Famous Years: 1997 – 2006
Currently Known For: Solo Artists, Actresses, Television Personalities and Record Producers
Networth: $600 Million
Famous For: Survivor and The Writing’s On the Wall Albums, ‘Say My Name’, ‘Independent Women’ and ‘Bootylicious’
“Ooh, two things I don’t like when I’m tryna get my groove is a partner that meets me only halfway and just can’t prove.” The music industry was taken by storm in 1997 when an American girl group known as Destiny’s Child topped the charts with Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland and (the now exceptionally famous) Beyonce Knowles taking the stage to sold-out venues around the world. But, truth be told, it all started in 1990 when Knowles and Rowland met in Houston, Texas and formed a girl group known as Girl’s Tyme.
On the way to stardom
Although the band didn’t have much success and even lost the competition during their stage debut on Star Search, Knowles and Rowland were well on their way to stardom with Knowles’ father agreeing to manage the girls. Cutting the band down from six to four members and booking the group gigs at local salons and age-friendly venues, Knowles’ father handled their schedule while her mom sewed all their costumes. Along the way, the band changed names numerous times before settling on Destiny’s Child in 1996. Shortly after, they landed a contract with Music World Entertainment and Columbia Records in 1997.
Nearly a decade after meeting, Knowles and Rowland saw their hard work and persistence finally pay off in 1998 when they released their self-titled album, which sold over one million copies in the United States. Following up the release with The Writing’s on the Wall in 1999, their second album became an instant best-seller thanks to two hit singles “Say My Name” and “Bills, Bills, Bills.” Unfortunately, their growing success couldn’t overshadow the troubles among the band as original members—LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson—left the group after arguing that Knowles’ father favored his daughter and Rowland more than them. As luck would have it, this made room for Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin, who left the group only a year later in 2000. Destiny’s Child as the world came to know them—with Knowles, Rowland and Williams taking center stage—was born.
From 2000 to 2006, the trio released a long list of top-selling albums and songs with some of their greatest hits including “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women” and “Survivor.” In 2004, they released their final album together titled Destiny Fulfilled. By then, the women were eyeing solo careers of their own as they split up in 2006 with over 60 million records sold worldwide with Billboard Magazine ranking them as one of the top musical trios in music history and the ninth most successful group to come out of the new millennium. How’s that for success!
Releasing their greatest hits album #1’s in 2005, Destiny’s Child gave their farewell performance on February 19, 2006 at the NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas where Knowles said, “It’s the last album, but it’s not the last show.” Days later, the group gave their final televised performance in New York at the Fashion Rockets benefit concert. Less than a month later, on March 28, 2006, the band was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame honoring their contributions to the music industry and their three “Best Group” BET Awards from 2001, 2005 and 2006.
After parting ways, Knowles, Williams and Rowland launched their solo careers with varying levels of success while keeping their promise to always remain friends and collaborate with one another on albums, videos and live performances. In fact, this promise took center stage in 2007 when Knowles released the “Get Me Bodied” music video featuring her sister, Solange, and her Destiny’s Child bandmates. Of course, neither Williams nor Rowland have achieved the same level of success that Knowles has over the last decade.
Now known as Beyonce and praised as one of the best-selling music artists of all time, Knowles is worth around $600 million while Rowland is sitting on a cool $20 million and Williams is worth an easy $8 million. Today, the 35-year-old Beyonce has taken home 22 Grammy Awards and 24 MTV Video Music Awards making her the most awarded artist at both events. Often selling out venues around the world with energy-packed performances, dazzling costumes and killer vocals, she was named the highest paid black musician in history in 2014 and was listed as the most powerful female in entertainment in 2015 by Forbes magazine.
As for Beyonce’s bandmates, the 36-year-old Rowland is enjoying ongoing success as a singer, songwriter and actress with four Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards and two Soul Train Music Awards. She’s starred in films like Freddy v. Jason and even joined the reality television circuit as a celebrity judge on The X Factor UK and The X Factor USA. In 2014, she was ranked as one of Fuse’s “100 Most-Award Winning Artists.” Following similar suit, the 36-year-old Williams is also enjoying moderate success as an actress, record producer and former WNBA team owner. Now a well-known star on Broadway thanks to her performances in productions of Aida, The Color Purple and Chicago, Williams has earned a Grammy Award as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Today, the trio continues to stay close friends after making waves in the music industry in the late 1990s when they were often compared to the 1960s group, The Supremes. Revolutionizing female singers of their generation, some are even calling Knowles the Diana Ross of the 21st century since Ross was the frontwoman of the Supremes just like Knowles was the frontwoman of Destiny’s Child. Whatever the case, it’s undeniable that Knowles, Williams and Rowland changed the face of R&B and have inspired dozens of artists from Little Mix and Rihanna to Jess Glynne, Fifth Harmony, Katy B and Rich Girl. And for that, there isn’t a price tag or an expiration date.