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Beyonce and Jay-ZBeyoncé Giselle Knowles, commonly known as Beyoncé, and Shawn Corey Carter, better known as Jay-Z, have been in a romantic relationship since 2002. In spite of unrelenting rumors about their relationship, the couple remained discreet and intensely private about it.

Born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 41, 1981 in Houston, Texas, she started singing as a pre-teen with the original members of the popular R&B group Destiny’s Child, which included LaToya Luckett, Kelly Rowland, and LaTavia Roberson. The group officially became Destiny’s Child in 1995 and was managed by Knowles father. The group appeared on Star Search, which resulted in a recording contract and hit albums Destiny’s Child in 1997 and The Writing’s on the Wall in 1999. Luckett and Roberson left the group in 2000. The remaining group had a third album, Survivor, in 2004 and Knowles launched a very successful solo career with Dangerously In Love and B’Day.

Beyoncé’s acting career started with MTV’s Hip Hopera: Carmen in 2001 and reached a starring role as the Diana Ross-like character in the movie version of Dreamgirls, which earned a Golden Globe nomination in 2006.

Beyonce and Jay-Z beachBorn Shawn Corey Carter on December 4, 1969 in Brooklyn, New York, Jay-Z attended several high schools but did not graduate. He developed a love of music and began writing rhymes to music, and then gained neighborhood and recording studio attention by winning rap battles. When no major label company would give him a record deal, Jay-Z and some friends created their own independent label and released his debut album Reasonable Doubt in 1996. After a series of very successful albums, Jay-Z sold his interest in the record company.

Music was not the only successful venture for Jay-Z. In 1999, he co-founded Rocawear, a brand of urban clothing. In 2007, Jay-Z sold his rights to the Rocawear brand for $204 million but still owns a share in the company and oversees the marketing, licensing and product development. Other business ventures include a part ownership in the New Jersey Nets NBA team and a real estate development venture named J Hotels. In Forbes 2007 (June 2006 to June 2007) Celebrity 100 rankings, Jay-Z is shown to have made an estimated $83 million.

Beyonce 18-carat ring1After years of speculation, on April 4, 2008, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were married in New York City. A lavish party at the Jay-Z’s Tribeca, New York apartment followed the very private ceremony with only close friends and family attending.

Beyoncé’s wedding ring was not officially seen in public until the Fashion Rocks concert on September 5, 2008 in New York City but the ring has garnered considerable attention since then.

Beyonce 18-carat ring2The 18-carat flawless diamond ring designed by Lorraine Schwartz is valued at more than $5 million. The diamond is a reported to be an 18-carat octagon-cut diamond and is set in a platinum split-shank mounting.