How Did Beyoncé Make It?

Beyonce Knowles
Beyoncé durante el The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour en colonia en el Lanxess Arena by J.ébey
Know who is in your corner and willing to devote themselves to your advancement. Stay devoted to them. - says Lisa Popeil

Beyoncé Giselle Knowles was born in Houston, Texas in 1981 and is of African, Native American, French and Irish descent. In elementary school, Beyoncé enrolled in dance classes. Her interest in music and performing was ignited after winning a school talent show at age seven. Beyoncé moved to a music-focused elementary school in Houston and performed in the school choir; she also performed as a soloist in church for a few years.

Girl’s Tyme

At the age of eight, Beyoncé and her childhood friend, Kelly Rowland, attended an audition for a girl group. Along with four other girls, Beyoncé and Kelly were placed in an all-girl group called “Girl’s Tyme” which sang and rapped throughout the talent show circuit in Houston.

An R&B producer from Northern California, Arne Frager, saw Girl’s Tyme and placed them on the talent show contest “Star Search”. The group failed to win (perhaps because of the song choice) and Beyoncé’s father, Matthew Knowles, quit his job selling medical equipment to form his music company, Music World Entertainment in 1992 in order to manage his daughter’s career.

Cut to four members, the girls auditioned for labels and were eventually signed to Elektra Records, and then to Atlanta Records to make their first recording. Before any release, Atlanta Records cut the girl group from its roster. Within two years of several more signings and droppings, Girl’s Tyme landed a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Beyonce Knowles

Destiny’s Child and Beyond

In 1996, the group changed their name to Destiny’s Child (based on a passage from the Bible). The following year, the foursome’s debut song “Killing Time” was featured in the 1997 film “Men in Black”. In 1998, Destiny’s Child released their debut album featuring their first major hit “No, No, No” and began to achieve moderate sales and won several Soul Train awards.

The group’s multi-platinum second album was released in 1999, featuring their first #1 single “Jumpin’ Jumpin” and their Grammy-award winning, signature song “Say My Name”. When two members complained about the management of Matthew Knowles, they were replaced. This threw Beyoncé into a two year depression after she was blamed for the split by the media.

With the new line-up, their next song “Independent Women Part 1” was placed in the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels. The highly successful third Destiny’s Child album “Survivor” and a 2001 holiday album would mark the beginning of the end, as the group decided to take a hiatus in order to pursue solo careers. The group did make a final album in 2004 together and formally broke up the following year.

By this point, Beyoncé had acted in an MTV Made-for-TV film Carmen: A Hip Hopera and continued her acting endeavors in Austin Powers: Goldmember and The Fighting Temptations.

Her first solo album “Dangerously in Love” was released in 2003 and as of 2012 was Beyoncé’s best-selling album, with sales of 11 million and earning five awards at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards.

What This Means to You:

The more skills you have, the more marketable you are.

  1. Beyoncé is a triple threat: dancing, singing, acting. The more skills you have, the more marketable you are.
  2. Work hard to get your songs placed in film and TV – this can break an act into the big-time.
  3. Groups can be fraught with emotional politics and can leave some members in the dust.
  4. Performing young and often can help you develop your on-stage charisma and professionalism.
  5. Know who is in your corner and willing to devote themselves to your advancement. Stay devoted to them.
  6. Think long-term. Overnight success is extremely rare.
  7. Make your looks and your health a priority. Often the most beautiful or handsome performer wins.

-Lisa Popeil

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