Child rose is one of the most popular female R&B groups of
the late '90s, eventually rivaling even TLC in terms of blockbuster
commercial success. Originally a duo and later a quartet, the
group is today a trio, whose members are Beyoncé Knowles,
Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Their accomplishments came
in spite of several abrupt personnel changes, which were accompanied
by heated, well-publicized feuds in the media and the courts.
In fact, for a time, Destiny's Child were known for that drama
just as much as their music. Once the group stabilized again,
though, they emerged with even more hitmaking power than ever
Child were formed in Houston, Texas, in 1990, when original members
Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Lucckett and LaTavia
Roberson were just nine years old; the four met at an audition
and became friends, and Knowles' father Matthew set about developing
an act based on their singing and rapping, under the name GirlTyme.
Later Tina Knowles, Beyonce's mother took their name from a passage
in the Book of Isaiah. They landed an appearance on Star Search,
where they performed a rap song. The quartet's lineup was finalized
(for the time being), and they spent the next few years working
their way up from the Houston club scene, eventually opening for
popular R&B artists like SWV, Dru Hill, and Immature.
1997, Destiny's Child was offered a recording contract by Columbia
group made their recording debut with "Killing Time,"
which appeared on the soundtrack for Men In Black.
Child released their self-titled debut album to mixed reviews
on February 17, 1998. The album's first single, "No, No,
No" featured two completely different versions of the same
song. "No, No, No Pt.1" and "No, No, No Pt.2"
were both released simultaneously, however, Part II was considered
a "remix" version of Part I. "No, No, No Pt.2"
featuring The Fugees member Wyclef Jean, quickly climbed to No.1
on the Billboard R&B chart and No.3 Pop. The blockbuster single
sold over 1 million copies, turning the group into an instant
R&B music sensation. However, follow-up singles "With
Me Pt.1" (which also had two different versions) and "Get
On The Bus" failed to reproduce the blockbuster success of
"No, No, No." Destiny's Child eventually went Platinum
after later success. Expectations weren't high for the group's
second album, as most industry critics considered them to be another
disposable R&B girl-group with one-hit wonder status.
Child re-entered the studio quickly, bringing in an impressive
lineup of talented producers, including Kevin "She'kspere"
Briggs, Rodney Jerkins, Dwayne Wiggins, Chad Elliot, Daryl Simmons,
and Missy Elliott. Critics were generally positive about the album.
Music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote "The Writing's
On The Wall... an assured step forward for the girl group. Not
only are they maturing as vocalists, they are fortunate to work
with such skilled, talented producers... who all give the quartet
rich, varied music upon which to work their charm." Lead
single "Bills, Bills, Bills" became the group's first
No.1 pop hit (and second R&B No.1) in the summer of 1999,
and paced by its success, the accompanying album, The Writing's
on the Wall, entered the charts at No.6 upon its release on July
27, 1999. The second single, "Bug-a-Boo" hit the Top
40 pop charts, while its music video received heavy rotation on
MTV and BET.
the group's breakout success, two of its original members, Letoya
Luckett and LaTavia Roberson, attempted to split with manager
Matthew Knowles, charging that he kept a disproportionate share
of the band's profits, attempted to exert too much control, and
unfairly favored his daughter and niece. While they never intended
to leave the group, relations naturally grew strained, and when
the video for "Say My Name" premiered in February 2000,
many fans (not to mention Roberson and Luckett) were surprised
to find two new members — Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin
— joining Knowles and Rowland. Infuriated, Roberson and
Luckett took legal action in March, suing both Knowles and their
former bandmates for breach of partnership and fiduciary duties.
A war of words followed in the press; meanwhile, Destiny's Child
became a pop-cultural phenomenon. "Say My Name" was
the group's most irresistible and biggest single to date, becoming
the group's third No.1 single.
membership changes within the group seemed to only heighten the
group's visibility, finally separating them from the endless pack
of teen R&B starlets. In
June 2000, the album's fourth single, "Jumpin' Jumpin'"
became a Top 5 hit, however, another departure came from the ever-evolving
girl-group. Farrah Franklin, who had replaced an original member
just five months prior, left the group for various personal reasons.
This split was less controversial, while The Writing's On The
Wall would eventually sell a massive 9 million copies by the end
In the meantime,
toward the end of 2000, Roberson and Luckett dropped the portion
of their lawsuit aimed at Rowland and Knowles in exchange for
a settlement, though they continued to pursue action against Knowles'
father; as part of the agreement, both sides were prohibited from
attacking each other publicly. Misfortune
struck the group, in late July 1999. A stalker by the name of
LaToya Langford, a fan from San Diego, California began writing
death threats to the group, more specifically aimed at Beyoncé.
The group cancelled their tour through San Diego and filed a restraining
order against Langford. Langford continued the harrassment until
her arrest on August 23, 1999 in her home in San Diego, California.
Langford in jail, the group safely came out of hiding and now
reduced to a trio, Destiny's Child was tapped to record the theme
song for the film version of Charlie's Angels; released as a single
in October, "Independent Women, Pt. 1" raced up the
charts and spent an astounding 11 consecutive weeks at number
Child were now indisputable superstars, among the biggest female
pop groups, and they quickly began work on a new album to capitalize
on their success. In the meantime, Destiny's Child won 2 Grammy
awards for "Say My Name," including Best R&B Vocal
Performance by a Duo or Group and Best R&B Song. While speaking
with MTV.com, Rowland had this to say about the upcoming album:
"I know everybody can relate to this album — it's very
diverse and inspiring. The year 2000 was very challenging, and
I know that gave Beyoncé a lot of inspiration to write
songs for the album. We cannot wait for everybody to hear it.
It's so empowering for a lot of people who have already heard
a little bit of it."
had long since emerged as the group's focal point, and on the
third Destiny's Child album, she assumed more control than ever
before, taking a greater hand in writing the material and even
producing and co-writing the entire album. "We're excited
about the album," Knowles told MTV News shortly before the
album's release. She adds,"...I got a chance to co-write
and produce all of the songs." "And she did an incredible
job," the group's Kelly Rowland added. "But everybody
is a part of the music," Knowles said. "Everybody is
singing lead on every song, and it's so great — because
now Destiny's Child is at the point vocally and mentally that
it should be at. It's just great to be a part of this group."
Survivor — whose title was reportedly inspired by a DJ's
crack about Destiny's Child members voting one another off the
island, much like the popular CBS reality series Survivor —
hit stores in the spring of 2001, and entered the charts at number
one, selling over 663,000 copies in its first week sales (the
highest ever for a girl-group.)
two singles, "Survivor" and "Bootylicious",
were predictably huge hits, with the latter becoming the group's
fourth No.1 pop single. A cover of Andy Gibb's "Emotion"
was also successful, becoming a Top 10 pop hit. Survivor sold
well — over twelve million copies — more than its
predecessor. Toward the end of the year, the group released a
holiday album, 8 Days of Christmas, and announced plans for a
series of side projects, including solo albums from all three
members (to be staggered over the next year and a half, so as
to avoid competition). In early 2002, a remix compilation titled
This Is the Remix was released to tide fans over.
years apart, achieving individual success in movies, on Broadway,
endorsements and with solo albums, the three women of Destiny's
Child have reunited with a brand new album, Destiny Fulfilled.
An upcoming world tour, sponsored by McDonald's, "Destiny
Fulfilled and I'm Lovin' It", will hit 16 countries and over
75 cities worldwide, kicking off in Hiroshima, Japan on April
9th; stops will include Australia, throughout Europe, and concluding
in the U.S. and Canada later this summer. Their latest CD, Destiny
Fulfilled was executive produced and co-written by all three members.
"Lose My Breath," the album's first single, produced
by Rodney Jerkins, became the group's ninth Top 10 pop hit. The
album was released in November 2004. The second single, "Soldier"
featuring rappers T.I. and Lil Wayne quickly entered the Top 10,
peaking at No.3 in February 2005 becoming the groups 10th top
10 pop hit. Despite receiving worldwide mixed reviews, Destiny
Fulfilled was certified 3x Platinum in early 2005. The album's
third and fourth singles were "Girl" and "Cater
2 U", respectively. Destiny's Child are now immortalized
as Barbie Dolls. Toymakers Mattel created the latest Barbies as
part of their Famous Friends range. The Barbies will go on sale
in June 2005.