Under the leadership of frontwoman Beyonce Knowles, Destiny's Child has proven to be one of the most popular female groups of all time. Despite well-publicized internal bickering, the Houston-based trio (originally a quartet) has retained its dominance, defined by a combination of feisty female empowerment anthems, killer dance moves and an enviable fashion sense (provided by Beyonce's designer mom, Tina).
The original four members of Destiny's Child -- Beyonce, her cousin Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett -- came together in 1990 under the tutelage of Beyonce's father Mathew, the group's manager. Tina came up with their name after flipping through a passage in the Bible. Destiny's Child honed its vocal and performance skills through numerous shows and talent competitions, including an appearance on the famed "Star Search" and gigs opening for fellow singing trios SWV and Immature.
After years of deal-hunting, the group signed to Columbia in 1997 and released its first song, "Killing Time," on the "Men in Black" soundtrack. Their self-titled debut arrived in 1998, led by the Wyclef Jean-produced remix single "No No No." The song reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, while follow-ups "With Me" and "Get on the Bus" received lukewarm reception.
The girls regained their momentum with the release of their second -- and biggest-selling -- effort to date, 1999's "The Writing's on the Wall." Packed with bouncy club cuts and endearing ballads, the album is a seminar in feminine strength and independence. It peaked at No. 6 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 6.2 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It spawned the No. 1 Hot 100 hit "Bills, Bills, Bills," as well as "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and "Say My Name." However, amid the release of the latter single, turmoil erupted.
At one point, Destiny's Child seemed to have more arrivals and departures than an airport, beginning with the exodus of Roberson and Luckett in early 2000. The two attempted to sever ties with manager Matthew Knowles, accusing him of favoring his daughter Beyonce and Rowland. Roberson and Luckett were subsequently left out of the video for "Say My Name." In their place came Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin, the latter of whom ended up leaving the group just five months later.
The resulting Destiny's Child trio remained publicly undaunted by the preceding events; Beyonce, Rowland and Williams' first joint effort, "Survivor" (2001), debuted atop The Billboard 200 and went on to sell 4.3 million U.S. copies. The album cut "Independent Women, Pt. 1," which was featured as the theme song for the movie "Charlie's Angels," topped the Hot 100 for 11 weeks, while the singles "Survivor" and "Bootylicious" reached No. 2 and No. 1, respectively.
In mid-2003, Beyonce issued her Grammy-winning solo debut "Dangerously in Love," which bowed atop The Billboard 200 and has shifted 4.3 million units. However, 2002 solo efforts by the residual members (Rowland's "Simply Deep" and Williams' gospel album "Heart to Yours") didn't fare as well. With Beyonce transitioning into starring film roles, endorsement deals and a well-publicized romance with superstar rapper Jay-Z, Destiny's Child announced its amicable split in mid-2005 during a concert in Spain. Its final studio disc, "Destiny Fulfilled," was another big seller, having shifted 3 million copies to date.