Who is this talented artist with the intoxicating voice, the spectacularly feline, honey-colored eyes that light up a screen, and the gorgeous physique that moves with incredible grace and rhythm? She is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, and her success in harnessing her musical gift, acting talent, dancing skills and fashion instincts into a star-sized career puts the word “multitasking” to shame. Her achievements have placed her in the same vein as pop culture legends like Madonna and Cher, so she is now known, simply, as Beyoncé. The talented singer, actress and model has a new furry love in her life, her puppy Munchie. This pup is the luckiest and Most Eligible Pet in the nation to have the beautiful Beyoncé as his mom.
The public initially relished her enchanting image and powerful vocals when she emerged as a member of the soulful and sultry pop singing quartet, Destiny’s Child. The four had been working together since they were young girls, attending endless rehearsals in father Mathew Knowles’ home-run performance “boot camp” that he created in recognition of his daughter’s remarkable talent and beauty. According to Kelly Rowland, a member of Destiny’s Child and a recording artist in her own right, the stringent and determined manager made them jog for up to five miles at a time while singing to increase their endurance.
It was only when Destiny’s Child became a trio after two of the members left the group due to differences with manager, Mathew Knowles, that Beyoncé’s fame truly soared. Acquiring a beautiful third singer, Michelle Williams, Destiny’s Child was awe-inspiring enough to be equated with the Supremes. The three exploded on the airwaves with hits like “Survivor” and “Bootylicious” that playfully, yet nonetheless powerfully, assert themes such as self-respect and female empowerment. With Beyoncé co-writing and co-producing many of the group’s songs, Destiny’s Child was sure to become a huge success—selling more than 40 million records worldwide, and earning Beyoncé the 2001 ASCAP Pop Songwriter of the Year Award. She is the first African-American woman to receive the honor.
At the peak of the group’s earlier success, Beyoncé tested her individual ability and recorded her first solo album, Dangerously in Love, which received a myriad of accolades, including five
Grammy awards. Her solo efforts have also earned her nominations for two 2004 Source Awards and 2004 American Music Award’s Favorite Female Artist. Beyoncé compares the experience to that with Destiny’s Child: “Naturally the songs on my album are going to share some similarities—but this time, because I only had to write for myself, my songs are much more personal. I also wanted beats that were harder and to be able to collaborate with other people. Basically this record was a chance for me to grow as a writer and a singer.”
In the midst of Destiny’s Child’s success, Beyoncé decided to launch an acting career, debuting in the last of the Austin Powers trilogy, Goldmember, in 2002 as Austin’s sassy love-interest, Foxxy Cleopatra. She also performed the principle single on the Goldmember soundtrack, “Work It Out.” Before that, she whet her appetite for theatrics, starring in the television movie that aired on MTV in 2001, Carmen: A Hip-Hopera, which is a modern spin on Bizet’s masterpiece that replaces orchestra with hip-hop beats and soliloquies with rhymes. Beyoncé was attracted to the role because it allowed her to combine her love of music with her newfound inclination to act. Her depiction of Carmen, a beautiful seductress and troubled soul chronically in the throws of conflict, is nearly as potent and beguiling as that of her legendary predecessor, Dorothy Dandridge, and is an impressive accomplishment for a first-time actress.
She also appeared in The Fighting Temptations in 2003 opposite Oscar-winner, Cuba Gooding, Jr., which tells the story of a lawyer who has just come into an inheritance that legally requires him to fulfill his aunt’s dying wish of starting a choir in his hometown. While unenthusiastically auditioning members for the choir, he meets Sally, played by Beyoncé, and not only falls in love with her angelic voice, but also with her beauty and charm. The chemistry between Beyoncé and Gooding is palpable, certainly due to their talent, but perhaps also because of their extra rehearsals which helped them to get to know each other outside of their professional environment. When Gooding suggested such a technique, Beyoncé, austerely professional and always eager to learn, trusted the Oscar-winner and agreed that it seemed necessary. In addition to this, she will appear in the upcoming film, The Pink Panther, upon its release in 2005.
In addition to her achievements in music and acting, Beyoncé’s repertoire includes being a model and spokesperson for L’Oréal and just recently launched True Star, a women’s fragrance designed by Tommy Hilfiger. Inspired by the famous singer-actress, the fragrance tries to capture two polarized aspects of Beyoncé, namely the sensuality and appeal of her celebrity and the relaxed essence of her personal life. True Star incorporates the contrasting scents of florals and grains to portray Beyoncé. “I am really conscious of people getting to know who I am,” she explains. “I always try to create a signature word in my lyrics and a signature move in my videos, and now I am proud to introduce my signature scent.” True Star is available in department stores nationwide. Beyoncé can add fashion to her long list of accomplishments also—in the fall of 2005, she will release a new line of clothing with her mother, Tina Knowles, called “The House of Dereon,” named after her grandmother. Beyoncé is the busiest Queen B in the world!
Despite her powerfully feisty and sassy performances, Beyoncé lives a relatively tranquil life during her meager spurts of free time. She loves to swim and has also come to enjoy vigorous workouts that include five-mile runs. She recently welcomed a puppy named Munchie, who was a Christmas gift from her cousin, Angie. “My cousin is my assistant, so since we travel together, my mom thought [he] would be great company for us on the road.” Though no stranger to company of the furry kind—Beyoncé grew up in a house filled with pets including fish, a rabbit, a Chihuahua, a snake and an African Grey parrot—she has found Munchie to be exceptionally compassionate and adorable. “It’s great to have him around because it’s like having a kid on the road with us. He’s funny! He’s also so sweet that if you pretend to be crying, he’ll climb right [up to] your face and give you a kiss, and then, he’ll lie under your neck and give you a hug!”
It truly is Beyoncé’s destiny to be a shining star. She continued her quest when she joined her sister stars in the release of Destiny Fulfilled, the first Destiny’s Child album to come out in three years. “Lose My Breath,” the first single on the album, hit the airwaves in early September and blew fans away, leaving them panting for more. Destiny’s Child will begin their worldwide tour, “Destiny Fulfilled and Lovin’ It,” in the fall of 2005. Beyoncé is always on the move and never seems out of breath—and she sure is loving every minute of it!
Beyoncé Knowles is an unassuming, poised and unbelievably humble young lady who rises above negative publicity and still blushes when asked about her alleged boyfriend, rapper and entrepreneur, Jay-Z. She possesses both the aura of a sex symbol and the sweet, moralistic disposition of a role model to young girls. Perhaps that paradoxical combination is what makes her so riveting, as both a sexy and talented icon and loving mother to Munchie. What can we expect from this dazzling star? She smiles, “I know folks love me as a pop star. Now, I want them to understand me as an artist.”