Destiny' s Child concert ticketsSee Destiny' s Child live in concert
Destiny's Child rose to become one of the most popular female R&B groups of the late '90s, eventually rivaling even TLC in terms of blockbuster commercial success. Their accomplishments came in spite of several abrupt personnel changes, which were accompanied by heated, well-publicized feuds in the media and the courts. In fact, for a time, Destiny's Child were known for that drama just as much as their music. Once the group stabilized again, though, they emerged with even more hitmaking power than ever before.
Destiny's Child were formed in Houston, Texas, in 1990, when original members Beyonce Knowles and LaTavia Roberson were just nine years old; the two met at an audition and became friends, and Knowles' father Mathew set about developing an act based on their singing and rapping, taking their name from a passage in the Book of Isaiah. Beyonc's cousin Kelendria "Kelly" Rowland joined the group in 1992, and shortly thereafter they landed an appearance on Star Search, where they performed a rap song. The quartet's line up was finalized (for the time being) when LeToya Luckett joined in 1993, and they spent the next few years working their way up from the Houston club scene, eventually opening for artists like SWV, Dru Hill, and Immature. Finally, in 1997, Destiny's Child was offered a recording contract by Columbia.
That was just the beginning of the group's breakout success. The second single, "Bug a Boo," didn't perform as well, but the third single, "Say My Name," was another massive hit, their biggest so far; it hit number one on both the pop and R&B charts for three weeks apiece in early 2000, and made Destiny's Child a pop-cultural phenomenon. However, at the peak of "Say My Name"'s popularity, the group splintered. In December 1999, Roberson and Luckett attempted to split with manager Mathew Knowles, charging that he kept a disproportionate share of the band's profits, attempted to exert too much control, and unfairly favored his daughter and niece. While they never intended to leave the group, relations naturally grew strained, and when the video for "Say My Name" premiered in February 2000, many fans (not to mention Roberson and Luckett) were surprised to find two new members -- Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin -- joining Knowles and Rowland. Infuriated, Roberson and Luckett took legal action in March, suing both Knowles and their former bandmates for breach of partnership and fiduciary duties. A war of words followed in the press; meanwhile, the next Destiny's Child single, "Jumpin' Jumpin'," hit the Top Ten, and The Writing's on the Wall went on to sell a whopping eight million copies.