R&B superstars Destiny's Child released their self-titled debut album in 1998. This was also the world's first introduction to Beyoncé Knowles. Though their last record, Destiny Fulfilled, came out 2004, they still remain in our collective memories. The group ruled the airwaves in the late '90s and early 2000s, but tons of drama played out behind the scenes - drama that might have led to disbandment in the age of social media. As a result, there are some epic stories surrounding the creation of smashes like "Independent Women" and "Bootylicious." These fascinating secrets have been obscured by the group's overwhelming popularity and Beyoncé's eventual rise to the top of the music world.
Reading these stories, you can see why many say the group's manager - Beyoncé's father, Mathew - is responsible for the original lineup's breakup. Mathew notoriously pushed his young charges, making them work so hard they cried. He also nearly bankrupt the Knowles family while managing a fledgling Destiny's Child. Other little-known facts include the ways Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, supported her daughter's fledgling career, and how LaTavia and LeToya learned they'd been booted from Destiny's Child. Plenty of Beyoncé conspiracy theories occupy the public's interest these days, but all that jazz has its roots in the phenomenon of Destiny's Child.
When LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson left the group, the two alleged their manager Mathew Knowles failed to pay them their proper dues. In Becoming Beyoncé, J. Randy Taraborrelli notes that Mathew favored his daughter over the other three members. She booked more appearances and got paid more, supposedly. While Bey bought a Jaguar, LeToya reportedly couldn't even afford to pay her cell phone bill. That's nearly a line out of "Bills, Bills, Bills."
According to Knowles, Bey and Kelly did all the singing, so they deserved a bigger cut. Girl power!
When Kelly Rowland was young, her mom, Doris, left her hard-drinking and verbally abusive husband, Christopher Lovett. As a result, Kelly moved in with family friends Mathew and Tina Knowles in Houston, Texas. She grew up almost as the couple's third daughter. So much so, rumors began floating that Mathew was her real dad.
An actual Knowles daughter, Solange, told HelloBeautiful:
Kelly Rowland actually grew up with us. She moved in when she was five and so we have sort of a blended family. I’ve only ever looked at her as a sister. I think adoption is a beautiful thing.
Tragically, Doris passed away in 2014, not long after Kelly welcomed her first child, son Titan.
Mathew Knowles always worked hard to promote Destiny's Child - originally known as Girls Tyme. In 1995, he left his prosperous job selling medical equipment for Xerox in order to manage the group full time. The new venture failed to have immediate success, however, placing some financial pressure on the young Knowles family.
During this time, the main income came from Tina Knowles Lawson's hair salon.
Destiny's Child's smash hit "Say My Name" earned the group its first Grammy Award. The song so many people continue to identify with also happens to be extremely personal for Beyoncé. The song's lyrics, all about a cheating boyfriend, describe one of the singer's long-term partners. Lyndall Locke and Beyoncé dated from their preteens until their early twenties. Unsurprisingly, Mathew was super-strict about his daughter dating, but the two remained together until Lyndall cheated on Bey.
According to Taraborrelli, a suspicious Bey demanded he say her name out loud when they spoke on the phone to prove he wasn't cheating. Sounds familiar!