Beyonce Knowles has achieved success on many levels. She founded the pop/R&B trio Destiny's Child; created her own clothing line, House of Dereon; is an Oscar-nominated actress; and has released two solo albums with worldwide sales totaling over 14 million copies. VOA's Larry London spoke with Beyonce when her tour recently came to Washington, D.C.
As a member of Destiny's Child, Beyonce established herself as a Rhythm and Blues megastar. The group released eight albums and had four Number One singles on Billboard magazine's pop chart before disbanding in 2005. Knowles continued a solo career that began in 2002. Her current tour opened in Sweden on May 3rd.
Knowles described her tour. "I've been to Japan, all over Europe, and now we're in America. I've met some amazing people and it's really been a blast [fun time]."
Knowles' success continues to grow. Along with an Oscar nomination for her role as Deena Jones in "Dreamgirls", 10 Grammy Awards, her seven nominations lead the upcoming MTV Music Video Awards.
"I know it's crazy. I didn't even read it (about the MTV Awards nominations). I just saw it in the paper yesterday. I was like, 'Are you serious? I had no idea.' It really means a lot to me."
Her latest CD is titled B'Day. It was released on her 25th birthday, September 4, 2006. What do you give a girl who has everything?
"Last year I had a huge party after the MTV awards. There were so many people there that I really didn't enjoy my birthday. This year, I learned my lesson, and want only five or 10 close friends to go to a restaurant. So something simple, without all the pressure of throwing a party."
Knowles' film career includes Austin Powers in Goldmember, The Fighting Temptations, The Pink Panther and Dreamgirls. She is not in a hurry to start work on another film.
"When I did Dreamgirls, I had to dedicate so much of myself to the character. So until I'm ready to mentally and emotionally prepare myself for a year's commitment for a movie, I'm not going to rush into another movie."
Knowles writes and produces her own music, and plans to continue in that role. "I don't know until I get in the studio what I'm going to write. Whenever I try to think about it before, it never comes out right, so I just wait until I get in the lab [studio] and whatever happens, happens."
Although Knowles began singing and dancing at age three, the idea of fame and fortune never entered her mind.
"When I was a little girl, I never ever imagined I would have this career. I still forget I'm famous. Sometimes I'll drive, go to a store, and then think, 'What am I doing? There might be paparazzi [photographers] out here!' I can't just do this anymore."
She says her life has changed.
Knowles is one celebrity who has used her fame to help others in need. In 2005, she started the Survivor Foundation charity named for one of Destiny's Childs most-famous songs.
"My mother [Tina Knowles] and I have a foundation where we provide transitional housing for a lot of the Hurricane Katrina survivors. We built this amazing house, this amazing home, for people that are homeless or are recovering alcoholics or addicts or kids that need something positive to do to keep them off of the streets. I'm very proud of that."
Video courtesy of Columbia Records