Beyoncé and Jay-Z are no stranger to the spotlight but despite being one of the most well-known husband-wife duos in the world, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have successfully kept most of their private life, well, private. Still, from their first date at Nobu to their secret wedding, cheating rumors to the birth of their three children, and every musical collaboration in between, here is a complete timeline of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship.
2000: A Plane to Cancun
Not much is known about their first meeting and early relationship, however, Beyoncé once revealed that the pair first met when she was just 18. The couple sat next to each other on a plane while both attending the 2000 MTV Spring Break festival and Jay-Z later rapped about the moment in his 2018 song “Everything Is Love.” He sings, “We played it cool at the pool of the Cancun, VMA / Confidence you exude make the fools stay away / Me, I played my room, let the fools have they say / Fate had me sittin’ next to you on the plane / And I knew straight away.”
2001: First Date at Nobu
After over a year of friendship—and talking on the phone constantly—Beyoncé and Jay-Z decided to test out their relationship romantically. Their first official date was at celeb-favorite restaurant Nobu and according to more lyrics from Jay-Z’s “Everything Is Love,” the rapper brought a friend to dinner. In the song, he called that choice his “first foolish mistake.”
October 10, 2002: ’03 Bonnie & Clyde
But bringing a male friend to dinner didn’t hinder their relationship. In fact, they began collaborating even in the early days of their romance, releasing their first track together in 2002 called “’03 Bonnie & Clyde.”
May 18, 2003: Crazy In Love
Not long after their first collaboration, the superstar couple dropped “Crazy In Love.” With lyrics like “I’ve been playing myself, baby, I don’t care. ’Cause your love’s got the best of me,” the track gave fans another glimpse at their affection for each other and the musical masterpiece even landed the couple a Grammy award the following year.
August 29, 2004: VMA Debut
While Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s relationship was no secret, they confirmed their status when they made their red carpet debut together at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
November 1, 2006: Wedding Fever
In 2006, Beyoncé told Cosmopolitan that she had slight wedding fever—especially after seeing his sister walk down the aisle. ” I don’t know when I’ll want to get married. I never pictured myself as a bride, but after my sister’s wedding, I did start thinking about what kind of wedding I’d want. I don’t think I want a big one,” she told the publication. During the interview, she also claimed that her Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams, would be bridesmaids.
April 4, 2008: A Secret Wedding Ceremony
In the world of super-secret celebrity weddings, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 2008 nuptials take the cake. Without even telling fans that they were engaged, the duo was spotted picking up a marriage license in New York in April 2008 and it was later confirmed Beyoncé and Jay-Z tied the knot on April 4, 2008.
August 28, 2011: Pregnancy Announcement On Stage
In 2011, Beyoncé took to the VMA’s stage to announce another relationship milestone: She’s pregnant! “I want you to stand up on your feet. I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside me,” she shouted to the crowd during her performance of “Love On Top.” Yet, it was later revealed that this was not her first pregnancy. In her documentary Life Is But a Dream, which debuted in 2013, the singer shared details of a previous miscarriage.
January 7, 2012: Blue Ivy Carter Is Born
The Knowles-Carter crew became three when Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter on January 7, 2012.
February 16, 2013: Life Is But a Dream
Beyoncé released her autobiographical documentary, Life Is But a Dream, in early 2013, which gave fans a never-before-seen look into her private life with Jay-Z and her newborn daughter.
2013: On The Run
That summer, Jay-Z releases his album Magna Carter Holy Grail, which features another musical collaboration with his wife, “Part II (On The Run).”
December 17, 2013: Drunk In Love
And on December 17, 2013, Beyoncé dropped her self-titled album, which included a musical collaboration with her husband, the hit song “Drunk In Love.” The talented couple eventually performed the steamy song on the Grammy stage in 2014.
May 5, 2014: The Infamous Elevator Fight
After the Met Gala on May 5, 2014, footage surfaced of Beyoncé’s sister, Solange Knowles, attacking Jay-Z in an elevator over cheating rumors. The family later released the following statement: “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. At the end of the day, families have problems and we’re no different. We love each other and above all we are family. We’ve put this behind us and hope everyone else will do the same.”
June 25, 2014: On The Run Tour
Despite hints of a rocky relationship, Beyoncé and Jay-Z laid rumors to rest as they embarked on a joint tour during the summer of 2014.
April 4, 2015: Never-Before-Seen Wedding Video
While Jay-Z has since deleted his Instagram account, he shared a never-before-seen wedding video on the couple’s seventh anniversary.
April 23, 2016: Becky With the Good Hair
But in 2016, their relationship, and subsequent cheating rumors, were thrown back into the spotlight when Beyoncé dropped her visual album Lemonade. Two songs in particular, “Hold Up” and “Sorry,” allude to infidelity from Jay-Z. Beyoncé sings “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair,” prompting the Bey Hive to wonder who exactly this mysterious “Becky” was. However, “Becky” isn’t an actual person at all, but rather a representation of women everywhere she later explained.
October 7, 2016: Shoutout on Tour
Despite the frenzy that came from Lemonade, Beyoncé proved her relationship with Jay-Z was solid when she gave a shoutout to her husband during the final performance of her Formation World Tour.
February 1, 2017: Another Pregnancy
Few celebrity pregnancy announcements are more iconic than Beyoncé’s 2017 bump debut. Expecting twins, the singer wrote on Instagram, “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. – The Carters.”
June 13, 2017: Rumi and Sir Carter Are Born
On June 13, 2017, Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcome two more children together, daughter Rumi Carter and son Sir Carter.
June 30, 2017: Admitting to an Affair
The same month, Jay-Z dropped another album entitled 4:44, full of lyrics that hinted at infidelity. He rapped, “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.”
June 6, 2018: On Tour, Again
On June 6, 2018, the parents of three hit the road again for another joint tour and release their highly-anticipated joint album, Everything Is Love.
July 31, 2020: Black Is King
Beyoncé aired her second visual album, Black Is King, during the summer of 2020. The film featured appearances by both her husband and their three children.