Beyonce Knowles is a pop superstar who’s net worth is estimated at $300 million. In the early 90’s, the TV show Star Search was a revolving door of up-and-coming pop stars like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. We’ve all seen the footage of little Britney choking on her smile as Ed McMahon announces her defeat. Another of today’s superstars also got her start as a loser on Star Search, this time as a member in the rapping-and-dancing troupe Girl’s Tyme.

Beyonce’s group struggled in the late 1990’s but was eventually signed by Columbia Records in 1997 under its new name, Destiny’s Child. The group has released 7 albums, 5 of which turned platinum, and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Not to be limited by groupthink, Beyonce has released three solo albums, all platinum and is developing a serious acting career with leading roles in Dreamgirls, Cadillac Records and Obsessed (and don’t forget her efforts as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers!). While this successful Texan is known for her contributions to the entertainment industry, her savvy business acumen makes her a brand name to be reckoned with. Beyonce signed her first endorsement deal with Pepsi in 2002 which was quickly followed by deals with L’Oreal, American Express, Samsung, Ford and DirectTV. She has launched a number of fragrances over the years, and recently signed a $20 million three year deal to develop a signature fragrance for Coty. And don’t forget the fashion line, Dereon, that she launched with her mom Tina. Beyonce’s best business deal to date has been her marriage to Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z, the hip hop artist, producer, co-owner of the NJ Nets and multi-millionaire entrepreneur.

The couple is intensely private but we do know that Beyonce does like to spend a little money on herself. She wears a $5 million, 18 carat diamond engagement ring and is known for her love of high fashion, including a taste for wearing PETA-unfriendly furs. Recently, she and the hubby spent $1200 on lunch at NYC’s Nello restaurant. How do you spend $1200 for two? Make sure there’s an unfinished bottle of Dom Perignon on the table and a healthy portion of white truffles on your lobster salad. The pair shares a couple Manhattan apartments, an estate in Scarsdale, New York and a place in Miami. Rumor has it that they are looking for a place to buy in England. Don’t expect to see them in first class on your way to the back of the place – these two fly private and are shuttled around town in a fleet of luxury cars. Miz B has come a long way from the pastel hues of Star Search. But don’t worry, Mrs. Carter, we’ll always remember your humble beginnings. After all, sometimes you have to lose in order to become a Survivor.