Soul Survivors: The Official Autobiography of Destiny's Child

Overview

It must be a part of human nature to love drama. We never would have sold as many records — and we never would have been this popular — if our member changes did not happen. Up until that point, we were squeaky-clean nice girls who couldn't get on the cover of any magazines.

—Beyoncé Knowles

They're beautiful, they're talented, they're bootylicious . . .

From first kisses and broken hearts to pillow fights and...

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Overview

It must be a part of human nature to love drama. We never would have sold as many records — and we never would have been this popular — if our member changes did not happen. Up until that point, we were squeaky-clean nice girls who couldn't get on the cover of any magazines.

—Beyoncé Knowles

They're beautiful, they're talented, they're bootylicious . . .

From first kisses and broken hearts to pillow fights and legal battles to losing friends and finding strength in God, Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams share it all. Their example of survival has made Destiny's Child one of the most beloved, bestselling female groups ever.

Here for the first time, the three share the struggles that have made them stronger, from Beyoncé's battles with weight loss and shyness, Kelly's coming to terms with growing up without a dad, and Michelle's triumph over grade-school bullies. They've grown up under the media microscope, and have had to deal with lineup changes and media rumors. Now they set the record straight.

The demands and drama, the schedules and scrutiny — from the tour bus to the dressing rooms to backstage at awards shows, Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle talk about what it takes to be successful. Whether it's changing outfits in the rain, changing their hair color, or changing a name, they've done it.

Don't be mistaken, they're not a prefab group of young girls — they're smart, independent women with a lot of soul. When these ladies had only minutes of studio time to work with Wyclef Jean to remix one of their songs, they didn't stress, they just started singing faster — and the result was a unique sound that put them on the map. Everyone has caught on to the Destiny's Child groove — Whitney Houston, Bono, and Michael Jackson have all given them props, and the King of Pop himself serenaded them with a rendition of “Bootylicious.”

Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle take you behind the scenes of a video rehearsal at which Aaliyah rewound their practice music, to the set of Austin Powers 3, where a starstruck Beyoncé felt anything but foxy before auditioning for the part of Foxxy Cleopatra, and backstage at the Grammys, where a last-minute costume change fiasco nearly kept Michelle from going onstage.

With total honesty, these soul survivors not only dish the details of their past, but share their hopes, plans, and dreams for the future.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Even if you don't uphold Destiny's Child fashion statement(s), you have to admire the group's gumption. These sassy singers don't just turn heads; they sell records by the millions, win Grammys, and influence fellow musicians. This solid autobiography presents these three soul survivors in an empowering light.
VOYA
Young and a smash hit in the music world, this singing group logically pens an official autobiography, particularly to counter the others that are unauthorized. Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child, an all-female pop group, tell of the stresses of being talented children, the competition of the teen music scene, and the comforts of friends, family, and faith. Bouncing back and forth among their voices, they tell the same episode or present a fresh incident in a controversial public life. Each member's distinctive personality reflects that of an average twenty-one-year-old. Quite outspoken, they love to make clear all the slights that they have suffered-particularly from the men in their business-and they dwell on their negative publicity. They are also thankful for all the good things and repeatedly express affection for those who have been benevolent to them. Faith is a constant presence here. The level of whine in this book, however, can become annoying and interferes with any reader trying to formulate an objective impression. The appendixes contain a concerts list, favorite CDs, Bible quotes, and an awards list to complement the "Life Lessons from Destiny's Child." Fans will love this book and its great collection of photographs. Clothes, makeup, hair, and travel get significant attention. The group continues its collective popularity as each member tries to establish an independent name. Teen readers, mostly younger ones, will want to see this book and perhaps another written by Tina Knowles, Beyoncé's mother, Destiny's Style (Regan Books, 2002). VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P M J S A/YA (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest inthe subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Regan Books/HarperCollins, 280p,
— Patricia Morrow
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060094171
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland grew up singing together in Houston, Texas. With the help of Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and the group's manager, they went on to form Destiny's Child. A few years and three group members later, Michelle Williams joined them, and since then the three have been more successful than ever. Kelly and Beyoncé live together in Houston, and Michelle lives outside of Chicago.

Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland grew up singing together in Houston, Texas. With the help of Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and the group's manager, they went on to form Destiny's Child. A few years and three group members later, Michelle Williams joined them, and since then the three have been more successful than ever. Kelly and Beyoné live together in Houston, and Michelle lives outside of Chicago.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Beyoncé



I was in first grade when my mom asked me what I learned at school that day and I said, “A song.” She was standing at the sink washing dishes, but then she wiped her hands on her apron, turned around, and looked at me. “Well, that's nice,” she said. “Let's hear it.” I was sitting at the kitchen table, and I stood up to sing it for her just like my teacher had taught me. I'll never forget that feeling. I loved performing for my mom — it was a rush. Even before that, my parents used to sing to me all the time. My dad tells me that as a baby, I would go crazy whenever I heard music, and I tried to dance before I could even walk. He has the embarrassing videos to prove it!

A Star Is Born


I, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, made my grand entrance at Park Plaza Hospital in Houston on September 4, 1981. My mom claims that it was an easy and relatively painless birth — unlike some of my other entrances. The deal my parents made before I was born was that my dad would pick my middle name and my mom would choose my first name. So Beyoncé comes from her — it's actually her maiden name. Through the years, I have grown to love it, but when I was little, it was just another reason for kids to pick on me. Every morning when the teacher would take roll call, I wanted to crawl under my desk.

In school, I was the really shy, quiet girl who always looked at the ground and never raised her hand in class. No one would have believed that my mom owned her own beauty salon, because Iwent out of my way not to look too pretty. I did everything I could to not draw attention to myself. People form opinions of you no matter who you are and how you look. It's a common myth with some African Americans that if a girl has a light complexion and long hair, she thinks she's cute. I can't help it that my complexion is light. I always got opinions formed about me'people thought I was stuck-up. It was not only because of how I looked, but because I was quiet. Some people misunderstand quietness and shyness'they think you're full of yourself. They don't even give you a chance. With those two strikes against me already, there was no way that I was about to let anyone in school know I could sing! That would just make things worse. The girls already gave me looks, because the boys used to think I was cute and tried to talk to me on the playground. But I just acted like I didn't hear the boys calling me and walked away from them.

That's part of the reason why I was so quiet, because I felt like I would have to prove myself and I didn't know what to say, so I would rather not say anything. I would just smile and be quiet.

In class, I was especially quiet. I didn't really talk. I always got an Excellent in conduct, because I would sit quietly and do my work. I was like that up until ninth grade, when I left to be homeschooled. I never felt like I fit in completely with kids my age. I felt uncomfortable with a lot of attention. I was still sociable, but during class, I didn't talk. I remember whenever anyone would try to talk to me, I would whisper, “Stop, you're going to get me in trouble!”

If I got called on, like if I had to go up to the blackboard to do a math problem, I would get very nervous. I was a B student. I would make A's and B's and some C's, but mostly A's and B's. I wasn't the kind of kid who didn't have to work for those grades. Some kids don't have to study hard. I definitely had to study in school.

I loved math. It was fun for me, sort of like figuring out riddles. I really liked it when I could help somebody else with problems, teach another kid the tricks to doing math. I was always fascinated by how complicated it looked and how simple it really was. Something about breaking it down and making it simple was fun and exciting for me. But at one point, in the seventh grade, I struggled with it a lot. I was scared of the numbers — they intimidated me. So did this boy who sat next to me. He used to call me dumb, and stupid, and ugly. I was already shy, and so I just believed it. I wore boy clothes all the time, because I was chunky. He made me feel self-conscious. I didn't know at the time that he really talked about me because he liked me. He had me thinking I wasn't really smart. He would say, “You just can't get it because you're dumb.” And if I would answer a question wrong, he would laugh and whisper, “Ha, ha! You messed up because you're dumb.” You know how guys are when they like you — that's normal behavior, unfortunately.

But my mom said, “You are not dumb, Beyoncé. We're going to get you a tutor and you will be able to do those problems.” It was long division that was giving me the headaches. I would get in trouble if I brought home bad grades, because I had no reason to. I was lucky, because my mom always offered to help me. So I got a tutor and worked really hard. Her name was Miss Little, and I was scared of her. She was so strict...

Soul Survivors. Copyright © by Beyonce Knowles. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2002

    Good Book!

    This book was great. I thought Beyonce' got special treatment but after reading this book I changed my mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2010

    Amazing book!!!

    The book was amazing. It really let me into how their lives really were, which was practically the opposite of what the media had always lead me to think. I absolutely loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2004

    This is a pimp book

    This was a really great book and it let you know more about them. It also lets you know the real DC-3 and not how the media puts them. I think that they did good writing this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2002

    It Was Great!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It was great because you really feel like you know them in the book they tell you alot about themselves and you really get to see that Beyonce is not who the media potrays her to be. Get the Book it's worth your money and your time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2002

    The truth is finally told.

    The ladies of DC-3 did a great job at writing this book. It lets fans know what went on in the group and how happy they are now. It also likes fans in on their plans for the future.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2002

    Great AutoBiography

    I am already a fan of DC (Destiny's Child) so I picked up the book at a book signing in B&N for DC. Upon reading the book, I really enjoyed being able to relate to the group without the opinions of critics or anyone else. The pictures were ok, and I read the book in 1 day because it was light reading. I must say that it kept my attention which is very hard because i'm a college student and that's hard to do when my nose is always stuck in a textbook. Go DC!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2002

    Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think that Destiny's Child did a Good job bring out this book. I gotta have it. I read a extract of the book chapter one its about Beyonce. I think its Great. They are really Survivors. Big Up to Destiny's Child.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2002

    They are truly 'Soul Survivors'!

    I am loving the Official Autobiography. The ladies have given us something that no other person can give. They tell us the up and down sides of their life and the group drama. How they grew up just like normal human beings. Also Kelly Rowland tells us about the absent father in her life. I must say if you want the truth you need to get the book. I will not give away any more secrets to the book. You just have to read it for yourself. I am so proud of the ladies and they are truly 'Soul Survivors' in my opinion!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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