Soul Survivors: The Official Autobiography of Destiny's Child

Soul Survivors: The Official Autobiography of Destiny's Child


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Soul Survivors: The Official Autobiography of Destiny's Child by Beyonce Knowles, Kelendria Rowland, Michelle Williams

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060094171
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/16/2002
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.89(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


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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