IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z's relationship, in their own words

Beyoncé dedicated "Renaissance" to her family and gave a "special thanks" to her "beautiful husband and muse."

Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been married for 14 years and together for more than 20. The couple shares three children: Blue Ivy, 10, and twins Rumi and Sir, 5.

The duo has collaborated on multiple projects together like their 2018 joint album, "Everything Is Love," their 2014 "On The Run" tour, and hits like "Crazy in Love."

Beyoncé's relationship has informed her art — though she largely doesn't speak about it publicly. Still, the few comments she's made tell a story.

“I would not be the woman I am if I did not go home to that man. It just gives me such a foundation,” Beyoncé told Oprah in 2013 during an episode of "Next Chapter." She continued, "He has helped me on so many levels ... just to have someone that you just like is so important. And someone that is honest.”

Speaking to Seventeen in 2008, Beyoncé said what her relationship has taught her.

“I guess probably that we’re all human,” she said, per Pop Sugar's recap of the interview. “I don’t care if you’re picture-perfect on every magazine cover, and you’re the most handsome, successful, coolest guy — you still get sad, and you still get your feelings hurt, and you still get confused and vulnerable and nervous and scared. You have to find a person you can make it through the tough times with.”

Beyoncé released her seventh studio album, “Renaissance,” on July 29. Jay-Z is credited as a songwriter on three of the songs: "the single "Break My Soul," "Alien Superstar," and "America Has a Problem."

And the song "Plastic Off the Sofa" sure sounds like a love song: "Boy, I know you can’t help but to be yourself ‘round me," she sings.

With that in mind, let's take a look back at Beyoncé and Jay-Z's relationship timeline, told in their own words.

2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH - Inside
Jay-Z and Beyoncé attend 2020 Roc Nation THE BRUNCH on January 25, 2020.Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Roc Nation

Jay-Z and Beyoncé were 'friends first'

The "Break My Soul" singer told Seventeen magazine in 2008 that she met her hubby when she was 18 and dated him at 19, per Pop Sugar. The couple has a 12-year age difference.

During a 2013 conversation with Oprah on "Oprah’s Next Chapter," Beyoncé said that she and Jay-Z were "friends first for a year and a half" before they even went on a date. Beyoncé noted that having that foundation was so "important" for their relationship.

In a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, Jay-Z confirmed that he pursued his wife and that they were “just beginning to try to date each other” when they appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair’s 2001 Music Issue.

Explaining what "try" meant in this context, Jay-Z said, “Well, you know, you’ve got to try first. You got to dazzle ... wine and dine."

"Spankin' New Music Week" with Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles and Solange Knowles on MTV's "TRL" - November 21, 2002
Beyoncé and Jay-Z on MTV's "TRL" in November 21, 2002.Kevin Mazur / WireImage

They secretly tied the knot in 2008, with a wedding date in August

Beyoncé said she wasn’t in a rush to settle down when they first started dating.

“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,” Beyoncé told Seventeen Magazine.

The couple ultimately got married on April 4, 2008. In October 2008, months after the small ceremony, Beyoncé confirmed it had taken place during a 2008 interview with Essence magazine, as TODAY reported.

“What Jay and I have is real. It’s not about interviews or getting the right photo op. It’s real,” Beyoncé, then 27, said. She explained that she opted for a small ceremony because "it's been my day so many days already."

She explained why she didn't wear an engagement ring in the lead-up to the wedding. “People put too much emphasis on that,” she says. “It’s just material and it’s just silly to me.”

To mark their wedding, the couple got matching tattoos on their ring finger of the Roman numeral IV, per People. Beyoncé is known to love the number four. She was born on Sept. 4. Jay-Z was born on Dec. 4. They were married on April 4. Blue Ivy’s name may be a reference to the Roman numerals for 4, IV.

Jay-Z explained why they kept the wedding secret

In a Sept. 2008 interview with "Vibe," Jay-Z explained why the couple hadn't confirmed their wedding.

“I just think it’s really a part of your life that you gotta keep to yourself," Jay-Z said, per NBC. “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.”

BET Awards '06 - Show
Jay-Z and Beyoncé perform onstage at the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on June 27, 2006, in Los Angeles, California. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

In 2012, Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their first child together

At the 2011 MTV VMAs, Beyoncé surprised her fans when she revealed that she was pregnant with her and Jay-Z's first child.

The "Single Ladies" singer cradled her baby bump on stage after she performed her 2011 hit song, “Love On Top.”

In January 2012, Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their first daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. They released pictures of their little girl nearly one month later in a Tumblr account that they set up.

“We welcome you to share in our joy,” a handwritten note on the website read, per E! News. “Thank you for respecting our privacy during this beautiful time in our lives."

The couple addressed the infamous elevator fight in 2014

In 2014, TMZ published a leaked video of Solange Knowles, Beyoncé's sister, seemingly striking Jay-Z in the elevator of the Standard Hotel after attending the Met Gala, per NBC.

A week later, Beyoncé, Solange and Jay-Z released a joint statement about the altercation that said, per NBC, “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," they continued.

“At the end of the day, families have problems and we’re no different,” the statement concluded. “We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.”

2006 MTV Video Music Awards - Audience
(L to R) Solange, Beyoncé and Jay Z during the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

In 2017, the couple welcomed twins Rumi and Sir

In June 2017, Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their twins, daughter Rumi Carter and son Sir Carter.

The "Partition" singer revealed that she was pregnant by sharing a photo of her cradling her baby bump while wearing a green veil in front of a beautiful flower display.

She captioned the picture, "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."

Jay-Z admitted to infidelity in an interview in 2017

In her 2016 album "Lemonade," Beyoncé appeared to reference infidelity in lyrics like "can’t you see there’s no other man above you / what a wicked way to treat the girl that loves you” from "Hold Up" or "you can taste the dishonesty / it’s on your breath”  from "Pray You Catch Me.”

Singing in "4:44," released a year later in June 2017, Jay-Z seems to admit infidelity in his own lyrics. “Look, I apologize, often womanizer / Took for my child to be born, see through a woman’s eyes / Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles / Took me too long for this song, I don’t deserve you,” he rapped in the song "4:44."

Finally, during a November 2017 interview, Jay-Z said that he was unfaithful to Beyoncé in an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine.

“You have to survive. So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode what happen? You shut down all emotions,” he said. “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 continued.

Jay-Z also said that listening to “Lemonade,” which referenced a turbulent point in their marriage, made him "very, very uncomfortable."

Beyoncé and Jay-Z released a collaborative album in 2018In June 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z released their joint album, "Everything Is Love." Speaking to the New York Times in 2017, Jay-Z said the couple uses art like “a therapy session.”

Based on songs like "LOVEHAPPY," the couple was at a good point in their marriage, having reconciled issues referenced in "Lemonade" and "4:44.

Beyoncé, in lyrics, sang about this being a new era for them, a kind of remarriage: "Yeah, you f----ed up the first stone, we had to get remarried."

Famously, the video for "APES--T" was filmed in the Louvre.

Beyoncé dedicated her 7th album to her family in 2022, and her 'beautiful husband and muse'

Ahead of the release of "Renaissance," on her official website, Beyoncé thanked her family for giving her the inspiration that she needed to complete the three-part project.

Beyoncé' first thanked her children. “I want to give a special thank you to Rumi, Sir, and Blue for allowing me the space, creativity, and inspiration," she wrote.

Then, gave a "special thanks" to her "beautiful husband and muse," who "held (her) down during those late nights in the studio."