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Destiny's Child: Soul-Survivors

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While controversies that often plague R&B divas have become rather predictable (remember Diana and her Supremes, En Vogue and TLC?), the ladies of Destiny's Child (Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams) have persevered through all their drama. This month, DC gave fans their survival-of-the-fittest third offering, Survivor, which is fast-approaching double-platinum status -- close to 2 million copies sold. A testament that folk are feelin' them, not just for the content of their infectious tunes (always putting brothers in check with no-nonsense tracks like "Bills Bills, Bills", "Bugaboo" and "Say My Name"), but for being such a fierce representation of major girl power -- ahem, excuse me, independent women.


Despite their Menudo-like recruiting tactics (it seemed like yesterday that La Tavia, LeToya, and Farrah were DCs), the popularity of these Grammy-Award winning singers has grown. Now with their front lady, Beyonce, penning the bulk of their hits including the liberating anthem "Independent Woman Part 1," (which boosted the sales of the Charlie Angels soundtrack to 1.5 million) and pursuing an acting career (did you peep her off-the-hook performance in MTV's hip-hopera Carmen Jones?), the sexy trio is poised for greater stardom. So while you bounce and throw your hands up in the air, here are a few reasons why DC is destined to survive.

In the beginning…
It's a little known fact that Beyonce first got press at the tender age of 7, when she was mentioned in the Houston Chronicle as a nominee for the prestigious local performing arts award, The Sammy.

By any other name
Two of the ladies of Destiny's Child have changed their names for show-biz's sake -- Kelly is short for Kelandria, Michelle uses her middle name while her birth name is Tenetria, and Beyonce's name is borrowed from her mother's maiden name.

It's a family affair
Beyonce's not the only shining star in the Knowles family. Mathew Knowles, manager of Destiny's Child also works with boy groups IMX and Sygnature; Matriarch Tina Knowles serves as the ladies' stylist and hairdresser and owns the chic Headliners Salon in Houston; and Solange, Beyonce's 14-year-young baby sis, is also a singer and dancer and performed with DC when Michelle was unable to dance because of broken toes.

In search of stardom
In 1992, Destiny's Child tried their luck on the televised talent show, Star Search, but they lost.

Say their name
Over the years, the group has adopted more monikers than it's had new members: GirlsTyme, Something Fresh, Cliche, the Dolls, Destiny. It became Destiny's Child in 1996.

Queen for a day
Michelle hails from the small town of Rockford, Ill., (population about 150,000), and an editorial in her local newspaper recently proclaimed February 26, 2001, "Tenetria Williams Day."

One's loss is another's gain
In 1995, DC, then called Destiny, was dropped by their then-label home Elektra Records because they were "too young and undeveloped." However, in 1996, Columbia Records took them under its wing and the rest, well, is pay-dirt history.

First-time out
In case you've forgotten, the ladies made their vocal debut with "Killing Time," from the 1997 soundtrack, Men in Black: The Album.

Independent women
These ladies proved that they had what it takes when they appeared (as themselves) on the defunct television show, Smart Guy, and pulled the show its highest ratings.

Stepping out in style
Destiny's Child has signed a lucrative one-year endorsement deal with Candies to promote a collection of high-end, sexy footwear. The ladies are following in the footsteps of luminaries like Brandy, Lil' Kim, Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra.

Double duty
Aside from lending her vocal prowess to Destiny's Child, Kelly held her own on her solo debut, "Angel," on the soundtrack to Chris Rock's funny flick, Down to Earth.

And the award goes to…
This year, Destiny's Child nabbed two Grammys for Best R&B Song and Performance for their defiant track "Say My Name," and in 2000 they snagged Soul Train's Sammy Davis Jr. Entertainer of the Year award.

Giving good face
Beyonce landed a modeling contract to represent L'Oreal on television, radio and print ads. She follows an illustrious line of spokeswomen that includes Latina sensation Jennifer Lopez, and supermodel Amber Valetta.

Controversy sells
In a recent Newsweek article, Beyonce Knowles shared her secret to success: "Desitny's Child was always very talented, but I think the thing we were lacking was controversy. I think in order for your group to be successful your story has to be interesting. Our story was very squeaky clean, so I thank God for the controversy. I'm happy because it helps me sell records."

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