Everyone knows that Grammy winner Beyoncé Knowles has conquered the music world, but the superstar still wants to conquer the worlds of film and Broadway. She says among her life’s ambitions is to win an Oscar and a Tony Award. Knowles has not yet done a Broadway show, but she has performed music for every feature film in which she has had a role as an actress.
Time will tell if Knowles will end up winning an Oscar and a Tony in her lifetime, but it’s a safe bet that she will win at least one of the 10 Grammys she’s nominated for at the 2010 ceremony. (Her husband, Jay-Z [a.k.a. Shawn Carter], is also nominated for multiple Grammys at the same event, although the couple will not be competing in the same categories.) Knowles took time out of her hectic schedule to talk about her life and her career in this interview.
When did you first know you wanted to be a performer?
Well, I was really quiet and shy as a child. I was more comfortable around my mother’s friends, adults. When I got around children, I just shut down completely. And I learned that I loved to perform because I could completely let go. I got on the stage and became everything that I wasn’t. I had all this personality and I wasn’t scared. And I told my mom, “This is what I want to do.”
Beyoncé Knowles performing at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, June 2009
What inspires you in your career?
I’m passionate about a lot of things. I know definitely [about] my career and my music. I try to definitely be focused, and I always try to grow and challenge myself. I’m always doing something …
What is the secret of your success?
There is no secret. You just have to work really hard. I’m never satisfied. I always have room to grow. I think when you love what you do, it shows. I live and breathe my job. I love it. I’m so blessed because I’m able to do what I love. There are so many other people who would love to be where I am, so I don’t take anything for granted.
Jay-Z, Beyoncé Knowles and New York Governor David Paterson at an August 2009 press conference in New York City, announcing the “Answer The Call” charity concert to benefit the New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Fund
What are your favorite charities that you support?
I support many, many causes. I truly believe that I’m blessed, and we’re all blessed to bless other people. I’ve been to Africa, and I’ve visited townships and orphanages. I’ve seen the struggle with my own eyes. And there’s no struggle like the struggle in Africa.
We’ve done many things with our Survivor Foundation, which is with my mother. And Also I have a foundation, the Knowles-Rowland Center, where people — especially young people — have a place to go. It’s a studio and activities for the kids; there’s therapy for the kids, things that can keep their mind off of negative things.
I’m also a strong supporter of the Save the Music Foundation. Music has completely saved my life. When other kids were doing other things, I didn’t think about that, because all I wanted to do was go to the studio and write songs and sing. And it kept me out of a lot of trouble. It all starts with confidence. It all starts with self-esteem.
Beyoncé Knowles at a June 2009 press conference in New York City, announcing her partnership with General Mills’ Hamburger Helper to air the charity Feeding America
What is your biggest beauty secret?
I guess the key is happiness. There’s nothing more beautiful than a person that’s happy. And I have a lot of love around me. I have a strong foundation and a strong family. I know that I’m very blessed. It’s hard to complain and be negative when you have so man people around you that love you.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Sometimes we don’t always feel beautiful. Sometimes we have our days where we feel under the weather or sad or overwhelmed. I know for me, when I have those days, I try to put on my best outfit, my best makeup and my sexy heels. And when you look good, it makes you feel good. So I’m a really strong believer that when you’re feeling down, you don’t just stay in the bed and soak in that. You pull yourself together, and it’s just the beginning of overcoming whatever you’re going through.
What’s it like being a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson?
It’s amazing, because we’re like family now. It’s great when you’re in front of the camera and you’re talking about things that you’re really passionate about, and when you’re really excited about the product it’s something I’m really excited about.
Beyoncé Knowles on the “Today” show in New York City, April 2009
What does the L’Oréal Paris slogan “Because I’m worth it” mean to you?
I always write songs that make women feel strong and make women feel empowered, and that’s what L’Oréal is all about, “because I’m worth it.” Sometimes we work so hard and we try to take care of everyone else, we forget that we’re worth it. That’s something I believe in, and that’s something that I stand for with all of my music. I’m always trying to remind us women, even myself, how strong we are, and we deserve everything.
What are your goals for the future?
There are so many things I would love to do in the future. I want to continue to grow as an artist. I want to be an icon. I’m very ambitious, but who knows? I’m still young. And eventually, I’d love to take some time off and be a mother, but I have time for that. Before I become a mother, I have to learn how to cook, because I can’t cook.
For more info: Beyoncé Knowles website
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Photo credits: Photo #3: StarPix. All other photos: AP.