Whether you've followed Bey since her Wyclef Jean-assisted, Destiny's Child debut, or if you've recently been lured to her hive thanks to a certain #visualalbum, there's no denying that Yoncé has arrived. After decades of successfully shielding her personal life from prying eyes, Mrs. Carter has made us privy to more delicate facets of her life in 2013. From a candid HBO documentary that gave us glimpses of baby Blue Ivy, to a fiery fifth album that let us into her bedroom—with hubby Jay Z and their surfboard—we're experiencing the Queen like never before. In her own words “I’m very private and I’m very respectful, and I think it just took me no longer being someone’s child; once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear those fourth walls and I just felt like it was time.” Still, there's no amount of Instagram snapshots that can tell us everything we need to Knowles know. So, for all you Beyoncé stans and BGKC connoisseurs, here are 13 novel facts about Miss 3rd Ward.
1. Fans who've seen her perform her 2007 ballad “Flaws and All” have given serious side-eye when Bey's highlighted her not-so-tight triceps, but there is an area she's really insecure about: her ears. She admittedly wears big earrings to take attention away from their size. #GirlBye. You're “***Flawless.”
2. Though her eighth fragrance is on the Rise, Bey's allergic to perfume. In fact, when she was a spokesperson for Tommy Hilfiger's True Star and True Star Gold in 2004 and 2005, then Emporio Armani Diamonds in 2007, perfumiers had to develop special formulas that wouldn't trigger any reactions. Though, we'd expect her to smell like honey, regardless.
3. As savvy as she is off-stage—inking $50 million Pepsi deals, breaking records without label backing, the usual—Bey didn't go to B school. Quite the contrary, she dropped out of Alief Elsik High School (on Houston's High Star Drive, no less), to pursue her musical career. That didn't stop her from walking across the proverbial stage, though. After the birth of baby Blue in 2012, she became an alum of Manhattan's Alternative Ed Complex where she earned her GED.
4. Ever wonder how she can manage costume changes, dancing in Swarovski-studded heels, flying across arenas, and even evading abduction while never missing a beat? Her endurance is at an unparalleled high, thanks to her father/former manager's training. Mathew Knowles made a young Beyoncé run on the treadmill while singing to build her stamina. And it shows.
5. Somewhere in America, there's a man named Lyndall Locke who's having the worst everyday ever. He was Beyoncé's first real boyfriend, homecoming date, and the one who broke her heart, confessing that he cheated on her five times while they dated during their teens. Apparently, he wasn't on the market for an upgrade.
6. Someone who was: Jay Z. Though a twenty-something Beyoncé was reportedly pursued by Nas, Mos Def, and Sean Paul, it was the Brooklyn boy who won the southern charmer's heart. They encountered each other in 2000 when Beyoncé was featured on “I Got That” by Amil, the first lady of Jay's Roc-A-Fella Records. It took a year-and-a-half of phone conversations before Jay took her out for the first time.
7. Back in 2003, though, Bey wasn't so “Irreplaceable.” Though she and Jay have been happily married since 2008, he once told Playboy that if he had to choose between Beyoncé and his childhood friend and labelmate Memphis Bleek, “Beyoncé's got to go.” Thankfully, he didn't have to choose, and we were blessed with a little something Blue.
8. Though Jay was her second boyfriend, he wasn't the only man in Beyoncé's life. Once upon a time, she had room for Master P. No, not the Percy Miller who spawned a New Orleans-based No Limit movement. Master P, her cat who sadly passed away in 2007.
9. Judging from her social media posts, Bey has been steadfast in her 22-day vegan challenge with Jay. Still, she's a Popeye's chicken girl at heart. Luckily, Native Foods, the vegan eatery she was spotted at a fur-rimmed Christopher Kane parka, is known for its plant-based chicken wings. Yum!
10. How many Beyoncé's do you know? Not many. That's because Bey's name was derived from her grandfather, Lumis Albert Beyince, a Louisiana native who passed away before Beyoncé was born. Still, his surname lives on: just check Bey's cousin and loyal assistant Angie Beyince.
11. Even though Jay's had her dangerously, crazy, and drunk in love, Bey is still an independent woman, and would be prenup-protected if she ever became a single lady again—but not in the way that German culture and lifestyle magazine NEON made it seem. Back in 2010, it published a fake interview with Beyoncé where she allegedly enumerated the details of a “marriage contract.” Shortly thereafter, its editors in chief released a public apology, and terminated their relationship with the freelancer who wrote the fluff piece, Ingo Mocek.
12. If you know Beyoncé, then you know the mononymous bodyguard who's responsible for keeping her out of harm's way: Julius. Though we've never actually caught him speak, and have rarely seen him crack a smile, we do know the brooding Julius De Boer is a native of the Netherlands who speaks five languages.
13. Now that we know who Boots is, on to a newly-visible members of BGKC's clique. Meet IB, a fellow 3rd Ward native-turned-Brooklyn convert, artist, and musician, who rode dirty alongside Bey and her sister Solange in the video for “Blow.”