A maddening series of legal battles and personality clashes has marred the career of Destiny’s Child, perhaps the best female group, R&B or otherwise, of its generation.
Starting as mere children (singer Beyonce was only 16 when Columbia offered the group a contract), the then quartet named for a phrase from The Bible was quickly paired with superstar producers such as Wyclef Jean. Within two short years, they had already topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and appeared on several movie soundtracks.
Band members LaTavia Robertson and LeToya Luckett argued over the group’s management by Beyonce’s father and left to form their own group in a blizzard of lawsuits. Farrah Franklin joined the group for a mere five months, but when she left, Destiny’s Child was reduced to a trio of Beyonce, cousin Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
Lawsuits weren’t only coming from within. In 2001, two Los Angeles concert promoters filed suit in California, claiming that the group didn’t perform two make-up shows after it missed dates. Just two years later, a Miami producer filed a $200 million lawsuit claiming that the group stole music he wrote for its smash hit Survivor.
The constant distractions and lineup shuffling did not impact sales or critical acceptance. Destiny’s Child charted five different songs at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and won Grammy Awards in 2001 and 2001.
Despite this success, the band went on hiatus. Beyonce released solo albums that led to even more hits, Michelle Williams replaced Toni Braxton on Broadway in Aida and Kelly Rowland did her own well-accepted album.
The trio reunited in 2003 and began recording Destiny Fulfilled, which was released to critical and popular acclaim in 2004.