Destiny’s child is a group that was formed in the ‘90s, but back then it was called Girls Tyme. First, there were four of them, only to become smaller in size and remain as a trio for years. These three members were of course Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams. Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles was the manager of the group. They made girl power songs like “Independent Women, Pt. 1” and love songs like “Cater 2 U.” MTV reports that the ladies’ hard work paid off when they became one of the “top-selling female pop vocal groups in history.”
However, at the height of their power, the ladies decided to try out their luck by going solo, after their last album Survivor in 2001. Beyoncé made sure that the fans were caught up, saying: “We’ll come back and do another album for Destiny’s Child, and hopefully it will broaden our audience, so it will help us all out.”
As we all know, Beyonce is by far the most successful of the trio, as even her first solo album Dangerously in Love was filled with amazing hits. The promised album did happen, but Beyonce was far more important and famous than the group. Here is why she really left the group.
The solo winner
MTV reported, “Beyoncé had long since become the breakout star of the group.” The numbers did not lie. When it comes to Michelle Williams’ Heart to Yours gospel album, she “sold 17,000 copies in its top week.” Kelly Rowland’s album was an alternative pop project called Simply Deep, which sold “77,000 units in its strongest week.” In comparison, Beyoncé’s R&B and hip-hop debut solo album Dangerously In Love “sold 317,000 copies” in its first week! Although Destiny’s Child album Survivor sold an impressive “663,000 units in its first week”, everyone understood who had it the best when solo careers were in question. Beyonce knew it was only a matter of time when she would hit is big as a solo artist.
Everyone was on it
After their comeback album Destiny Fulfilled in 2004, Rowland announced that the trio is going to disband for good, during their tour in 2005.
Their joint statement read, “After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny’s Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other.” They also said they wished to pursue “personal goals and solo efforts in earnest.” Vox then reported, “In reality, with [Beyoncé’s] Dangerously in Love, a superstar solo performer was born.”
She could not shine as bright with the group
Fans were blindsided by the 2005 announcement of the split. However, the music industry insiders were not shocked at all. In 2004, The New York Times wrote, “It’s been a long-held belief in the music industry that Destiny’s Child was little more than a launching pad for Beyoncé Knowles’s inevitable solo career”. They listed other standout singers who left their respective groups for “solo stardom,” like “Diana Ross, David Lee Roth, Michael Jackson, Sting and many others.”
Margeaux Watson of the Suede magazine added, “She’s the one you can’t take your eyes off of; no one really cares about the other girls. I think Beyoncé will eventually realize that these girls are throwing dust on her shine.”
A marketing powerhouse
Brands also shared the opinion mentioned above. Beyonce replaced Britney Spears as Pepsi’s celebrity endorser, and signed a contract for commercials and ads. L’Oréal and McDonald’s also wanted collaborations with her now that she was a solo artist, and a huge solo star in the making.
Following in the steps of a legend
Long before the iconic breakup, Beyonce admitted that she did not want to remain in the group for her whole career. When asked about her next 20 years, she said, “Well, I guess I’d like to be like Barbra Streisand, doing concerts whenever I want. Sometimes I think that after a while I’m gonna move away and sing in a bar somewhere, because I am a little afraid of being too famous.” She did not mentioned her fellow colleagues, so this was an early sign of things to come.
Sasha Fierce is to blame
Beyonce once told Rolling Stone that she was constantly terrified of performing, which did not change even when she was a huge star. She was tremendously nervous about the solo career move, too. On The Late Show with David Letterman, she said, “It’s just gonna be so scary on the couch on my own.” So how did he overcome this fear? “If you see me on TV, I’m not a humble, shy person, but it’s a transformation into that. It’s a job. In real life I’m not like that.” Here is where her alter ego od Sasha Fierce comes into play. In 2008, she said how Ms. Fierce is “the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage.”
Was it her dad’s idea?
In a 2006 interview, Mr. Knowles said that if his daughter wanted to be a doctor, he would have bought her a hospital. However, she wanted to sing. “Then my responsibility was first, initially, as a father to take her to rehearsals and to surround her with all the tools that could help her be successful.” He also referred to Destiny’s Child as “my daughter’s group,” which says a lot what he thought about her role.
Was there a message in her lyrics?
There was supposed to be a line in the Survivor, seemingly taunting other two members: “You thought that I’d be stressed without you/ But I’m chillin’/ You thought I wouldn’t sell without you/ Sold 9 million.” Was this meant for them? New York Times wrote, “Everyone knew that Beyoncé didn’t need the others. That was the not-so-subtle message of Survivor. Beyoncé taunted her former bandmates … while warning the current ones that they, too, were expendable. That pronoun — ‘I’ — is as specific as the sales figure.”
She never gave everything to the group
She told Vanity Fair in a 2005 interview, “I always held back in Destiny’s Child, because I was comfortable in a group and felt that I didn’t have to do anything 100 percent, because there were other people onstage with me.” Only after her first solo album did she say that she went “all the way” with her singing. “For the first time, I wasn’t afraid, I didn’t feel limited.” In the video for Crazy in Love, she “danced all the way” for the first time. “I let go.”
Actress in the making
Beyonce also starred in the 2011 TV movie Carmen: A Hip Hopera, and scored a role as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002). After the split in 2005 came Dreamgirls, the remake of The Pink Panther in 2006. She slowed down on acting after the box office disaster that was the 2009 Obsessed.