Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Is anyone surprised that Beyoncé Knowles once admitted that her marriage to Jay-Z can be a “power struggle”? She’s the most powerful woman in R&B (possibly the world), he’s the most powerful man in hip-hop (possibly the world), and they have the paychecks to prove it. They topped Forbes’ Richest Couples list for the first time in 2008, raking in an estimated $162 million. It was also the year they wed in secret after eight years together. Although Beyoncé’s former girl group, Destiny’s Child, was wracked with drama and disputes, her courtship with the hip-hop mogul-cum-entrepreneur was without incident, not to mention juicy details for the public to devour—and that’s exactly how they’d like to keep it, thankyouverymuch.
According to reports, the intensely private couple met sometime in 2002, but Beyoncé threw that timeline for a loop when she told Us magazine in 2008, “I was 18 when we first met, 19 when we first started dating.” Which means they met in 1999 and by the new millennium, the then-31-year-old rapper had enamored one of Hollywood’s biggest rising stars.

The high-profile couple miraculously kept their romance under wraps for three years. People only started to speculate that they were an item when she was featured in his hit single “03 Bonnie and Clyde” and she returned the favor by collaborating with him for her dance hit “Crazy in Love.” Even with repeated sightings of the couple out together and enjoying beach getaways, they continued their staunch policy of deny, deny, deny.

They never flat-out confirmed that they were together. Even four years after suspicions arose, Beyoncé was still dodging the “Are you or aren’t you?” question, simply responding, “I don’t talk about that. I’m extremely happy.”
It was all common knowledge by then, but final confirmation came on April 4, 2008 when they got married in a top secret (did you expect any less?) ceremony in New York. Flowers and candelabras were seen being delivered to Jay’s Manhattan apartment and a tent was set up on the roof for the lavish reception held there afterwards. And years later, there’s still not a one leaked wedding photo to prove it even happened. Damn, these two are good...

Neither party had pushed for the marriage leap, but Beyoncé was seen sporting a honking 18-carat engagement ring in the months leading up to the big day. She’s since swapped it for a simple band. The pair also sports matching tattoos of the Roman numeral “IV” on their ring fingers (they were both born on the fourth and their wedding was on the fourth) that they got before they said their “I dos.”

Still, it’s got to be easier to keep your life private when you’re too busy releasing hits and building your own empire to blab about each other. After a stellar 2008, they topped the 2009 Forbes’ Richest Couples list again with approximately $122 million in earnings, and individually ranked amongst the top 20 in the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities list. But you won’t see any of those empires overlapping anytime soon. Jay-Z revealed to Rolling Stone, “[We] pretty much stay out of each other's business.” That’s the stuff all good marriages are made of.

As for kids...did you really think she was going to spill about that? Let’s just say she’s in no rush.

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