See Beyoncé and JAY-Z's Private Relationship Through the Years

From their early days of dating to growing their family, the superstar couple has managed to keep their marriage strong through the ups and downs

01 of 26

Their Early Days

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SGranitz/WireImage

JAY-Z and Beyoncé met when the "Halo" singer was just 18 years old. They began dating roughly a year-and-a-half later after building a strong friendship.

In 2002, the rapper released "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" featuring his future wife, and Beyoncé returned the favor a year later by featuring JAY-Z in her "Crazy in Love" music video.

It wasn't until 2004, however, that the private couple made their red-carpet debut at the MTV VMAs in Miami.

02 of 26

Secret Wedding

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Jay and Bey got hitched in a top-secret ceremony on April 4, 2008.

"It was a very emotional wedding — lots of crying — and really very spiritual," a source told PEOPLE at the time of the soirée, held at the rapper's 13,500-sq.-ft. Manhattan penthouse and decorated with 70,000 dendrobium orchids flown in from Thailand.

03 of 26

Going Public

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Beyoncé finally talked about her marriage in her December-January 2008 Seventeen cover story.

"I guess probably that we're all human," she said. "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."

04 of 26

Presidential Date Night

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Jay and Bey attended President Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009, singing "America the Beautiful" at his swearing-in ceremony, then the Etta James classic "At Last" for POTUS and Michelle Obama's first dance at his inaugural ball.

05 of 26

Baby Joy

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In 2011, Beyoncé revealed her pregnancy at the MTV VMAs in L.A., cradling what appeared to be a bump on the red carpet before telling the audience during her "Love on Top" performance, "I want you to stand up on your feet. I want you to feel the love that's growing inside me."

06 of 26

Welcome, Blue!

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Beyoncé and JAY-Z welcomed daughter Blue Ivy Carter in New York City on Jan. 7, 2012. The proud parents' friends and family — from sister Solange to Gwyneth Paltrow, Rihanna and Russell Simmons — offered their congratulations on social media.

07 of 26

Art Imitates Life

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George Pimentel/WireImage

Beyoncé's 2013 Life Is But a Dream documentary aired on HBO, giving fans a rare glimpse into her private life with JAY-Z, from celebrating her pregnancy and singing Coldplay's "Yellow" to each other to enjoying a secluded, exotic vacation (on a yacht!) and her toasting him at a birthday party.

08 of 26

Passionate Performance

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Jay joined Bey onstage at the 2014 Grammys in L.A., where they gave a redhot performance of "Drunk in Love."

09 of 26

Elevator-Gate

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JAY-Z, Beyoncé and Solange attended the annual 2014 Met Gala on May 7 in N.Y.C. Five days later, video footage of Solange seemingly attacking Jay in an elevator at an afterparty leaked online.

Days after the incident, the trio released a 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."

10 of 26

Split Rumors

Beyonce and Jay Z Pose for Iconic Elevator Photoshoot for his Birthday in NYC
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That same year, the couple was plagued by rumors that their marriage was in crisis and they were heading toward a divorce.

"Word around the industry has been that things are rocky at home," a music source who has worked with JAY-Z told PEOPLE at the time. "If they split, no one would be surprised." But a JAY-Z friend insisted: "They are a great couple. They are soulmates and perfect for each other."

11 of 26

A United Front

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On Aug. 24, 2014, JAY-Z and Blue Ivy took the stage at the MTV VMAs in L.A. to present Beyoncé with her Video Vanguard Award.

"Thank you. I have nothing to say, but I'm thrilled with so much gratitude," Bey said in her acceptance speech. "I just thank God for this moment. I love y'all so much," she tearfully told the crowd. "My beloved, I love you. My fans, I love you. MTV, I love you. Good night!"

Solange married Alan Ferguson in New Orleans on Nov. 16, and the whole family was in attendance. One year after elevator-gate, the trio all returned to the Met Gala without incident.

12 of 26

Sweet Support

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Beyoncé performed with Bruno Mars and Chris Martin and Coldplay during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2016, while JAY-Z and Blue Ivy watch from a private box with Martin's ex Gwyneth Paltrow and their kids Apple and Moses.

13 of 26

Making Lemonade

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Beyoncé's Lemonade special aired on HBO in 2016 and the album went on sale after a mysterious, week-long promo campaign. The lyrics in songs like "Hold Up," "Don't Hurt Yourself" and "Sorry" hinted at infidelity and a marriage in crisis, while "Sand Castles" and "All Night" are about redemption, forgiveness and a renewed bond. Critics and fans flooded social media with commentary on the visual album, many interpreting it to be autobiographical while others thought it a was a self-promotional creative endeavor.

Days later, Bey kicked off her Formation World Tour in Miami. Despite reports that their marriage was still on the rocks, the pair were photographed — with Jay's arm around his wife — at the concert venue, and she closed the show dedicating her hit "Halo" to her "beautiful husband."

14 of 26

Bey's Big Night

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In August 2016, Beyoncé attended the MTV VMAs with Blue Ivy in tow, performing a medley of songs from Lemonade and taking home eight awards, including Video of the Year. JAY-Z wasn't spotted at the show, but he later joined Bey to celebrate at a star-studded afterparty with couple pals Kanye and Kim Kardashian West and Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz.

15 of 26

Birthday Bash

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In December 2016, Beyoncé threw JAY-Z a private surprise bash in L.A., where they celebrated with Kelly Rowland, Tina Knowles Lawson and more.

16 of 26

Twins on the Way

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"We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over," Bey captioned a photo of herself cradling her baby bump. "We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. – The Carters."

17 of 26

Embracing Her Bump

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After announcing her pregnancy, the couple attended both the Grammys (where Bey put on a show-stopping, goddess-inspired performance) and a pre-Oscars party, where the singer showed off her growing bump in multiple fitted ensembles.

18 of 26

Wedding Anniversary

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Source: Beyonce Instagram

On April 4, 2017, JAY-Z and Beyoncé celebrated nine years of marriage with the mom-to-be sharing a series of photos and a sweet montage video — set to her song "Die with You" — to mark the occasion.

"I don't need air in my lungs. If I can't sing your song," one image read — showing the couple's matching ring finger "IV" tattoos (Beyoncé was born on Sept. 4; JAY-Z on Dec. 4; they tied the knot on April 4).

19 of 26

Welcome, Rumi and Sir

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Beyoncé made her super low-key public debut since welcoming the twins for an event alongside JAY-Z celebrating Roc Nation artist Vic Mensa July 13 in L.A. Hours later, the mom of three shared the first photo of the couple's new additions, confirming they welcomed son Sir and daughter Rumi the previous month.

20 of 26

Nesting at Home

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On Sept. 14, 2017, the couple made their first red carpet appearance since welcoming their twins at pal Rihanna's Diamond Ball in N.Y.C.

Later in the year, the rapper opened up about their marriage in a deeply personal interview with T: The New York Times.

"You know, most people walk away, and like divorce rate is like 50 percent or something 'cause most people can't see themselves. The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone's face that you caused, and then have to deal with yourself," he told the outlet, revealing therapy helped him in tough times. "So, you know, most people don't want to do that. You don't want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away."

21 of 26

Standing by Her Man

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On Jan. 27, 2018, Jay and Bey attended Clive Davis and the Recording Academy's annual pre-Grammys gala in N.Y.C., where the rapper was honored with the 2018 Salute to Industry Icons Award. In his acceptance speech, Jay revealed he ended his six-year boycott of the Grammys to support Bey in 2004, "when a beautiful young lady, whom I love dearly, had a solo album, and it was the breakout — she was nominated."

The next day the pair attended the Grammys at Madison Square Garden, where they sat front-row with Blue. Blue stole the show throughout the night, whether she was adorably shushing her parents — or noshing on snacks and a juice box.

22 of 26

Touring Together

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JAY-Z and Beyonce. Courtesy Beyonce

On March 12, 2018, the couple announced they'd be hitting the road together (again!) this summer for the On the Run II tour.

A source previously told PEOPLE that the music super-couple planned to return to the stage together. "They are incredibly excited. It took a lot of work to make this happen. It's the best choice for their family."

23 of 26

Bidding with Blue

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On March 17, 2018, Beyoncé, JAY-Z and Blue Ivy Carter attended the 2nd Annual Wearable Art Gala in Los Angeles before the pop icon was awarded a humanitarian award by her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson — and Blue did some bidding on behalf of her famous parents.

Blue held her paddle high and bid $17,000 on an acyclic painting of Sidney Poitier during the event's live auction, emceed by Star Jones, according to Vanity Fair. Despite JAY-Z jokingly trying to snatch the paddle from his daughter, she bid again when the item's asking price shot up to $19,000, the outlet reported. However, director Tyler Perry beat out the bid and won the art piece for $20,000.

"I got the painting. I could not be outdone by a 6-year-old," he joked.

24 of 26

Jamaican Jaunt

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Work hard, play hard. In late March of 2018, the couple headed to Jamaica with their children, reportedly shooting promos for their upcoming tour.

"It was a work trip, but they also got to enjoy the island," a source told PEOPLE. "Beyonce is preparing for Coachella. Together they are rehearsing for the tour. It's a lot of work for them, but they are very excited. Things are great."

25 of 26

On The Run II

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Jay and Bey kicked off their On the Run II tour in Cardiff, England, on June 6, 2018. Throughout the two-hour set, the couple performed 37 tracks — and gave fans a rare glimpse into their private world.

The pair appeared to hint that they recently renewed their vows. In a video taken at the tour opener, both musicians could be seen on a screen in all-white attire joined by Blue Ivy and twins Rumi and Sir for what appeared to be a vow renewal ceremony. The message "THIS IS REAL LOVE" is projected during the film at the concert as the power couple sings their 2009 duet "Young Forever."

26 of 26

An Oscars Grand Slam

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Though the pair stayed fairly under-the-radar during the COVID-19 pandemic, save for a handful of premieres and the 2021 Grammys, where Blue Ivy won her first, Beyoncé and JAY-Z made it a date at the 2022 Academy Awards in L.A., where Bey was up for her first-ever Oscar for Best Original Song for "Be Alive."

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