Beyonce Knowles is the elder of two children born to Matthew Knowles and Tina Beyonce in Houston, Texas; her maternal grandparents, Lumis Beyonce and Agnes Dereon (a seamstress), were French-speaking Creoles from Louisiana. Her parents decided on her first name as a tribute to her mother's surname. By age seven, she was attending dance school and was a soloist in her church choir. Her dance instructor took an interest in Knowles, personally taking her star student to various competitions. Knowles went on to win over 30 local singing and dancing competitions.
Knowles and her former best friend LaTavia Roberson met Kelly Rowland and LeToya Luckett. They formed a quartet that would perform in their backyards and in Tina Knowles' hair salon. After singing at local events, they got their break when they entered Star Search . The group, then named "Girl's Tyme" , were heartbroken after losing the competition. Matthew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and Rowland's legal guardian, decided to help the girls reach their dreams of becoming singers. He quit his six figure salary job as a multi-million dollar equipment salesman at Xerox to manage the group. This decision by Mathew eventually affected the whole family. Their income had been cut in half, causing the family to move into two different apartments. When the group was signed to Columbia in 1996, it gave the entire family a second chance at making things work.
As a teenager, Knowles attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where she showed her musical talents. She later went to Alief Elsik High School, also in Houston.
Main article: Destiny's Child
Destiny's Child was originally signed by Elektra in 1995, but were dropped before they could release their debut album. The quartet was signed to Columbia Records the following year, and their career took off. Destiny's Child rose to fame in 1998 with the Billboard top ten hit, "No, No, No Part 2". Even after much publicized turmoil involving new and exiting group members, Destiny's Child (eventually a trio consisting of original members Knowles and Rowland, with Michelle Williams) managed to become one of the most successful pop/R&B acts of the late 1990s/early 2000s, earning four number one Billboard Hot 100 singles, several top ten hits, and two number-one albums. The group also earned number ones on various other Billboard and non-Billboard charts.
Knowles and Destiny's Child toured as an opening act for TLC before their self-titled debut album Destiny's Child was released. The band was managed by her father, Matthew Knowles, who is acknowledged as a strong force in Beyoncé's life. Knowles is generally regarded as its leader.
Destiny's Child's self-titled debut album (1998) (Knowles in the far right)
Their 1998 platinum-selling debut album was produced by Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri and featured the platinum-selling, number-one Hot 100 single "No, No, No". The group's second album, The Writing's on the Wall, released in 1999, featured two number-one hits in "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name". "Bug A Boo" and "Jumpin',Jumpin'" were also popular singles from the album. "Say My Name" won two awards at the 2001 Grammy Awards for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best R&B Song, the latter of which was awarded to the songwriters, which included Knowles.
Their next album, Survivor, proved to be another big success, going to number one on both the American Billboard 200 and R&B Albums charts, as well as the Canadian and the UK album chart. Two singles from the album went to the top of the Hot 100: "Independent Women Part 1" and "Bootylicious", with the album's title track reaching number two. In the United Kingdom, the first two tracks released reached number one consecutively. "Independent Women Part 1" had been the theme song for the film Charlie's Angels in late 2000, before the album's 2001 release.
The title track, "Survivor", would win the group their third Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The album's fourth single, "Emotion", was a cover of the Bee Gees hit of the same name; it continued the group's impressive string of top ten hits.
In 2001, Knowles won the Songwriter of the Year award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Pop Music Awards. She is the first African American woman, and the second woman of any race to win the award.
Destiny's Child's final album, #1's (2005). Beyoncé Knowles (middle of the three)
After the three year hiatus that involved concentration on individual solo projects, Knowles rejoined Rowland and Williams for Destiny's Child's fourth (and so far final) studio album, Destiny Fulfilled, released November 2004. The album hit number two on the Billboard 200 and spawned the hits "Lose My Breath", "Soldier", "Girl" and "Cater 2 U". The album title itself was a hint that Destiny Fulfilled may in fact be the last Destiny's Child album and so far that has been be the case.
In 2005, Destiny's Child embarked on a world tour sponsored by McDonald's titled, Destiny Fulfilled and Lovin' It, visiting over 70 cities throughout Australia, Asia, Europe and North America from April to September. On June 13, 2005 it was announced that the group would disband after their world tour ended in September 2005.
In October 2005, the group released their final album, entitled #1's, including all of Destiny's Child's number-one hits and most of their well-known songs. The Greatest Hits collection also includes three new tracks, including "Stand Up for Love" and "Check on It". The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart and number six on the UK Top 75 chart. The song "Check on It" was Knowles's third number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
In 2005 at the World Music Awards, Destiny's Child were given the award for the biggest-selling girl group of all time with record sales of over 50 million.