Beyoncé & Jay-Z: A Complete Relationship Timeline
| LAST UPDATE 12/14/2022
They are one of the most iconic couples in the industry. But after tying the knot in 2008, Beyoncé and Jay-Z haven't always had smooth sailing. From cheating scandals to family feuds, here's a look back.
The Start of It All
No one really knows how the couple initially got together. Though Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped hints every now and then, the pair kept it pretty lowkey - that is, until they officially announced their status.
Beyoncé eventually explained that she first met Jay at 18 and started dating one year later. But she was in no rush as "no one expected me to run off and get married." However, Jay claims he met Queen B when she entered the music industry in 1997, making Beyoncé 16.
In 2013, Beyoncé appeared on Oprah Winfrey's show, Oprah's Next Chapter, and justified her relationship with the rapper. She revealed that they had a strong bond, and after being "friends for a year and a half," it was time to face the truth and get together.
Things escalated but at a steady pace. Bey cherished the special friendship they already had, and it seemed that way after appearing in Vanity Fair's 2001 Music Issue. But it wasn't as it seemed, as Jay revealed in a later interview in 2013 that it was a time they "were just beginning to try and date each other."
It seems the 2000s were a simpler time as the pair kept their relationship private for quite some time. Despite Queen B and Carter's collabs, Bonnie & Clyde in 2002 and Crazy in Love in 2003, the pair consistently said they were just friends. But fans started to speculate.
Fans dug deep into Bey's lyrics, as one line stated she "was in love with a Sagittarius," either referring to Jay or ex-bae Lyndall Locke. But, Jay's lyrics begged to differ. He rapped in his Public Service Announcement, "got the hottest chick in the game wearin' my chain." Finally, they confirmed their fling at the 2004 MTV Awards.
Though they made their romance public, they continued to respect each other when it came to their privacy. So, they turned to their lyrics as a way of communicating their feelings. Alternatively, Beyoncé told Essence in 2005 that they came to an agreement to not share info on their relationship.
B kept public conversation topics to a minimum and explained she "never talked about my relationships… I only talk about them in my songwriting; otherwise, things get too messy." Still, she is human and revealed, "it's hard too. You fall in love, and you want to tell everybody. But that's a place I just don't go."
Lucky Number 4
If there's one thing that's kept Jay and B connected, it's the number 4. They have both experienced several special occasions and celebrated milestones associated with this number. While Bey was born on September 4th, 1981, Carter was born on December 4th, 1969 - not to mention their wedding date was on the 4th.
Beyoncé also named her 2011 album '4', while on April 4th - 4/4 - the pair decided to mark a permanent spot. They embedded the Roman numeral for the number 4 (IV) onto their fourth fingers to commemorate their wedding date. They continued the legacy with their firstborn, Blue Ivy, resonating with IV.
For elite couples like Beyoncé and Jay-Z, plenty of rumors have been induced by fans circulated across the internet. They are an intriguing pair, and everyone wants to know everything about them. For years, there have been whispers that the couple is a part of a secret society, the Illuminati.
While the pair have gestured the Illuminati triangle, it is also seen on Jay-Z's record label logo. Fans have even turned to their daughter Blue Ivy, claiming her name is short for "Born Living Under Evil, Illuminati's Very Youngest." But Bey trolled these rumors in Formation, "Ya'll haters corny with that Illuminati mess."
Saying 'I Do'
The pair remain consistent regarding the privacy of their relationship - especially when they secretly tied the knot in 2008 in Mr. Carter's Manhattan penthouse. According to People, "It was a very emotional wedding - lots of crying - and really very spiritual," decorated with 70,000 dendrobium orchids from Thailand.
Although no one expected her to "run off and get married," she didn't think it was possible to experience the same love at both 20 and 30. When interviewed by Seventeen, she explained, "Before the age of 25, I would never get married. I feel like you have to get to know yourself… before you can share that with someone else."
A "Sacred" Secret
Beyoncé never wore her engagement ring prior to the big day, while their wedding celebration was not public knowledge until months later. The singer revealed to Essence, "People put too much emphasis on that," she confessed. "It's just material, and it's just silly to me."
While they have always been in the public eye, this was a moment to cherish with close family and friends. Jay explained to NBC, "It's really a part of your life that you gotta keep to yourself. You have to have something sacred to you and the people around you. I shared so much of my life, I should have something to hold on to."
Starting A Family
In 2011, Beyoncé performed at the MTV VMA awards and made a statement she was now no longer one of the single ladies. At the end of the performance, she opened her jacket to reveal a blooming baby bump. Though fans assumed this was a pregnancy reveal, Beyoncé confirmed it later on.
She chose to sing Love On Top and teased the audience before her performance by projecting to the large crowd, "I want you to stand up on your feet. I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me." It was a true drop-the-mic moment, giving out the first clue she was expecting with rapper husband, Jay-Z.
Battle of The Blue
The two share many talents. Besides being lyrical geniuses, they have had entrepreneurial moments, from Jay's streaming service Tidal to Bey's sportswear, Ivy Park. The pair understand industries inside and out. Yet, they faced new challenges when it came down to trademarking their daughter's name.
The business icons wanted 'Blue Ivy' to be theirs in case of future baby products. In 2012, they reached out to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but their request was denied. According to CNN, there was a "local wedding planner" with the same name, which would not have been very helpful for future business opportunities.
Life Is But a Dream
In 2013, Bey dropped her documentary, Life Is But a Dream, peaking into her life alongside one of the most famous rappers in history. Yet, she also revealed she suffered from a miscarriage, explaining the hospital heartbeat as the "most beautiful music I ever heard in my life… being pregnant was very much like falling in love."
But things took a sudden turn when she returned to the hospital a week later in New York for a checkup. She recalled, "Literally, the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat." She turned to music for healing and produced one in particular, what she called "the saddest song I've ever written."
The Met Gala Elevator Ride
While she had just gone through a personal misfortune, she had to deal with family feuds shortly after. One year later, in 2014, dramatic elevator security footage went viral. Bey's sister, Solange, was seen throwing punches at Jay-Z at the annual Met Gala after party... and the footage was leaked to TMZ.
No one confirmed the reason for the heated exchange, yet theories circulated it was over Jay-Z's cheating claims. They released a statement to end the vicious drama. "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."
It was reported to The Daily News that American fashion designer, Rachel Roy, was getting a little too close to Jay. Solange allegedly noticed, and her sisterly instincts kicked in. She became protective and told Roy, "anyone who gets close to Jay has to be warned and deal with her as a sister," reported Us Weekly.
But things became more clear when Beyoncé released her new remix of Flawless, featuring Nicki Minaj. The lyrics read, "And we could go around and get some good karma, but no. We escalate, up in this b**** like elevators. Of course, sometimes s*** go down, when it's a billion dollars on an elevator."
On The Verge of Divorce?
In 2014, they merged their talent for the On The Run tour. Yet, just one month in, rumors started to circulate: Page Six reported, "they are trying to figure out a way to split without divorcing." But, with a huge concert and awaiting fans on the line, they had "already gotten most of the money from the promoters up front."
A source who worked closely with the rapper revealed things started to become "rocky at home." The same source continued to tell People magazine, "if they split, no one would be surprised." But, the source stood by the couple and consistently believed in the pair's romantic connection, defining them as "perfect for each other."
But if it wasn't sweet melodies, it was the sour sound of revenge music. In 2016, Beyoncé released an entire album filled with cryptic lyrics and masked messages. Although rumors were shut down, it doesn't mean there wasn't a drawback. Fans got an inside scoop on what could have gone down in the Carter household.
The twelve-track album included titles Sorry, Don't Hurt Yourself, and Hold Up, which revealed underlying cheating and marriage struggles. On the contrary, the songs Sand Castles and All Night exposed Beyoncé's struggle to forgive and forget despite the strong bond. The album was an emotional rollercoaster... and an instant success.
"Becky With The Good Hair"
One particular song caught the attention of Queen B's royal subjects, Sorry. The lyrics read, "They sneaking out the back door / He only want me when I'm not there / He better call Becky with the good hair." Listeners soon became invested in the mysterious Becky, blowing up on social media.
People were suspicious that Rachel Roy was the alleged Becky. Rumors sparked after she posted and then deleted a post with a cryptic caption, "Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens." Still, there is no valid confirmation of who Becky was...
Diana Gordon was one of the co-writers behind Beyoncé's Sorry. She was in awe over how people could have interpreted the single line, "Becky with the good hair," into an entire story. "What day in age from that lyric do you get all of this information?" she claimed. In reality, Gordon wrote this line as a way of saying side-chick.
Putting Becky to one side - now that we established she was not real - fans were still invested, convinced Jay-Z had cheated on Beyoncé. Sadly, this was a case where crazed fans' instincts were correct. Despite Gordon's slang, Jay-Z soon confessed to cheating on his famous wife.
A Marriage Worth Millions
The Carters were becoming the main focus of headlines for a while. It started to become a reoccurring event - so much so, that readers speculated it was all a publicity stunt. Considering the elevator scandal, shady lyrics, and revenge albums, people had their reasons for believing there was more going on. Was there?
More press releases enhanced the story's investment, leading to listening to the albums and increasing sales. Rumors intensified when Jay-Z's lyrics on Fat Joe's All The Way Up read, "You know you made it when the fact your marriage made it is worth millions. Lemonade is a popular drink, and it still is. Survival of the littest."
Perhaps it seems foolish to think the Carters needed an opportunity for some money in the bank. Still, we can be sure they use their income for a lavish lifestyle. The Halo singer even gifted Jay a Bombardier Challenger 850, a $40 million private jet, just for Father's Day.
They both go big or go home when it comes to celebrations. Nothing topped the island the Run This Town rapper bought for his wife on her 29th birthday - or the $2 million Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport B got Jay on his 41st. It doesn't stop there. Two years later, B gifted her hubby a $5 million Hublot diamond embezzled watch.
When 3 Became 5
In February 2017, Beyoncé, yet again, became an internet sensation after announcing her pregnancy. Unlike the VMA's, B showed off her mother nature essence on Instagram. "We would like to share our love and happiness," she wrote. Fans went crazy that there would be another mini Carter. But to everyone's surprise, it was twins.
Today, the internet works in crazy ways. Even Beyoncé's dad heard the news over social media after receiving a text. "I was shocked. I got a first text, and I was like, 'Why is this person saying congratulations?" Still, the Carters were overjoyed, expressing they had been "blessed two times over" and felt "incredibly grateful."
The pair are now well-known for sharing more tea through lyrics than any interview, where things can be twisted and misheard. While Jay might not have the authority to do so, he threw shade on his 2017 album, 4:44. Listeners immediately knew this was related to the cheating allegations and jumped on to investigate.
On track 4:44, he raps, "I apologize, our love was one for the ages, and I contained us... 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." Again, in Family Feud, lyrics read, "I'll f*** up a good thing if you let me. Let me alone, Becky."
Out In The Open
Finally, after years of shady lyrics, enigmatic captions, and fan theories, the truth came out. In November 2017, The New York Times released a press interview with the Young Forever rapper, who eventually confessed to his infidelity against his wife.
Jay-Z explained his coping mechanism. "You have to survive. So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode, what happen? You shut down all emotions." When it came to women specifically, he elaborated on shutting down "emotionally," unable to connect, which ultimately got too deep and led to unfaithfulness.
Enter Rumi & Sir
While Blue Ivy's name symbolizes the parent's unique bond and moments as a couple, it was a different naming process with the twins. Beyoncé gave birth to the siblings on June 13th, 2017, and Jay revealed to Rap Radar their names each have deeper meanings.
She named her babies Rumi and Sir. It turns out they had thought about the name Rumi for quite some time, inspired by their favorite Persian poet and philosopher, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī. As for Sir, they knew as soon as he was born: "Sir was like, man, come out the gate. He carries himself like that. He just came out, like, Sir."
"THIS IS REAL LOVE"
While they had gone through the worst of it, they came out the other end. They embraced a renewal of love and announced their upcoming tour, On The Run II, in 2018. A close source spoke to People had claimed, "They are incredibly excited. It took a lot of work to make this happen. It's the best choice for their family."
The concert started just like their Carter journey. The opening video symbolized a wedding and true love, as the family of five were seen all wearing white. A message spread across the screen, "THIS IS REAL LOVE," while they sang in duet, Young Forever.
Everything Is Love
It was another Carter moment to remember, and they didn't stop at the tour announcement. Just one week into the tour during June, they revealed their joint album on the screen behind them. The title showed Everything Is Love, followed by "album out now." Yet, it is only exclusively available on Tidal, Jay's streaming service.
The Carters shared an intimate moment with the crowd, grateful for their support. "You've all given so much love every time we come here - thank you. Because we love you all so much, we have something special for y'all… We want you guys to be the first to experience this new project. And we have a new visual for you guys."
Once again, Beyoncé slays. Fast forward to July 29th, 2022, and she dropped her seventh studio album, Renaissance. It was a project waiting to happen, and fans couldn't wait to turn their attention to the sixteen-track collection. While it is becoming a natural pattern, the lyrics had more hidden meanings.
This time around, there were no scandals - only love. The album devoted lots of attention to Hova. “I want to give a special thanks to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration... and a special thanks to my beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio.”
Beyoncé shared her inner thoughts, "I know nobody's perfect, so I'll let you be, I'll let you be." She sang about the world's perceptions of her and Jay's relationship but assured they "don't need the world's acceptance." She shaded critics by singing, "They're too hard on me, they're too hard on you, boy."
Today, the Partition singer seems confident in her husband's faithfulness as she sang on Alien Superstar, "I'm one of one, I'm number one, I'm the only one. Don't even waste your time trying to compete with me. No one else in this world can think like me. I'm twisted, contradicted, keep him addicted."
Where Do They Stand With Solange?
Considering the elevator incident between Jay and Beyoncé's sister, Solange, it was certain there would be some lyrical references in her latest album. It seems B will never let her hubby forget the cheating scandal, throwing shade in various songs as well.
In the song Cozy, it became clear Beyoncé was praising and thankful for her sister's protective instincts. She sang, "She's a god, she's a hero, she survived, all she been through, confident and she lethal. Might I suggest you don't f*** with my sis, because she comfortable. Comfortable in my skin, cozy with who I am."
Goodbye Mr. Carter
The couple is famously known for collaborating, tying their talents together on each other's albums. However, while Jay is mentioned throughout Renaissance, his rap verses are missing from all sixteen tracks. Fans picked up on this and sparked further questions.
Not long after Renaissance's release, Twitter memes emerged regarding Jay's absence. One user shaded, "The album has no jay-z verse?!? We won beyhive," Still, while his voice might not be present, he is credited for contributing his writing talents towards Break My Soul, Alien Superstar, and America Has a Problem.
Ride or Dies
After many ups and downs, the pair continue to prove true love exists in Hollywood. After family feuds, cheating confessions, miscarriages and children, there is nothing the two haven't been able to overcome. It is clear they are in it for the long-haul - as Queen B herself later admitted.
When Beyoncé made a guest appearance on Oprah's Next Chapter, she admitted she "would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man. It just gives me such a foundation." She further explained, "He has helped me on so many levels... just to have someone that you just like is so important. And someone that is honest."