Kelendria "Kelly" Trene Rowland
Tenetra "Michelle" Williams
LaTavia Roberson & LeToya Luckett
This urban R&B quartet was formed by Beyoncé Knowles, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson and Kelly Rowland. Knowles and Roberson first began singing together when they were only 10 years old. Rowland joined the duo in 1992, with Luckett completing the line-up the following year. The quartet adopted their biblically inspired name from a chapter in the Book Of Isaiah. Knowles' father became their manager and set about grooming the quartet for success. They gained a strong local following with their street cool image and impressive vocal harmonies, leading to opening slots for big name acts including Immature, SWV and Dru Hill. Signed to Columbia Records in 1997 their breakthrough came when the track "Killing Time" appeared on The Men In Black soundtrack. Their self-titled debut, released in 1998, featured collaborations with leading R&B/hip-hop producers Timbaland, R. Kelly, Wyclef Jean and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. The funky "No, No, No" reached both the US and UK Top 10, and was followed by further hits including "With Me" and "Get On The Bus", the latter taken from the Why Do Fools Fall In Love? soundtrack.
The quartet's second album The Writing's On The Wall was premiered by "Bills, Bills, Bills", a track which echoed the men-bashing sentiments of TLC's massive summer hit "No Scrubs", and even featured the same producer (Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs). The song provided the quartet with their first US chart-topper in July 1999, and also reached the UK Top 10. The album featured a greater creative input from the quartet, although they still relied on a heavyweight production crew including Rodney Jerkins, Missy Elliott, Chad Elliot, and Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Toné!. Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams joined the group in February 2000 to replace the departing Roberson and Luckett. A month later the quartet topped the US Hot 100 with "Say My Name". Despite ongoing personal problems, with Franklin leaving in August, Destiny's Child enjoyed further transatlantic hits with "Jumpin', Jumpin'" and "Independent Women Part 1". The latter, taken from the soundtrack of Charlie's Angels, topped the US charts for an incredible eleven weeks.
Now firmly established as the group's leader, Knowles took control of songwriting and production on the ultra-slick and hugely successful Survivor. In 2002, she made her acting debut as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers In Goldmember, and released the solo single "Work It Out". Rowland branched out into solo work during the same year, enjoying a massive transatlantic hit with "Dilemma", a collaboration with rapper Nelly. Knowles, now referred to simply as Beyoncé, enjoyed massive solo hits the following year with "Crazy In Love," a collaboration with rapper and beau, Jay-Z and the album Dangerously In Love.