A Complete Timeline of Beyoncé and Jay-Z's Relationship
Who says there's no such thing as American royalty? Beyoncé and Jay-Z would like to have a word. With or without actual titles — let's not get too focused on details — the two are undeniably some of the most powerful people walking the planet. Who else could basically stop the rotation of the earth with a surprise release or get the entire internet to rally around a baby bump reveal? And while it hasn't been the smoothest relationship ever, Bey and Jay have managed to stay in the headlines while simultaneously keeping a few major milestones completely secret. What did we say about being powerful? Nobody else could do it the way they have. Here's everything you need to know about them, from their first date to their first joint fashion campaign.
If it feels like Bey and Jay have been together forever, it's because they basically have. The two started dating in 2000, when she was still performing as part of Destiny's Child.
"I was 18 when we first met, 19 when we first started dating," she told Seventeen back in 2008. "There was no rush — no one expected me to run off and get married."
Jay did offer a bit of insight into the beginning of their relationship in his 2018 song "Everything Is Love."
"We played it cool at the pool of the Cancun, VMA / Confidence you exude make the fools stay away / Me, I played my room, let the fools have they say / Fate had me sittin' next to you on the plane / And I knew straight away," the lyrics go.
According to Brides, the couple's first official date was at none other than Nobu, the restaurant frequented by Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, and just about every other famous person.
In a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé explained they were friends before anything got romantic.
"We were friends first for a year and a half before we went on any dates," Beyoncé said.
The first of many musical collaborations drop with Beyoncé's signature vocals helping Jay out on his track "03 Bonnie and Clyde."
And a year later, the two released "Crazy in Love." The song would go on to earn them a Grammy for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 2004 ceremony.
If two tunes weren't official enough, the two hit the red carpet together for the first time at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
In what could be a hint at their future wedding, Beyoncé told Cosmo that she didn't think she'd ever have a big wedding.
"I don't know when I'll want to get married. I never pictured myself as a bride, but after my sister's wedding, I did start thinking about what kind of wedding I'd want. I don't think I want a big one," she said.
April 4, 2008
True to her word, Beyoncé and Jay-Z had a secret wedding. The ceremony was "very emotional," according to a People, and the date is a big deal, since the number four is significant to both Bey and Jay. Fans didn't even know that the two had gotten engaged, but news outlets were tipped off when the couple obtained a wedding license in N.Y.C.
During an interview with Vibe in late 2008, Jay-Z talked about why everything was so secretive.
"You'll go insane in this type of business," he said. "You have to have something that's sacred to you and the people around you."
Beyoncé shares her pregnancy in the most iconic way: while performing "Love on Top" at the VMAs.
"I want you to stand up on your feet. I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me," she said.
The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Blue Ivy Carter, in New York City on January 7, 2012. Glamour notes that Bey shared the first photos of her new arrival on Tumblr, writing, "We welcome you to share in our joy."
Beyoncé performs the national anthem at President Barak Obama's inauguration.
In her documentary Life Is But a Dream, Bey opened up about having a miscarriage before she and Jay welcomed Blue Ivy.
"I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life… being pregnant was very much like falling in love," she said. "[Early into the pregnancy] I flew back to New York to get my checkup — and no heartbeat. Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat."
The two also turn focus to their music again, with releases from both Jay and Bey. July saw Magna Carter Holy Grail, which featured Beyoncé on the track "Part II (On the Run)." In winter, Bey released a self-titled album, which included the song "Drunk in Love."
May 5, 2014
While most Met Galas are reason for celebration, Jay and Bey would probably want most people to forget about what reportedly happened in 2014. TMZ released footage of Beyoncé's sister, Solange Knowles, in an altercation with Jay-Z over alleged cheating rumors.
The family later released a statement to People: "There has been a great deal of speculation about what triggered the unfortunate incident. But the most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologized to each other and we have moved forward as a united family. The reports of Solange being intoxicated or displaying erratic behavior throughout that evening are simply false. At the end of the day, families have problems and we're no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We've put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same."
Being the queen that she is, Beyoncé references the "unfortunate incident" in her song "Flawless (Remix)." The lyrics go, "Of course sometimes shit go down when there's a billion dollars in an elevator."
Bey and Jay embark on the On the Run Tour amid rumors of a divorce.
"They are trying to figure out a way to split without divorcing," a source told Page Six at the time. "This is a huge concert tour, and they've already gotten most of the money from the promoters upfront. Jay was outdoing Jay, and Bey was outdoing Bey. They made the classic mistake of thinking a child would change everything and help to rekindle the initial fire, and it didn't."
April 4, 2015
Seven years after their wedding, Jay-Z shared a never-before-seen wedding video on his now-deleted Instagram account.
The two attend the Met Gala again in May 2015. This time, nothing happens in any elevator.
Beyoncé releases Lemonade and sleuths become obsessed with a few details that point to infidelity.
"He only want me when I'm not there / He better call Becky with the good hair," the song "Sorry" goes.
To quash any rumors of divorce, Beyoncé gives Jay a sweet shoutout at the last show of her Formation tour.
Beyoncé announced her second pregnancy — and it's twins.
"We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. - The Carters," her Instagram announcement read.
Rumi and Sir Carter were born on June 13, 2017. Later that month, Jay releases 4:44, which many saw as confirmation of his infidelity.
"I apologize, our love was one for the ages and I contained us," he raps. "And if my children knew, I don't even know what I would do / If they ain't look at me the same / I would prolly die with all the shame."
Jay-Z revealed that he experienced moments of difficulty in his marriage during an interview with T: The New York Times Style Magazine. He noted that both he and his wife use music as "therapy."
"So even with women, you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can't connect ... In my case, like, it's deep. And then all the things happen from there: infidelity," he said. "We were using our art almost like a therapy session. And we started making music together. And then the music she was making at that time was further along. So her album came out as opposed to the joint album that we were working on. Um, we still have a lot of that music. And this is what it became. There was never a point where it was like, 'I'm making this album.' I was right there the entire time."
Bey and Jay release a joint album, Everything Is Love, and embark on another world tour, OTR II.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z meet Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the premiere of The Lion King in London. Beyoncé lent her voice to the role of Nala.
Beyoncé went on to release Black Is King on Disney+, a visual album to accompany the music that she created for The Lion King. Jay-Z and the three Carter-Knowles children appear on the project.
The power couple appears in an ad for Tiffany and Co. and Beyoncé becomes the fourth woman, ever, to wear the yellow Tiffany diamond.