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

From friends to marriage and everything in between and beyond.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé have been married for 16 years and together for more than 20. The couple share three children: Blue Ivy, 12, and twins Rumi and Sir, 6.

The duo have 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." Most recently, Jay-Z is credited on multiple songs from his wife's new album, "Cowboy Carter," which debuted March 29. He's also credited on three songs, “Break My Soul,” “Alien Superstar” and “America Has a Problem,” from her 2022 album, "Renaissance."

Beyoncé's relationship has informed her art and she's spoken about it sparingly over the years.

“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 Winfrey in 2013 during an episode of "Next Chapter."

"(He's helped) on so many levels," she added.

For a window into each level, keep reading for Beyoncé and Jay-Z's relationship in their own words.

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

Jay-Z and Beyoncé were 'friends first'

During a 2013 conversation with Winfrey on "Oprah’s Next Chapter," Beyoncé said 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.

That same year, Jay-Z confirmed to Vanity Fair 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 Nov. 21, 2002.Kevin Mazur / WireImage

Beyoncé addressed relationship rumors, explained why she keeps dating life private in 2003

In a 2003 interview on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," Beyoncé addressed rumors that she was dating Jay-Z.

"Yeah" was her response when asked about the rumors.

She explained why that's all she wanted to share about it.

"I don't actually talk about who I'm dating, who I'm not, because I think it's important that I concentrate on the music and when you start talking about those things, then that becomes bigger than the art," she said.

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

Beyoncé said on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show in November 2008 that she dated Jay-Z for about seven years before getting married and took her time before agreeing to tie the knot.

"I'm only 27, so I was really young. I feel like it's important for women and men to have their goals and their own life before they can complete someone else. So we took our time," she explained.

The couple ultimately got married on April 4, 2008. Several months later, in October, Beyoncé confirmed to Essence magazine that a small ceremony had taken place in April.

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

BET Awards '06 - Show
Jay-Z and Beyoncé perform onstage at the 2006 BET Awards.Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

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.”

Years later, in 2013, Beyoncé told Winfrey how the wedding stayed a secret despite the couple's fame.

"We want to have our lives," Beyoncé said, adding, "When it’s time to go on a date or go be who we are, people are respectful of that."

Beyoncé miscarried around 2011 before having her first child

In a 2019 feature with Elle, Beyoncé shared more about experiencing a miscarriage before having her and Jay-Z's first child, Blue Ivy. She'd previously discussed having a miscarriage around 2011 in the 2013 HBO documentary "Life Is But A Dream."

"I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift. Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else," she told Elle.

"Then, I had Blue, and the quest for my purpose became so much deeper," she added. "I died and was reborn in my relationship, and the quest for self became even stronger."

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 onstage after she performed her 2011 hit song “Love On Top.”

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

“We welcome you to share in our joy,” a handwritten note on the website read. “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 The Associated Press.

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

Jay-Z later said that he was unfaithful to Beyoncé in a November 2017 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 2018

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

Beyoncé announced her 'Renaissance World Tour' in February 2023

With her new album, Beyoncé later launched the "Renaissance World Tour," announcing the news in February 2023 and opening the journey that May in Sweden.

Her husband was a regular at her concerts across the globe, including Paris and Germany. And Blue Ivy performed with her mom during many shows.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended the LA premiere of her concert film 'Renaissance' in November 2023

Beyoncé's tour ended in October 2023. At the tour's conclusion, her company Parkwood Entertainment announced with AMC Entertainment that the tour's film would open in theaters Dec. 1.

The film's premieres in London and Los Angeles were the last week of November. The film showed behind-the-scenes footage of the tour and Beyoncé's family.

Beyoncé posted pictures on Instagram Nov. 30 of her and Jay-Z at the Los Angeles premiere.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé cozy up to each other in a theater in images Beyoncé shared from the Nov. 25 premiere of her “Renaissance” concert film in Los Angeles.@beyonce via Instagram

Jay-Z blasted Grammys for never awarding Beyoncé album of the year on Feb. 4, 2024

Hot off becoming the artist with the most Grammys ever at the awards show last year, Beyoncé remains without the highest Grammy honor of them all: album of the year. She has been nominated for it four times total, but has never won.

As Jay-Z accepted the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award at the 2024 Grammys, he used part of his speech to admonish the Recording Academy for what he sees as a contradiction in his wife's honors from the awarding body.

“I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone, and never won album of the year,” he said. “So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys, never won album of the year. That doesn’t work.”

Jay-Z and Beyoncé attended the Super Bowl as she announced her 8th album during the game on Feb. 11, 2024

The couple attended the 2024 Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, a showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. The Chiefs won 25-22.

During the game, Beyoncé announced her new album, now known as "Cowboy Carter," with a Verizon commercial. She previously teased a country era by wearing Western-style clothing to the game and to the Grammys. "Cowboy Carter" debuted March 29.

She sat in a box with her husband, who has been in charge of Super Bowl entertainment since the 2019-2020 season.

Beyoncé thanks Jay-Z while accepting iHeartRadio's Innovator Award in April 2024

At the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards on April 1, Beyoncé accepted the Innovator Award from presenter Stevie Wonder.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked Jay-Z.

"My husband, my rock, my best friend, I love you," she said.