Her full name is Beyonce Knowles, but she is known far and wide simply as Beyonce. The important thing is that you don't confuse her with what seems to be a gaggle of one-name pop stars. She is one of the most famous women in the world now and the foundation of that celebrity is not based on tabloid hype but raw talent. She is the real deal.
At age 28, she has already spent half of her life in show business, and is well on her way to becoming the Judy Garland or Barbra Streisand of her generation. She's a singer, dancer, actress who has sold 118 million records, appeared in seven movies, won ten Grammy Awards and is up for another ten Sunday night.
And as 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft found out when he met up with her in Dublin on the final stop of a grueling nine month tour, Beyonce is just beginning to hit her stride.
All you need to do is watch. She's a polished product that has been years in the making, a fiercely talented performer with a million kilowatts of energy, and a role model who has been strong enough to strut around all the usual pitfalls of fame.
"I am definitely someone that analyzes everything. And I made the decision at a very young age to not do certain things," she told Kroft.
"No drugs, no eating disorders, no bad relationships," Kroft remarked. "No breakdowns due to overwhelming pressure. It takes a certain amount of…discipline, I guess."
"It takes discipline, and it takes focus and I think I'm very fortunate that I've had gradual success. It's not something that happened in one day. It's something that I've worked at and worked at," she explained.
It's a career that began literally in grade school. Beyonce Knowles was raised in an upscale Houston neighborhood by her father Matthew, a sales executive who would become her manager, and by her mother Tina, Beyonce's creative muse, who owned one of the most popular hair salons in Houston.
It became one of her daughter's first venues.
She told Kroft she began performing when she was nine years old. "That's when I started performing at Walmarts and, you know, wherever we could perform. We didn't become professional until we got a record deal around 12 years old."
"So, who wanted to do this? You? Or your parents?" Kroft asked.
"Absolutely me. Once I saw Jackson Five and Michael Jackson, I'm like, 'Oh, my God.' The second I got on the stage, I just opened up and I became this whole other person on the stage. And I wanted to do it every day all day," Beyonce remembered.
With her best friend Kelly Rowland and two other pals from Houston they began winning talent contests. By the time they were 16, the quartet had morphed into Destiny's Child, one of the most successful pop groups of the 1990s.
Home schooled, underaged, and traveling with her parents on the road, Beyonce skipped the boys and the after parties, and passed the time on the tour bus with the other girls reading the Bible.
"We were nice ladies," Beyonce said. "I mean, I'm not sayin' that we were perfect teenagers. But, we were raised well and, honestly, we were too busy tryin' to be superstars. We didn't even have time to think about it, honestly."
There's still a prayer before every show. But since Beyonce began her own solo career eight years ago, a lot of things have changed. She has a successful clothing line with her mother, lucrative cosmetics deals with L'Oreal and Coty, and an estimated income last year of more than $80 million.