2000 - 2006: ‘Crazy In Love’ To Wedding Bells
Following the hiatus of Destiny’s Child, Beyonce made her solo debut as a featured artist on Jay-Z’s song ‘03 Bonnie & Clyde’. At the time, the two had already been dating for about a year, though they hadn’t gone public yet. One year after ‘Bonnie & Clyde’, Hova then appeared as a featured artist on Bey’s ‘Crazy In Love’, which proved to be her first hit as a solo artist. The collabs sparked rumours that the pair were an item, but it took two more years for them to make their red carpet debut at the 2004 MTV VMAs.
Bey and Jay did several more collabs during the years they dated, including ‘Deja Vu’, ‘Upgrade U’, and ‘Hollywood’. At this point, the couple were becoming a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop world – the two dropped hit albums within months of each other in 2006.
2008: Starting A Family
The power couple tied the knot in 2008 in a private ceremony in Jay-Z’s New York residence. In January 2012, they welcomed their first baby girl Blue Ivy Carter. Then nearly two years later, Beyonce shocked everyone by dropping an eponymous visual album that has since been regarded as a masterpiece and a revelation into the groundbreaking artist that she is.
On Beyonce, the singer collaborated once more with her husband on ‘Drunk In Love’ – showing no indication that their marriage was on the rocks. Jay even made it out onstage at Bey’s ‘Drunk In Love’ Grammy performance a month later. However, not long after, leaked footage revealed that trouble was brewing for the couple.
2014: The Leaked Elevator Video
Bey and Jay made their usual appearance at the 2014 Met Gala, but it wasn’t until days later that they made headlines. At the afterparty, Bey’s younger sis, Solange, had apparently attacked Jay-Z in an elevator and the security camera caught everything on tape.
Days later, the three of them released a joint statement saying Jay-Z and Solange have apologised at each other and that everyone wants to “move forward as a united family”. The statement made no mention of the cause of the altercation, but rumours were bubbling that Solange was furious at Jay for allegedly being unfaithful with his wife. Solange was merely defending her big sister’s honour.
Despite all the rumours surrounding the elevator scandal, Bey and Jay continued to make public appearances together, even attending Solange’s wedding in November 2014 with their daughter. And then, just when fans had assumed the couple put the mess behind them, Beyonce drops Lemonade, another stunning visual album in the same vein as Beyonce. But this time, the album is laden with songs about heartbreak and infidelity.
Hardcore Bey fans (appropriately called The Bey Hive) have since tried to parse the lyrics of songs like ‘Hold Up’ and ‘Sorry’, for clues about the couple’s status and the drama that ensued between them. The project featured lyrics like: “Something don't feel right/ Because it ain't right/ Especially comin' up after midnight/ I smell your secret, and I'm not too perfect” and “He only want me when I'm not there / He better call Becky with the good hair”
The Bey Hive even went on a crazy manhunt to try and put a face to the mysterious “Becky”!
2017: Welcoming Twins And Jay’s 4:44 Admission
While The Bey Hive were sent into a tailspin trying to piece together clues about whether Jay-Z actually cheated or if the whole thing was a massive marketing ploy, the couple welcomed twins Rumi and Sir and continued both their personal and professional relationships.
Finally, on the same months the twins were born, Jay dropped 4:44, whose title track includes something pretty darn close to an admission from the rapper.
On the track, he raps, “Look, I apologize, often womanize/ 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”.
2017 - 2018: Jay’s New York Times And David Letterman Interviews
Like a dam breaking, the notoriously private rapper opened up once more in a New York Times interview later that year, where he shared that therapy and listening to the songs they wrote about each other on Lemonade and 4:44 proved to be cathartic.
Finally, if you aren’t convinced yet of Jay-Z’s cheating, as a guest on David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the rapper put the question “Did Jay-Z cheat on Beyonce?” to rest – officially. He confirmed that he did cheat on his wife but shared that the couple wanted to work things out together.
He opened up about how his song on 4:44, ‘Song Cry’, was about “saying I want to cry, I want to be open, I want to have the emotional tools that it takes to keep my family together”. He even dropped some important quotes about how men have a hard time expressing their emotions because they’re conditioned to act tough.
Are Jay-Z And Beyonce Still Together?
Yes, the couple remains married and seem to be going stronger than ever! The two have been on tour together since the allegations, and have released a collaborative album called Everything Is Love under their surnames The Carters. On this album, Jay and Bey talk about, among other things, how they stay strong in the face of such a tough period in their lives.