“All my ladies leave your man at home – the club is full of ballers and their pocket’s full grown.” This is one of the many iconic lines that Destiny’s Child used to sing their way into our hearts. The R&B girl group was iconic and rocked the world from 1990 until 1996, and the world has not been the same since.
These ladies took the music world by storm, but not before stirring up some drama. Their rise to fame was certainly a bumpy one. Some members went on to have amazing solo careers, while others struggled just to get by. This is the story of Destiny’s Child, legends of the 2000s music scene!
Who Was in Destiny’s Child?
Destiny’s Child went through some changes both before and after they stepped into the spotlight. Some of these changes were a bit more public than others, and there was definitely a ton of drama when it came to who would be seen as the true powerhouse of the group. They all wanted to be the leader of the group.
While we know them now as a trio, they started out as six members before shaving down to four, then finally three. Beyoncé Knowles met rapper LaTavia Robertson at an audition, and Kelly Rowland moved into the Knowles family home when things got rough with her family. Ultimately, we know the group members now as Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams.
They Went by a Different Name
When the group was being put together, they were first known as Girls Tyme. The group was formed in 1990, a full seven years before they would become Destiny’s Child, the group we know and love. They were not signed by the record label under this name, and though Girls Tyme did not last long, Destiny’s Child would not have made it without their humble beginnings.
When Girls Tyme was formed, Beyoncé was only nine years old. No wonder, then, that they did not work out; they needed to develop as strong females a bit more before they were able to truly take off. The group appeared on Star Search in 1992, but unfortunately did not win.
They Started Out With Six Members
The girl group Girls Tyme was formed in Houston in 1990. Originally, their lineup consisted of six members. Beyoncé was joined by LaTavia Roberson, Kelly Rowland, Támar Davis, and sisters Nikki and Nina Taylor. Their manager, Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s dad, decided to make some changes to the group’s lineup.
Mathew Knowles decided to cut Davis and the Taylor sisters and replace them with LeToya Luckett. The group ended up changing their name to Destiny and were signed with Elektra Records before being dropped after a couple of months. Luckily, their manager secured the four girls with a spot at Columbia Records, ultimately creating Destiny’s Child.
They had released an album before their breakthrough, which was self-titled. Their sophomore album, The Writing’s on the Wall is seen as what really put them on the map. This album alone gave the world four notable hits that we can remember the words for to this day! Can you guess what they are?
Some of these hits included “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “Bug a Boo,” “Say My Name,” and “Jumpin, Jumpin.” Not long after this, Beyoncé announced that LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson were no longer going to be part of their newly formed musical empire. Sorry, ladies! Better luck next time…
Taking Mathew Knowles to Court
Beyoncé’s dad was searching for fame and fortune for his daughter and her band and was not afraid to step on some toes in the meantime. Shortly after leaving the group, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson dragged their former manager through the mud in a lawsuit, citing his clear favoritism of certain band members.
Their lawsuit was very publicized and made some pretty hefty, extreme claims. According to Rolling Stone, the lawsuit claimed that Knowles “attempted to gain legal guardianship of Luckett and Roberson, refused to share financial information with them and their parents.” The girls also claimed they did not even know they were kicked out of the group until they heard the new hit song, “Say My Name.”
The Lawsuit Dragged On
Roberson and Luckett were not stopping at suing their manager. The two also slapped the original members, Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, with lawsuits of their own. The lawsuit charged them with “breach of contract, defamation, libel, and fraud.” What on earth could they be referring to? It sounds like they are just really bummed to be pushed out of the group.
Eventually, both sides made up, but everything happened behind closed doors. Rolling Stone confirmed that the lawsuit was settled in 2002, though the terms were not disclosed. It sounds to us like they might have just been a bit salty for not making the cut when the group really started soaring!
Shade Anthems for the Ages
Beyoncé and her crew definitely had thoughts about their former bandmates after they left the group. Granted, it was not entirely their choice, but they can still have their opinions! With their new bandmates in place, these musical sensations on the rise released “Survivor.” This song appeared on the soundtrack for Charlie’s Angels.
Fans of the group also had their thoughts and opinions on what the hidden meaning of the song might be. They definitely believed that the lyrics were crafted to diss their recently departed bandmates with some lyrics that cut deep; “Thought that I’d be helpless without you / But I’m smarter / You thought that I’d be stressed without you / But I’m chillin’ / You thought I wouldn’t sell without you / Sold 9 million.”
The Lawsuit Obsession
LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson seemed to chase the group down with any lawsuit they could. Luckett and Roberson filed a federal lawsuit against the group yet again, claiming that the lyrics to “Survivor” were a breach of the contract from their previous settlement.
Destiny’s Child’s lawyer also had a lot to say about the constant lawsuits coming from the former band members. “It’s unfortunate that the plaintiffs have nothing better to do with their time than to dream up new lawsuits.” You hear that, sizzle? Yup, that’s a total burn.
Farrah Franklin Joins the Group
In January 2000, Farrah Franklin and Michelle Williams were invited to join Destiny’s Child, and they accepted. Farrah did not stay in the group long, though – she abruptly left the group after just six months. She was initially hired to be an extra in the music video for “Bills, Bills, Bills,” which is when she first met the band members.
When she was in the video, she was in another musical group called Jane Doe, which was in the process of disbanding. Not long after the video, the Knowles family invited her to join the group to replace other members who had just been kicked out. She was introduced in their video for the hit song “Say My Name,” and fans loved her.
Not long after joining the group, Farrah Franklin left the group. She left after just six months with Destiny’s Child. Naturally, Queen Bey spoke out to get ahead of what happened so no one else could beat her to it. A statement was released sharing that Farrah was no longer going to be part of the group, leaving fans shocked.
When MTV broke the news that they would be moving from a quartet to a trio, they also brought up a point Beyoncé made before: Farrah was not showing up for work when she was supposed to. MTV interviewed Mathew Knowles, who revealed the same thing; he added that Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland never missed a show.
Farrah Went Downhill
Unfortunately, Destiny’s Child did not work out in Farrah’s favor. Even more, life did not seem to work out in her favor, either. According to The Daily Beast, she was dropped by not one but two record labels when she tried to break into her solo career. When that did not pan out, she spent some time on Patti Stranger’s Millionaire Matchmaker. She even showed up hours late to her date, and that was the end of that career!
She also ended up with some interesting photos – her mugshots. In 2011, 2014, and 2016, she was arrested for disorderly conduct – specifically, for public intoxication and marijuana possession. According to TMZ, this happened after she had an argument with a man at 3 a.m. She was held with a bail of $250, which she, unfortunately, could not pay.
The Group Broke Up
During a concert in Barcelona, Spain in 2004, Kelly Rowland shared heartbreaking news that this show would be their last. The 16,000 loyal fans in the audience were sad to hear it, but they were probably super happy to be at their last show. MTV released the band’s breakup statement, which was exactly what you’d expect.
The statement read as followed; “After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny’s Child on a high note. No matter what happens, we will always love each other as friends and sisters and will always support each other as artists.”
We’re Still Shocked by the Split
Yeah, we are still super upset about the loss of one of our favorite musical groups of all time. According to MTV News, they were one of “the top-selling female pop groups in history.” The group was still together when Michelle Williams released her EP of gospel songs in 2002, as well as when Beyoncé released her solo album, Dangerously in Love, in 2003.
MTV News reported that Destiny’s Child said goodbye to their fans once and for all in their final concert at GM Place in Vancouver, Canada. Their fans would miss them, but they knew that they certainly would be seeing more of these iconic artists – even if it meant they had to go solo.
Michelle Williams Was Struggling With Her Mental Health
Life in the spotlight does not allow for much time to deal with personal issues. When Destiny’s Child was peaking, Michelle Williams was struggling to feel like herself again. In 2017, she revealed on The Talk that she battles depression. She shared that she expressed this to her manager, who did not have the best response.
“When I disclosed it to our manager at the time, bless his heart, he was like, ‘Y’all just signed a multi-million-dollar deal and you’re about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?'” she said, adding, “So I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m just tired.'” It sounds like her manager needed a reality check, because all the money in the world won’t cure depression!
Her Struggle Continued
Michelle Williams struggled for two decades before she was able to recognize that what she was feeling required the help of a professional. While at her lowest point, she had suicidal thoughts. She understood them enough to seek help before her problems were no longer manageable.
“I think at the age of 25, had I had a name to what I was feeling at the time, I would have disclosed that I’ve been suffering from depression,” she told Good Morning America. In 2018, she posted on Instagram and shared that she had sought the help of healthcare professionals. “Today I proudly, happily and healthily stand here as someone who will continue to always lead by example as I tirelessly advocate for the betterment of those in need.”
Mathew Knowles Tells All
Even a decade later, Beyoncé’s old man is doing what he can to keep the Destiny’s Child name alive – and make a profit from it at the same time. He told Forbes in 2019 about his upcoming professional moves; “We’re working on a Destiny’s Child play… It’s from my perspective,” he told the publication. Wow, how exciting – a play about the experiences of the musical group from someone who was not even in it!
He described his next career moves in his interview. “My next book is Destiny’s Child: The Untold Story. People really don’t know the true story of how it all unfolded. I’m now telling my story,” he said. Apparently, the book is entirely about him and his story, not even anything about Destiny’s Child. Sorry Mathew, you’re irrelevant to fans!
Queen of Coachella
In 2018, Queen Bey was one of the headline artists at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Bey redefined the term desert storm when she took the main stage. She rocked everyone’s world, even more so when she brought certain guests on stage. Everyone was expecting her husband, Jay-Z, to come on stage. They even expected her sister Solange to appear. What they got was even more exciting.
Late in the California desert evening, Beyoncé brought out former band mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams during her headline set. They began their surprise performance with their hits Lose My Breath, Say My Name, and Soldier. The crowd went wild and was beyond ecstatic to see their favorites back on stage together for the first time since the Stellar Gospel Music Awards in 2015!
Beyoncé’s Parents Went Broke Trying to Make Destiny’s Child Happen
We love a rags-to-riches story. Queen Bey was not always living like royalty as she is now. Her parents Tina and Mathew Knowles filed for bankruptcy in 1995. That same year, they were slapped with lawsuits for bounced checks. They apparently had filed it for the third time in 1995 – definitely a year they would love to forget.
Tina and Mathew split up in 1995. Maybe it was because of their money problems, but that’s not really for us to say. Tina Knowles moved into a small townhouse with Bey, Solange, and Kelly Rowland. Radar Online wrote that her money problems were so significant that she struggled to pay the bills and pay for groceries.
Kelly Rowland Moved In With the Knowles Family as a Kid
Rowland was growing up in a toxic household and was lucky to have a family that was able to stand in and help her. Rowland moved in with the Knowles family and grew up alongside Beyoncé and her sister Solange. The girls were the same age and had a strong bond that persists until this day.
Her relationship with the Knowles family does not stop there. She had a special relationship with Tina, as well. Tina walked Rowland down the aisle at her wedding because her own mother was too sick to do it herself. She felt supported by her and lucky to have grown up with the Knowles family.
Survivor: The Destiny’s Child Musical
A Destiny’s Child movie was set to premiere in Houston in 2020, but it doesn’t seem like it ended up happening thanks to the recent pandemic. The show was said to offer an “honest, behind-the-scenes look” at how the girl group came together.
Of course, this is another Mathew Knowles project to make a buck off his daughter. Yes, it does indeed seem more like he is making it more about him, and less about the group. “I want to pull back the curtain,” Knowles stated. “I feel it’s time to give the world an opportunity to hear, see and feel the victories and failures that I’ve had as a husband, father and manager who risked everything in pursuit of fulfilling dreams – those of mine and others.”
Mathew Knowles Makes a Musical About Himself
In his efforts to make his musical success, it seems that he enlisted the help of everyone he could – just not the stars themselves. It does not seem that the musical will really tell the story of the stars. They don’t seem like they will be involved at any point in the production or development of the play.
In his plans to make this musical amazing, he teamed up with another Houston native, Je’Caryous Johnson to put together a musical for the ages. Johnson’s notable work includes stage productions like “Redemption of a Dogg” with Snoop Dogg which premiered in Houston in 2018.
Where Are the Six Members Now?
The girls all went on to have very different outcomes in their lives. Some had careers that proved them to be the best of the best, while others struggled to even survive. Kelly Rowland admitted to driving herself crazy over comparing her successes to Beyoncé. Don’t do it, Kelly!
One of the girls even declared that she had been homeless for a moment, which is upsetting, especially coming from a former pop star. We guess anyone can be down on their luck, even celebrities. Their lives took them on such different paths, and some had a better go than others.
Michelle Williams Is Doing Her Own Thing
Michelle Williams released four of her own albums, mostly in the gospel genre. She had a couple of popular songs like “We Break the Dawn” and “Journey to Freedom.” She broke into acting when she starred as Aida in the Broadway musical, Aida. This ended up being a pretty decent career path for her!
She also had leading roles in musicals like The Color Purple, Chicago, Fela! What My Husband Doesn’t Know, and A Snow-White Christmas. She was engaged for about nine months to Pastor Chad Johnson, but they called it off in December 2018.
LaTavia Roberson Moved On
LaTavia Roberson, one of the members booted and replaced, managed to go on to do great things. Roberson and the other member who was kicked out, LeToya Luckett, formed the group Anjel with Naty Quinones and Tiffany Beaudoin. The group split in 2003 and never released an album.
She has remained pretty low-profile but did get cast in a couple of stage plays in 2013; these plays were How to Love and Not My Family. She also starred in the third and final season of R&B Divas: Atlanta in 2014. She released her debut single “Best Time of Your Life” in 2017 and has a son and daughter, Lyric and Londyn, with music producer Don Vito.
LeToya Luckett Had a Rough Go at Things
Things got really bad for LeToya Luckett, but she did have some successes. Her debut album, LeToya, was released in 2006 and subsequent albums were released in 2009 and 2017. Her albums were titled Lady Love (2009) and Back 2 Life (2017). She also tried her hand at acting, landing some great roles.
She acted in Preacher’s Kid in 2010, Lucky Girl in 2016, and Unsolved in 2018. She is a mom now, to a daughter named Gianna and a son named Tyson. She shares the child with her now-ex-husband Tommicus Walker. Her estranged husband is an entrepreneur, and the two announced they were ending their marriage after three years.
LeToya Luckett opened up to her fans on Instagram with some chilling tales of what she experienced when she was booted from the group. She was Beyoncé’s childhood friend and one of the original members of the girl group. Unfortunately, she was hit with some hard times that she struggled to overcome.
In the video she described how she did not have a normal life as a teenager and had not gone to college, nor did she even want to be in the entertainment industry. She described being broke and homeless, living in her car and remaining on a diet of instant noodles and water. That sounds rough and we are glad she isn’t dealing with it anymore (hopefully).
Farrah Franklin Went Downhill
Farrah Franklin pursued a music career of her own, as well as dabbling in some reality TV. Neither one of these worked out in her favor, especially when the rest of the industry caught on to why she had to leave Destiny’s Child; she wouldn’t show up to work and that did not sit right with most people!
After some painful legal problems and a number of public intoxication charges, she has seemingly bounced back. Despite being dropped by two different record labels, she circled back to the music industry when she released a song titled “Push Up on Me” with rapper Maino in 2020.
Kelly Rowland Climbed the Charts
Kelly Rowland did well for herself, like her lifelong friend Beyoncé. She has released four albums on her own, including her 2002 debut, Simply Deep, which came out while Destiny’s Child was at the top of their game. She is known for some hits like “Motivation” and musical collaborations with David Guetta, for his songs “Commander” and “When Love Takes Over.”
Beyond her solo work and notable features, she has gone on to become a TV personality. She was a judge on The X Factor UK in 2011, The X Factor USA in 2013, and The Voice Australia since 2017. She has a son with her husband Tim Weatherspoon, and the two announced in 2020 that they are expecting another little bundle of joy! Their son Titan is about to become a big brother.
Beyoncé Became a Top Dog
Queen Bey bopped her way to the top. This musical sensation has released six albums, including her surprise release albums like “Beyoncé” in 2013, “Lemonade” in 2016, and an album with her husband Jay-Z titled Everything Is Love from 2018. Beyoncé smashed ratings and became the queen we know her as today.
We’re happy to see that she managed to become so successful, even after her parents probably put her through it trying to gain their own success. She has won 21 Grammy awards, a record practically untouched by others in the industry. She was the star of Dream Girls in 2006 and The Lion King in 2019, with a long list of other projects in between. Now, she and Jay-Z share their beautiful children Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir.
Their Label Did Not Believe in the Group
It’s hard to imagine a world without Destiny’s Child. So many people looked down on the group and assumed they would fail, but we’re happy to see they overcame their doubters. They proved everyone wrong when they revealed just how little their record label invested in them. While they were not super clear about who they were throwing shade at in their song, they were signed to Columbia Records at the time.
As opposed to having other professionals help in the process of writing songs and planning videos, the girls were allowed to do everything on their own. Beyoncé told Elle, “it ended up being the best thing, because that’s when I became an artist and took control…. We had a vision for ourselves and nobody really cared to ask us what our vision was. So, we created it on our own, and once it was successful, I realized that we had the power to create whatever vision we wanted for ourselves.”
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Even when Bey tries to take credit for most of her writing, she absolutely needs to give credit to someone else. According to VICE, some of Destiny’s Child’s number one hits were written by Kandi Burruss. She’s known to many for her time on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and was part of the R&B group Xscape.
Some of the hits Burruss wrote include “Bills, Bills, Bills,” “So Good,” and “Bug a Boo.” She also wrote hits for other pop sensations like TLC, Usher, and P!nk. She is well versed in writing… well, verses! She has the drive and passion to write these songs and so many people owe her their careers.
Beyoncé Took Credit for What?
Queen Bey has a track record of doing great work, but she also has taken some credit where she shouldn’t have. She shared her excitement with Vanity Fair for the successes she personally gained for Destiny’s Child, but she was later blasted by Fox News for taking sole credit instead of giving credit to other songwriters.
Burruss told VICE, “I would kind of have an idea of what the melody should be; the concept and partial lyrics. … I would already have the hook together and the melody of what the verse should be.” When asked how the band members came into it themselves, she said, “I left a little open so that they could have input as well.”
What Led Beyoncé to Leave the Group?
Before she was a queen, she was just another superstar on the rise. Her spotlight was shared with her groups, originally Girls Tyme followed by Destiny’s Child, but soon she would move on to make a name for herself as one of the most successful female solo artists of all time.
She was not alone in wanting to break out and do her own thing; after the release of “Survivor,” Destiny’s Child announced that its members would be pursuing their own projects. Queen Bey stopped rumors that the group was really breaking up by reassuring that they would be back with another album as a group soon.
The Breakout Star
While she was not the only talented one in the group, she did certainly carry the team on her back. Beyoncé was the frontwoman for the band from day one, though she was not the only one destined to find success. Michelle Williams’s first solo project sold 17,000 copies in its top week; Rowland’s sold 77,000 in its top week. Can you guess how many Beyoncé sold on her own?
Beyoncé’s solo album “Dangerously In Love” sold 317,000 copies in its first week – not even its best week! However, when they all joined forces, they set records that no other group was able to touch. Truthfully, though, if they were in competition for whose solo project did best, we have a clear winner!
Destiny’s Child Was Holding Her Back
Beyoncé may have loved the group, but everyone who knew her knew that she was destined to do great things beyond the group. In 2004, The New York Times stated that, “It’s been a long-held belief in the music industry that Destiny’s Child was little more than a launching pad for Beyoncé Knowles’s inevitable solo career.”
The New York Times also compared her to Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, David Lee Roth, and Sting as someone who was a stand-out artist who left groups to pursue fame and fortune on their own. Margeaux Watson from Suede magazine agreed with the Times, telling them, “she’s the one you can’t take your eyes off of; no one really cares about the other girls. I think Beyoncé will eventually realize that these girls are throwing dust on her shine.”
She Was a Legend in Marketing
Beyoncé made a name for herself in the music world, but she also made a name through the many sponsorships she was given. Many brands love the superstar and want to profit from her successes themselves. While she was still in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé was signed to replace Britney Spears as PepsiCo’s celebrity spokesperson.
PepsiCo made some great offers, mainly related to her appearing in promotional materials, commercials, radio and internet ads, and so on. Pepsi reportedly offered to sponsor a solo concert for Beyoncé, should she decide to go in that direction. Wow, they definitely had a lot of faith in her. She also had offers from companies like McDonald’s and L’Oréal.
She Wasn’t Super Into the Group
Beyoncé had always been part of a group, and rarely had the opportunity to perform alone. Since the 1990s, Bey had always felt a little strained. In 2005 she told Vanity Fair, “I always held back in Destiny’s Child, because I was comfortable in a group and felt that I didn’t have to do anything 100 percent, because there were other people onstage with me.”
Even when she was in Destiny’s Child, she was given opportunities not shared with her bandmates. She co-hosted the MTV Movie & TV Awards pre-show in 2000 and was featured on songs produced by other artists. She finally did the damn thing and released her first solo album, leading us to the Beyoncé we know and love today.
Mathew Knowles Influenced Her
Beyoncé’s father was influential in so many ways, whether they liked it or not. From the days of Girls Tyme, he was always there to manage the group. When she got started, he quit his corporate job at Xerox and fully committed to making the group a success.
It is speculated that he may have groomed the group with intentions of sending Beyoncé off into the sunset as the star of the show, ultimately leading to a solo career. He often referred to Destiny’s Child as “my daughter’s group.” That kind of speaks for itself, don’t you think? No surprise that she cut professional ties with her father, especially after her legal team conducted an audit that proved he had stolen money over the years from their profits.
What Does Tomorrow Hold?
It seems that all three ladies have sailed into the sunset, not living in the past but rather reminiscing on their earliest days. These pop sensations have built successful careers for themselves in music and Hollywood. Some may shine brighter than others, but that does not mean that they are missing their spark.
Without Destiny’s Child, we may not have had some of the greatest hits of all time. The singers have aligned their new priorities with what they want their futures to be, and that does not always include music. The final three are mothers, and Beyoncé herself is a mother of three. She engages with the press on her own terms, has many business ventures, and still makes music. She’s a survivor, indeed!