As part of my whole “new year, new me” resolution, I’ve decided to revive my love of reading. Reading is something I’ve always enjoyed as a kid. I mean every millennial kid completely devoured young adult novels like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Gossip Girl. But over the years I’ve noticed myself putting down the books and picking up my television remote. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to watch copious amounts of TV, but one of my new year’s resolutions is to Netflix less and read more. So for my first book of the new year I chose none other than the Queen Bey’s biography, or as I like to call it: her Bey-ography.
Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story comes from New York Times best selling author J. Randy Taraborrelli and vows to unmask all of Beyoncé’s secrets. Taraborrelli is no stranger to writing biographies, having written on Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Marilyn Monroe. As a huge Beyoncé fan, I was dying to read all the tea on the biggest pop culture icon. While I enjoyed the in-depth look into Beyoncé’s past and the anecdotal stories from people in the singer’s life, the book was rather slow and boring at times. Now I know what you’re thinking, how could any book on Queen Bey’s life be boring? Well yes, Beyoncé has an incredible and entertaining life, but there was no juicy gossip. It took me forever to get past the first 100 pages, which mostly focused on Mathew and Tina Knowles’ relationship and the early forming of what would eventually become Destiny’s Child. While the book talks about the pivotal moments in Beyoncé’s life (Jay Z, the fake pregnancy rumours, Mathew’s infidelity, the elevator) it does little to shock the reader. There’s no jaw dropping moment in the book, and ended up being rather anticlimactic.
Regardless, the book is still interesting and inspiring. Reading about Beyoncé’s work ethic is the perfect way to jumpstart my year and kick my laziness. The book is chalk full of interesting Beyoncé facts and a must read for every devotee of Beysus.
1. Tina Knowles Came up With Beyoncé’s Name
The name Beyoncé is derived from Tina’s maiden name which is Beyincé.
2. Mathew is the Villain
If Beyoncé’s life is a fairy tale then Mathew Knowles is definitely the villain of the story. From his over ambitious ways, alleged stealing money from Beyoncé, and his affairs and fathering two other children, Mathew Knowles is not painted well in the book.
3. Trouble with Destiny’s Child
Perhaps no other girl group has had as much member problems as Destiny’s Child. From the beginning there was drama within the singing group. First the original girl group Beyoncé was a part of as a child had changed over the years, with many original girls leaving. After the release of Destiny’s Child’s first album Writings of the Wall LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Jackson, appealed to be represented by a different manager other than Mathew. After refusing to make several appearances it was time to for the two ladies to leave the group. Then Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin replaced the two other girls. However after five months Farrah had had enough of Mathew as well and refused to join the other girls on tour in Australia. That was the final straw for Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland who then kicked Farrah to the curb. Bye Farrah. Thus the Destiny’s Child we knew and love was created.
4. Beyoncé Thought of Going Solo for a Long Time
After LeToya and LaTavia left the group, Beyoncé didn’t know what to do with DC. After a couple weeks of feeling depressed she sent a letter to record executives stating her desire to go solo.
5. Tina Knowles Found Michelle Williams
Tina, being the caring mother that she is, had enough of Beyoncé being depressed over her former band members leaving and took matters into her own hands. She remembered meeting Michelle Williams at a hotel lobby and flew her out to meet with Beyoncé and Kelly.
6. Michelle Changed Her Name
Michelle Williams birth name is Tenitra Michelle Williams. Record executives asked Michelle to change her name because they believed Tenitra was “too urban”.
7. Beyonce Did A Lot Of the Work for Destiny’s Child
We all like to joke that Beyoncé was basically the main singer of Destiny’s Child with Michelle and Kelly being her background singers. But it’s actually kind of true. Beyoncé would go into the studio and sing all of the vocals on the songs and mix it and then have the two other girls come in and replace her vocals. In the early days the other girls would lip sync in music videos to Beyoncé’s voice.
8. Beyonce Dated a Scrub
Beyoncé’s first boyfriend was a childhood friend named Lyndell Locke. The two began dating when Beyoncé was a young girl and well into her late teens. However Lyndell cheated on Beyoncé twice. And while the two remained friends, he just could not compete with Jay Z. The poor fool even got a tattoo of Beyoncé’s initials.
9. The Record Label Didn’t Want To Release Dangerously in Love
The record label initially didn’t want to release Beyoncé’s first solo record because they believed there were no hits on the album. Boy were they wrong.
10. Jay Z Shot his Brother
Yup a 12-year old Jay Z shot his own brother because he stole his ring. But it’s okay cause Jay’s brother had a drug problem and the shooting helped set him straight.
11. It Was Not Love at First Sight For Beyoncé
When Beyoncé and Jay Z first started hanging out she adamantly denied rumours they were dating. Beyoncé was still dealing with her feelings for Lyndell and didn’t want to rush into anything with Jay Z.
12. Rihanna and Jay Z’s Affair was Fake
A publicist for Def Jam records reportedly created the affair rumours in order to gain publicity for Rihanna and sell her single “Pon de Replay”. Well it worked.
13. “Ring the Alarm” is About Rihanna
Beyoncé wasn’t too keen about the Rihanna affair rumours and allegedly created “Ring the Alarm” in response.
14. Beyoncé Had Beef with Jennifer Hudson
Beyoncé supposedly wasn’t too happy with all the attention and praise Jennifer Hudson got in Dream Girls. After all she was just a supporting actress. People also criticize Beyoncé for not reaching out to Jennifer Hudson after her mother, brother and nephew were killed. While I find it hard to believe there’s any animosity towards JHud, Beyoncé probably wasn’t to pleased about her critical success in the film, especially since Beyoncé had the lead role.
15. Mathew Told Alexsandra Wright That Beyoncé and Jay Z would Raise her Baby
After Mathew got his mistress Alexsandra Wright pregnant, he allegedly offered to have Beyoncé and Jay Z raise her son as their own. But I doubt Beyoncé and Jay Z would actually raise her half-brother as her son.
16. What Happened on The Elevator?
This is perhaps the most juiciest question of the 21st Century. While we probably will never know the whole truth about the elevator, Taraborrelli alleges that Jay Z wanted to go to Rihanna’s after party while Beyoncé didn’t. Solonge told Jay off and he shut her down. That’s what sparked her fury in the elevator. Okay as much as I want this to be true, I find it highly unlikely that Solonge would get that mad over Rihanna’s party. There must be something more.
17. Tina Resolved It
As usual it became Tina’s job to mend her family. She organized a family lunch in New Orleans and put the whole situation to rest.
18. Beyoncé has a Videographer
Beyoncé has her own videographer and photographer that she hires to film her family. This is how she got the home video footage for the On The Run Tour.
19. Beyoncé Works Hard to Protect Her Image
Everything thing the star posts is strategically planned out. Beyoncé has a specific image for herself and wants to protect it at all costs. She even hires her own paparazzi and employs a brand manager.
20. Beyoncé’s Work Ethic is Incredible
If there’s anything I learned from this 400 plus page book it’s that Beyoncé is a hard worker. She is a perfectionist who doesn’t rest until she has everything just the way she wants it. Whether it’s late dance practices or all nighters in the studio, Beyoncé doesn’t rest until everything is perfect.