Destiny’s Child

  • R&B vocal group formed in 1990 from Houston Texas. The most successful line-up consisted of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Early members included LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson and Farrah Franklin. All members contributed to song writing.
  • Knowles and Rowland were childhood friends. In 1990, at 8 years old, Knowles met 9 year old rapper Roberson at an audition for an all-girl rap and dance group. They were selected, along with 3 other young girls, and they performed locally as Girl’s Tyme. Rowland joined the group in 1992, making it a six-member act. The group got the attention of national talent managers, particularly because of Knowles and Rowland. In 1993, they entered the national talent show Star Search, but they were defeated.
  • After their elimination, Knowles’ father started to manage the group – he added Beyoncé’s school friend Luckett and cut the other 3 young girls from the lineup. The group practiced their act, trying new routines at the hair salon owned by Knowles’ mother. During school, they played local gigs, and in the summer, they concentrated on vocal lessons and refining their act. From 1993 to 1995, they changed their name several times – from Something Fresh to Cliché to the Dolls, and then to Destiny. They were signed to a record deal in 1995, but they were dropped before an album was recorded.
  • In 1996, they changed their name to Destiny’s Child – they claimed that the name was from a passage in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. They signed a new record deal that same year. They recorded several tracks with an R&B producer, one of which – Killing Time – was included in the soundtrack to the 1997 film Men In Black. 
  • Their first single, No, No, No, was released in late 1997, and their self titled debut album was released in February 1998. The girls were 15 years old at the time. The album was moderately successful, reaching #67 on the Billboard 200 and #14 on the R&B Albums chart, and eventually it was certified platinum. A remix of No, No, No featuring Wyclef Jean peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 chart.
  • Destiny’s Child’s breakthrough occurred with their second album, The Writing’s On the Wall, released in 1999. It was certified 8x platinum, thanks to two #1 singles – Bills, Bills, Bills and Say My Name, along with Jumpin’ Jumpin’, which peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart. Say My Name won 2 Grammy awards in 2001 – Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
  • Late in 1999, Roberson and Luckett threatened to split from the group, claiming that the group’s management was unfairly favoring Knowles and Rowland. Two months later, it was announced that Roberson and Luckett had been replaced by Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin. Roberson and Luckett filed a lawsuit, and Franklin left after 5 months due to the stress. Eventually, a settlement was reached. The publicity of it all actually made the group more popular.
  • Now a trio, the group performed as the opening act for major pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. In 2000, they contributed a song for the soundtrack to the film Charlie’s Angels. Independent Women Part 1 became a mega-hit, remaining #1 on the Hot 100 for 11 consecutive weeks. That year, the group won the Soul Train Entertainer of the Year award, and Billboard Music Award’s Artist of the Year.
  • In 2001, they released their third album, Survivor. Beyoncé assumed control over much of the album, co-writing almost the entire record. Independent Women Part 1 was included on the album, while the title track Survivor peaked at #2, Bootylicious topped the chart and Emotion reached #10. The album debuted at #1 on the album chart, and eventually was certified 4x platinum. The song Survivor earned them their third Grammy award, for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group.
  • In late 2000, the members of the group announced that they would be working on side projects, including solo albums. Knowles was particularly successful with her solo efforts – all 5 of Knowles’ solo albums have reached #1, and 15 singles have been in the top 10, with 6 topping the chart.
  • The group reunited in 2003 to record a final studio album. Released in 2004, Destiny Fulfilled reached #2 on the album chart and included 4 hit singles, including Lose My Breath and Soldier, both of which reached #3 on the Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart. They promoted the album with a final tour, announcing in June 2005 that they would break up after the tour. Except for a few special engagements, they have not performed together since 2006.
  • The members of Destiny’s Child were super-talented, with Beyoncé arguably becoming one of the biggest pop stars of the 00s decade (for more on Beyoncé, see my post from January 28, 2018). Here’s their video to Survivor – the song was inspired by comparisons made by the media to the reality TV show Survivor, after Roberson, Luckett and Franklin left the group.

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