Best Actress and Best Original Song. Still, the role that stands out above all is her vivid portrayal of the damaged R&B singer Etta James in the historical drama Cadillac Records. Last year it was announced that she will star in another remake, that of the classic A Star Is Born, directed by none other than that great Republican show-stealer and oddball, Clint Eastwood.

9. Beyonce managed to transcend her portrayal of Etta James by bringing the diva's signature song "At Last" to one of the inauguration events for the newly elected Barack Obama. She performed the song to accompany the Obamas in their first dance as President and First Lady.

8. A performer who prays before each performance and claims to be a basically shy person has to assume an entirely new persona once she hits the stage. Beyonce solved that dilemma by inventing an alter ego named Sasha Fierce, a sassy, sexy character who allowed her the freedom to unleash her inner vixen. It even inspired another best-selling album, I Am... Sasha Fierce. Eventually she killed off her creation, telling Allure magazine she was comfortable enough to let loose on her own.

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Lee Zimmerman

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