Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter, born in Houston, Texas in 1981, is an American singer and dancer who throws down both in the recording studio and on stage. She rose to fame in the late 1990s as a child performer and then as the lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. Do you remember that band? I personally grew up on this music in the 1990’s. Following the disbandment of Destiny’s Child in 2005, Beyonce released her solo album, B’Day, which established her as a mainstay in the contemporary R&B music scene. Her marriage to rapper Jay Z and portrayal of Etta James in Cadillac Records (2008) have both helped launch her into superstar status. Basically, Beyonce is a phenomenon. A self-described “modern-day feminist”, she writes songs that usual tackle issues with love, relationships, female sexuality and empowerment. At the same time, she has received criticism for being wildly sexual and provocative in her performances. Certain elements of her marriage to Jay-Z have also raised questions about how good of a role model she is for young girls, but at the same time, I find this to be an unfair pigeon-holing of a woman who is, in all honesty, much too powerful to be reduced. On stage, her dynamic, highly choreographed performances have led to critics hailing her as one of the best entertainers in contemporary popular music. Here are ten reasons why we love Beyonce.