The 15 Wildest Things You'll Learn from the Unauthorized Beyoncé Biography

Good luck getting any work done for the rest of the day.


Becoming Beyoncé
 — famed celebrity biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli's take on the life of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter — has finally arrived. When news of the book first broke almost a year ago, fans and entertainment-industry voyeurs collectively salivated over what might be revealed, especially because the now-infamous elevator incident was barely six months old. While the book doesn't exactly reveal anything earth-shattering, it does provide a better understanding of what makes Beyoncé tick. None of it is conclusive — remember, unauthorized — but Taraborrelli did his due diligence in attempting to demystify Queen Bey. He hired a private investigator who spoke with many, many people in Beyoncé's life, who together had enough stories to fill nearly 500 pages of text. 

In a nutshell, she was groomed for the spotlight practically since birth, and that lack of normalcy has followed her through the last 30-odd years. It's no wonder that some onlookers have criticized Beyoncé for being robotic, but "guarded" is probably the more appropriate descriptor, and in Becoming Beyoncé (opens in new tab), you learn how that defense mechanism first took shape. Below are the 15 craziest things you learn from cracking open Taraborrelli's textbook. The Beyhive may roll their eyes and say, "I knew that already," but the mere mortals who just casually love Beyoncé might learn a thing or two.

1. Beyoncé can blow a mean snot rocket. Don't act like you're not impressed. According to the book, Bey has dealt with sinus issues her whole life. Taraborrelli includes an anecdote from former associate Armon Tillman about Beyoncé's childhood nose-clearing tactics:

When Beyoncé recorded "XO," she had a sinus infection, but enjoyed the "rawness" of her vocals and decided to keep them. Let's all send her neti pots in gratitude.

2. She almost signed with Prince. Back when Destiny's Child was still called Girls Tyme, Beyoncé and former DC member LaTavia Roberson almost formed a duo, with LaTavia rapping and Beyoncé singing. Industry engineer Arne Frager states in the book that Prince wanted to sign the girls. "He would call me two weeks later and say, 'I love this stuff!'" Frager said of the Purple One. "He said, 'These girls are incredible and I want to sign them to Paisley Park.'" 

3. She has kicked someone in the nuts at least once. Beyoncé and her family were close to her former manager, the late Andretta Tillman, and Andretta's sons, the aforementioned Armon and brother Chris, spent a lot of time with the Knowles. On one occasion, Chris did something to annoy a young Beyoncé, so she kicked him in the crotch out of anger:

#Goals.

4. Beyoncé once mooned Usher. You read that correctly. Usher was a budding act around the same time Girls Tyme (then called Somethin' Fresh) was gaining steam, so it was inevitable that their worlds would collide. The girls had crushes on Ursh, but Bey took it a step further when she mooned Usher on a dare. Former bandmate Nina Taylor recalled the incident thusly: "She dropped her pants maybe halfway down and mooned him, real fast. We all squealed with delight, and Usher's eyes got wide as saucers and he exclaimed, 'Damn, girl!'"

5. Puff passed. Beyoncé's rise to the top wasn't totally fluid, and while the book mentions Prince's interest in signing her, one exec who didn't share his excitement was Sean "Diddy" Combs. Diddy liked Bey's name, but not enough to add her to the Bad Boy roster:

So it's safe to say Diddy is still kicking himself, yes?

6. She had her first kiss at a Brian McKnight concert. Jay Z may have put a ring on it, but before the Carters became the power couple they are today, Beyoncé had a first love named Lyndall Locke. Their relationship lasted a decade, and Bey waited a whole year and a half to even kiss him. When she finally made her move, it was at a Brian McKnight concert when Lyndall was 15 and Bey was 13: 

Aww, young love!

7. The end of Destiny's Child hit Beyoncé extremely hard. When DC was falling apart, Bey isolated herself in her room for several weeks:

8. She initially wasn't that into Jay Z. They may be "Drunk in Love" now, but for Beyoncé it wasn't love at first sight. Her uncle Larry Beyince broke down the beginning of their relationship:

9. Beysus likes to paint. While Beyoncé was filming Austin Powers in Goldmember, she took up painting. At one point an associate didn't quite understand her art: 

10. She might have gotten breast implants. 

11. Sasha Fierce was born when Beyoncé threw a pair of $250,000 earrings into a crowd. Her cousin, Angela Beyince, gave her the nickname. She wasn't all that fierce, though, because the earrings were on loan from Lorraine Schwartz and Angela had to jump into the crowd to retrieve them. Per the book: "Angie actually found the person who'd caught the earrings, telling her, 'Those are my cousin's!' and demanding their return."

12. Jay and Bey broke up for a year. Between 2005 and 2006, Jay Z and Beyoncé spent time apart because of scheduling conflicts, though many people thought it had to do with one Robyn "Rihanna" Fenty. A publicist named Jonathan Hay told Taraborrelli the affair talk was all a PR stunt for RiRi to gain popularity, but Rihanna's lawyer has since denied (opens in new tab) that Hay ever had a personal or professional relationship with her. 

13. President Obama totally gave Beyoncé his digits. Following her performance of "At Last" at his 2009 inaugural ball, POTUS told the Carters they could call him on his cell phone whenever. 

14. Blue Ivy has a "daily program." Given her parents' busy schedules, it makes sense that Blue would have nannies (even though Bey wanted to raise the Carter heiress herself). She still rules from afar with a contractual agenda for her daughter though: "The employees all follow a strict regiment as outlined in a work agreement entitled 'Daily Program for Blue Ivy as per Mrs. Carter.'" Maybe she can patent that so all moms can use it to make their kids as cool as Blue Ivy.

15. Yes, the elevator incident was about Rihanna. Finally, what you've been waiting for:

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