A Look Back At Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 21 Year Relationship
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Though they’ve been through some ups and downs (no elevator puns intended), Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s love story has been going on for an amazing 21 years.
So, put your tea and lemonade aside and take a look through Bey and Jay’s romantic rise flirty young lovers to music’s most powerful couple.
Happy 10 year wedding anniversary to Queen Bey and Jay!
The pair first met in 1997 but didn’t begin dating until Beyoncé was 19. Of their relationship, Bey told Seventeenin 2008, “There was no rush — no one expected me to run off and get married. I really don’t believe that you will love the same thing when you’re 20 as you do at 30. So that was my rule: Before the age of 25, I would never get married. I feel like you have to get to know yourself, know what you want, spend some time by yourself, and be proud of who you are before you can share that with someone else.”
Bey and Jay both appeared on the 2001 Music Issue of Vanity Fair, which Jay told the publication in 2013 that it was around the time “we were just beginning to try to date each other.”
He continued, “Well, you know, you’ve got to try first. You got to dazzle . . . wine and dine.”
The iconic “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” is released and Jay calls Bey his “girlfriend.” His Roc-A-Fella co-founder, Kareem “Biggs” Burke told BET in 2016, “There was a time in Paris when they sent us ‘Bonnie & Clyde. When we heard that song, Dame looked at me and said ‘Yo, he’s in love.’ So if y’all know Jay, a lot of times everything comes out in music … so at that time when ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ came out we knew he was in love with Beyoncé.”
Another pivotal moment in 2002 came when the pair appeared on Total Request Live in matching denim outfits, with Beyoncé wearing Jay’s Yankee cap.
After the release of Crazy In Love, as well as a bunch of songs on Dangerously In Love that hint at their relationship, the two perform Crazy In Love at the VMAs and it’s amazing.
Bey and Jay make their red carpet couple debut at the 2004 MTV VMAs in another set of unforgettable matching outfits. Iconic.
Beyoncé releases the Deja Vu, which features Jay-Z and some fantastic choreography. She also releases Upgrage U, where she dresses like Jay-Z and raps some of his verse (before Lipsync Battle became a thing).
The couple are married at Jay-Z’s New York apartment in a private ceremony. Regarding the number 4 as an important symbol of their relationship, they chose to marry on the 4th of April.
Speaking to Essence magazine, Beyoncé spoke about why she and Jay chose to keep their relationship private, saying, “We decide everything. My word is my word. What Jay and I have is real. It’s not about interviews or getting the right photo op. It’s real.”
Beyoncé surprises everyone by performing live at Coachella during Jay-Z’s set.
Beyoncé announces her pregnancy in the best way ever – rubbing her baby bump after her performance of “Love on Top” at the 2011 MTV VMAs, saying “Tonight I want you to stand up on your feet, I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside of me.”
Daughter Blue Ivy Carter is born, with Bey and Jay releasing a statement saying, “her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful, we are in heaven.” Jay then releases “Glory”, a song which features Blue Ivy’s cries at the song’s end.
Beyoncé’s HBO documentary, Life Is But A Dream, is released, giving us a look into the private lives of Bey and Jay. This included a video of the two singing “Yellow” by Coldplay (they’re also good friends with Chris Martin).
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jay-Z was asked if he wasn’t who he is – if he were a gas attendant instead – would he still have a chance at dating to. He said, “If I’m as cool as I am, yes. But she’s a charming Southern girl, you know, she’s not impressed. . . . But I would have definitely had to be this cool.”
He later told the publication that the line “She was a good girl ’til she knew me” was about Beyoncé, also adding, “She’s gangsta now.”
In his acceptance speech at the Grammys for Magna Carta Holy Grail, Jay-Z says, “I want to thank God, I mean, a little for this award, but mostly for that and all the universes for conspiring and putting that beautiful light of a young woman in my life.”
Jay-Z brings Blue Ivy on stage to present Beyoncé with her Video Vanguard Award. An emotional Bey says, “My beloved, I love you.”
Later that year, Jay releases a tribute video for Bey entitled “Happy B Day” for her birthday.
Later that year, Bey releases “Die For You” with a music video filled with home videos, with an Instagram post of their matching “IV” tattoos and the words “I don’t need air in my lungs if I can’t sing your song.”
The couple announce their joint summer tour, On The Run II, People with a source telling, “They are incredibly excited. It took a lot of work to make this happen. It’s the best choice for their family.”