Beyonce & Jay-Z’s Age Gap Has Fans Concerned
Written by patriciavallard on January 28, 2023
Jay-Z and Beyoncé are one of Hollywood’s most powerful couples, with a combined net worth of nearly $2 billion.
Their relationship has been fodder from some of their most celebrated work, most notably Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” and Queen Bey has been candid about the influence Jay-Z has had on her career.
But for some fans, their relationship just doesn’t sit right. Namely because, at it’s outset, Beyoncé was just barely out of her teens, while Jay-Z was in his 30s.
And a resurfaced clip of a younger Beyoncé gushing about Jay-Z at an awards show has reignited a conversation about whether she might have been groomed by the rapper in the early 2000s.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s 12-year age gap has struck some fans as inappropriate.
The couple met in 2000 when Beyoncé was 19 and Jay-Z was 31 and began dating in 2001.
Fans have been discussing this issue for years, but a recently resurfaced clip of Beyoncé at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards has brought it back to the fore.
The clip, taken from Beyoncé’s acceptance speech for the first annual Millennium Award following her performance of “Run the World (Girls),” shows the singer gushing about her husband.
“I love me some Jay-Z,” she says effusively as the rapper looks on from the crowd.
Of course, their relationship would hit the rocks some five years later when Jay-Z cheated on Beyoncé with an unnamed woman.
That affair became the basis for Beyoncé’s 2016 “Lemonade” visual album, on which she infamously identified the woman as only “Becky with the good hair.”
Given the ways things turned out, the clip has struck many fans as a “red flag” for their relationship, especially since Jay-Z barely reacts to the tribute.
“They gone have to leave this earth before we know the truth about their relationship,” one TikTok user quipped.
But the clip also reminded others of the uncomfortable history of their relationship.
Fans have accused Jay-Z of grooming Beyoncé while she was still in her teens.
“Beyoncé was groomed and that man is a creep,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
Beyoncé has said they met when she was 18 and began dating when she was 19. But fans have dug up photos they say show they met as early as 1997, when Beyoncé was just 16.
And Beyoncé later told Oprah Winfrey she and Jay were “friends for a year and a half” before they started dating, leading to further speculation that the relationship began while Beyoncé was still a minor.
Regardless, while a 19-year-old dating a 32-year-old is not technically underage—and didn’t even raise an eyebrow in 2003—Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s pairing would certainly be controversial today.
But even Beyoncé’s own comments about the relationship have struck some as revelatory about inappropriate dynamics.
In her 2013 HBO documentary “Life Is But A Dream,” Beyoncé toasts Jay-Z on his 37th birthday for having “taught me how to be a woman,” a common some have found uncomfortably revealing.
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Jay-Z has a history of allegedly dating much younger women, some of whom are rumored to have been underage at the time.
Most notably, Jay-Z is rumored to have dated Rihanna during a secret break in he and Beyoncé’s relationship in 2005.
Rihanna, born in 1988, would have been just 17 at the time.
And Jay-Z has long been rumored to have dated rapper Foxy Brown in the 1990s while the two were collaborating on music together in the 1990s.
Their first collaboration, “Ain’t No N-gga” which includes sexual lyrics between Jay-Z and Brown, was released in 1996 but is believed to have been recorded in 1994, when Brown would have been 15 or 16.
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Whether Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s relationship has inappropriate beginnings or not, the two appear to be going strong—and fans think they’re having another baby.
Since marrying in 2008, the two have raised three children together, 11-year-old Blue Ivy and five-year-old twins Sir and Rumi.
And following Beyoncé’s recent controversial performance in Dubai, some think Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s family might be expanding.
Fans are speculating that Beyoncé is secretly pregnant with she and Jay-Z’s fourth child after spotting what they think is a baby bump during her concert.
Seems like “the ’03 Bonnie & Clyde” probably aren’t going anywhere any time soon.
John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.
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