Who Has Won More Awards: Beyoncé or Jay-Z?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z are separately two of the biggest names in the music industry, and together, they make one of the most famous and successful couples in music history. But who has been more successful: Beyoncé or Jay-Z? Who has won more awards? To answer this question, we’ll first take a closer look at each of their respective music careers, how they broke into the music scene, and what they’ve been up to in recent years

How did Beyoncé and Jay-Z become famous? 

Beyoncé and Jay-Z performing at the 'On the Run II' tour
Beyoncé and Jay-Z | Kevin Winter/PW18/Getty Images for Parkwood Entertainment

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Beyoncé performed in singing and dancing competitions as a child, but she first found fame as the lead singer for Destiny’s Child in the late ’90s. Beyoncé then began starring in movies and recorded her first solo album – Dangerously in Love – in 2003, which debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart. 

Once Destiny’s Child broke up, Beyoncé continued to further the success of her solo career, releasing her second solo album, B’Day. She also started her acting career, starring in films such as The Pink Panther, Dreamgirls, and Obsessed. In 2008, she married Jay-Z, which many cite as a big influence for her third album, I Am… Sasha Fierce. The album went on to earn a record-setting six Grammy awards in 2010. 

Born and raised in New York City, Jay-Z began his musical career after founding the record label Roc-A-Fella Records in 1995. He then released his debut studio album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996. His newly released album solidified his standing in the music industry, but Jay-Z wasn’t planning on just being good at one thing. He also began venturing into the business world, founding the clothing retail company, Rocawear, in 1999, and founding the luxury sports bar chain, 40/40 Club, in 2003 – both of which have evolved into multi-million dollar corporations. 

Jay-Z went on to release twelve additional albums, which have all attained generally positive critical reception and commercial success, including the full-length collaborative albums, Watch the Throne (2011) with Kanye West, and Everything is Love (2018) with his wife, Beyoncé.

Who has won more awards in their lifetime – Beyoncé or Jay-Z?

When you crunch the numbers and look at the stats, Beyoncé has both been nominated for more awards (182) and won more awards (76) than Jay-Z. Jay-Z has more than held his own, winning more awards (34) than many artists dream of along with 114 nominations. 

Beyoncé is the most nominated woman in Grammy Award history, with a total of 23 wins. She is also the highest-paid black musician in history as of 2014. 

Jay-Z, on the other hand, has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, the most by a rapper, and holds the record for the most No. 1 albums (14) by a solo artist on the Billboard 200. 

What’s in store for the couple in the future? 

In 2019, Jay-Z was officially named the first hip hop billionaire, making him the third wealthiest African-American and the wealthiest American musician, according to Business Insider. He also recently bought the tech company Aspiro and took over their media streaming service Tidal, which has since become the world’s third-largest online streaming company. 

Beyoncé, for her part, seems to be thriving just as much as her husband, if not more. She recently starred as the voiceover role of Nala in the cinematic The Lion King remake, and she also produced an accompanying album titled, The Lion King: The Gift, comprising of music fully curated by Beyoncé. 

Despite the ups-and-downs of their relationship, which is often heavily covered by the media, the couple seems to be heading in 2020 doing as well as two people can do – and a lot better than many.