After Destiny’s Child made a surprise appearance on Coachella’s main stage, we reflect on the astonishing careers of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
Beyoncé’s explosive headline slot at Coachella became all the more momentous when none other than Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams were welcomed back to the stage. Performing some of their most celebrated music, Destiny’s Child put on a show that left fans wishing they had never split…
This surprise appearance marked the first time in 12 years that the trio had performed together live. Their emotional farewell gig at the NBA All Star game in Houston, 2006, waved goodbye to the very city in which they formed. Indeed, as the most hard-core of DC-3 fans will recall, Beyoncé remained true to her word: “It’s the last album, but not the last show.”
Destiny’s Child have not always been so effortlessly successful; their early stages were wrought with teething problems and internal turmoil. Originally named Girl’s Tyme, the group were comprised of Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett. They enjoyed moderate success up until 1997, when they were offered a deal by Columbia Records and rebranded themselves as Destiny’s Child. Two years later, they released Writing’s on the Wall. This would be the record that propelled them to international stardom, fuelled by hits like ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ and ‘Say My Name’.
But it was not a smooth journey to the top; both Luckett and Roberson were pushing the rest of the group to break away from manager and father of Beyoncé, Mathew Knowles. They had claimed that Mathew was favouring Knowles and Rowland, to the detriment of the other members. Eventually, this regrettable turmoil was resolved and all litigation ceased. The resulting formation of Destiny’s Child, at the turn of the century, was Michelle Williams, Farrah Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland.
After Farrah dropped out within 5 months, the group reached its magical form that tens of thousands of adoring fans welcomed to the Coachella main stage. Destiny’s Child third studio album, Survivor, pumped out global hits like ‘Independent Woman’, ‘Survivor’ and of course, ‘Bootylicious’. By the end of their stint, the trio had sold 60m records globally, been nominated for 14 Grammys (winning 2 for Best RnB Group Performance and 1 for Best RnB song) were dubbed the greatest musical trio of all time by Billboard and ranked in the All Time Hot 100 Artists list by 2008. Today, anyone lucky enough to stroll down Hollywood’s Walk of Fame will notice the words “Destiny’s Child” engraved into one of the iconic pink stars on the sidewalk.
Alas, in 2002 a hiatus was announced and fans were left nervously nibbling their nails. Despite popular belief, there was not the kind of bad blood brewing which plagued the early part of the group’s career, at all. In fact, this was a period of breathing space for each member, who were given an opportunity to begin fostering their own solo projects. After mixed success, all three members came back together two years after for their self-proclaimed ultimate LP. Entitled Destiny Fulfilled, their unique brand of urban-dance-pop graced the musical stage for the last time. Although it did not achieve as much monumental success as Survivor, Destiny’s Child nevertheless went down as one of the most commercially successful girl bands of all time, inspiring artists like Rhianna, Little Mix, Girls Aloud, Katy B, Ciara, Ariana Grande and Britney Spears.
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And so, after the disbandment of our beloved Destiny’s Child, we are brought to the present day career of Miss Knowles It All; Queen B herself. In many ways, this Coachella set will go down in history; after all, it is not often that we see females headlining prestigious stages like this. Before Lady Gaga’s set in 2017, there had not been a female pop artist headliner at Coachella since it launched 18 years ago. Of course, Bee was meant to have headlined back in 2017, but her pregnancy did not allow it. Fortunately, Lady Gaga stepped in and put on a record breaking show.
Up until this point, Beyoncé’s career has gone from strength to strength. Her debut album Dangerously in Love carried with it global hits ‘Crazy In Love’ and ‘Baby Boy’. Her 2006, album B’Day yet again bestowed her with No. 1s: ‘De Ja Vu’, ‘Irreplaceable’ and ‘Beautiful Liar’. 2008’s LP I Am Sasha Fierce introduced to the world her newly fabricated alter-ego and was received with 6 Grammys. In total, Queen B has sold 100m records worldwide, making her one of the most commercially successful artists ever. By 2014 she became the highest paid black musician on the planet and was mentioned in Time’s list of the top 100 most influential people in the world. Indeed, her music video for ‘Single Ladies’ has thus far racked up 635m YouTube views and ignited an online frenzy of copy-cat/parody videos.
As we reflect on the breath-taking performance of Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child at Coachella, we are confronted with the exciting prospect of new music and shows to come. Fans across the globe are waiting and hoping that more dates and concerts might be announced. But until then, let us relish the show we have just beheld and appreciate the ground breaking and extraordinary talents that are Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
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