With her blond tresses, southern twang and caramel complexion, Solange Knowles is a dead ringer for her sister, Beyoncé. But contrary to popular belief, Knowles was not groomed to follow in the footsteps of her superstar sibling. In fact, when the now 20-year-old initially approached her parents about recording an album, they tried to talk her out of it. “They knew I wasn’t going to want to follow the rules,” says Solange with a hearty laugh.

Indeed, since beginning her career as a replacement backup dancer for Destiny’s Child in 2001, this self-proclaimed rebel has been finding her own path. In 2003, when she released her debut album, “Solo Star” (Music World Music/Columbia), label execs urged her to follow the pop music trail blazed by her big sis. But Knowles, who loves reggae and world music, produced and wrote the music that she wanted. While the record wasn’t a commercial success, Knowles has started work on her sophomore effort.