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Beyonce is not just the most bootylicious R&B star, she is easily one of the most saleable artists in recent times. Beyonce has done more than any other artist has in recent times to blur the lines between R&B and pop music. Her second solo album B’day hits stores in September and is, predictably, the most eagerly awaited album of the season. To be released on her 25th birthday, the album captures the coming-of-age of a multi-talented star.

Beyonce’s Claim To Fame
She’s a pop star, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, a movie actress, a nine-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most successful American pop singers of the last 10 years. Even before launching her own solo career, she achieved success as part of girl group Destiny’s Child. The central figure for the group, their self-titled debut was a huge success thanks to hit single No, No, No; but it was nothing compared to 1999’s The Writing's On The Wall. Number one hits like Bills, Bills, Bills, Say My Name and Jumpin', Jumpin’ made the album move twelve million copies, and come Grammy night, they picked up two awards at the 2001 ceremony.

The third album Survivor garnered a whole new set of number ones, from the title track to Bootylicious. Destiny's Child were on top of the world and the charts when each girl decided to pursue a solo career. To no one's surprise, Beyonce’s solo career spawned hits bigger than those she had with the group. 2003’s Dangerously In Love topped both the album and singles chart simultaneously in the US and the UK, making history as no other female artist achieved that before. Single Crazy In Love featuring boyfriend Jay-Z became the biggest hit of 2003, and the rest as they say is history.

Why Everybody Loves Her
Admired by women and desired by men worldwide, Beyonce is the most talked-about female entertainer of this decade. Beyonce seemingly has it all: a fashion clothing line, a self-titled fragrance, her own toy doll and, now in the works, Beyonce jewelry, a shoe line, makeup and her own Broadway show. The ultimate cover girl, she has modeled for Pepsi, L'Oreal, Tommy Hilfiger's latest perfume and McDonalds' advertisements, and her eye-popping appearance graces fashion shoots, magazine covers and the headlines everywhere make her one of the world's most recognized, successful and rich women.

She’s also a movie star ~ her latest release The Pink Panther opened at #1 at the box office worldwide. After her turn in the 2002 blockbuster Austin Powers In Goldmember, her role as a beautiful nightclub singer in 2003’s The Fighting Temptations garnered rave reviews. Rarely has a pop star been so successful in both industries.

B’Day: The New Beyonce Album
September 4 is the date Beyonce's second solo album hits the stores. After wrapping up her role on her upcoming Hollywood flick Dreamgirls, she went into the studio without telling anyone but her producers, recorded the album in two weeks, and submitted it to the record label to their surprise. Titled B’Day as it’s being released on her 25th birthday, the new CD premieres brand new tracks co-produced, written and arranged by the reigning queen of R&B herself. With first single Déjà Vu riding high on the charts, The Record caught up with Beyonce to talk about her latest release…

It has been three years since your last release. What took you so long?
Beyonce: This career is tough because you always have to figure out what to do next! I’m excited about it because the whole album is so empowering and it feels like a big celebration. It was really important for me to do some soul searching. Bring some of my roots into my album. Some of the artwork is kind of inspired by where my family’s from.

B’Day is a catchy title. What’s that all about?
Beyonce: We were going through dates for the release of my album and we came across September 4 and I said, ‘Wow, that’s really crazy, that’s my birthday!’ This album feels like a celebration, we should put it out on my birthday. We can name it B’Day for my birthday and for Beyonce’s day to share my music with the world. (Laughs)

Dangerously In Love sold millions of copies and bagged you five Grammy awards. There must have been lots of pressure while recording this new one in the studio.
Beyonce: The actual recording, there was no pressure, it was fun…It was all about music. I didn’t even want to go to sleep at night; I just wanted to stay at the studio. Everyone was excited to be here, just being creative. The biggest thing I was conscious of was making sure it was different and innovative, and not repeating myself with the same sound. I know that there are certain artists that kinda set trends and people kinda look to… to figure out what the next sound is…and I feel like I have that responsibility.

So what is the agenda this time around?
Beyonce: I was doing the film Dreamgirls, and I played this character, Dina. I was kinda stuck into Dina’s life for six months, so everything I wanted her to say is in this album. I immediately got in the studio and started writing. My last album Dangerously In Love was all about the beauty of love…and sometimes it’s not so beautiful all the time and that’s what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to be the voice for women who need that strength, that little boost of confidence.

You wanted this to be a strong and empowering record for women?
Beyonce: This is the album where if you’re having a girl’s night out, and you’re getting ready, putting your makeup on, picking out your clothes…this is the album you and your girls will listen to. Or if you have a breakup or if one of your friends is going through a tough relationship, y’all will kind of sit around and have your girls’ night and talk, and drink your wine, and dance and laugh…its fun. (Laughs) Though it’s empowering and strong, it’s not in a depressing way. It’s almost like a celebration, you know…you feel good to be strong, it doesn’t make you feel angry, it makes you feel like, ‘yes, I can do it…’

You can read the rest of our cover story on Beyonce in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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