When Destiny’s Child released its music video for the 1997 track “No No No,” the biggest star in the clip was likely ex-Fugee and song producer Wyclef Jean.
But while a Fugees reunion would likely be a big hit today, it’s not Clef selling out stadiums across the country nearly 20 years later.
Beyoncé Knowles, or Mrs. Carter, or Sasha Fierce, or simply Bey, has gone from being one-fourth of a new R&B group to running the pop culture universe. How did she take over the world? Here are some of the key moments on the timeline.
‘Jumpin’ Jumpin’’ Even from early in Destiny’s Child’s run, there were moments that the other group members felt like background singers. Watch the video for “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” again, for instance, and count the number of glamour shots of Bey, compared to any of the other three.
‘Carmen: A Hip Hopera’ By 2001 it was clear that, as talented as the other Destiny’s Child members were, Beyoncé was the biggest star of the group. But it was, of all things, her role on MTV’s adaptation of George Bizet’s opera that may have given her the greatest taste of pre-solo career fame. She would also feature prominently in “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” which wasn’t her fault.
‘Crazy in Love’ That dance move. The song itself is a memorable worldwide smash, but that folded-leg collapse at the beginning of her first verse on the music video was the reintroduction of a performer who would not — could not — be ignored. In a video that featured a strong Jay Z cameo, a car on fire and Beyoncé kicking the top off a fire hydrant, that first move may still be the most memorable element.
‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)’ The next wedding to go the full evening without playing this song — usually in time for the bouquet toss — will be the first one to do so since the track’s release in 2008.
‘Beyoncé’ and the Secret Album Release If there’s been one “trend” on the business side of music that’s caught fire over the last three years, it has been that of the secret album drop, with full-length records simply showing up on a streaming service or online retailer with little or no advance thought. That’s mainly Beyoncé’s doing, thanks to the unannounced release of her eponymous album in the weeks leading up to Christmas of 2013.
‘Formation’ Quick — who was the headliner of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show? If you remembered that it was Coldplay, not Beyoncé, there’s a chance that you’re related to Chris Martin. For everyone else, Bey was the show — and then she used the platform to announce her current world tour.