Continuing in the
tradition of countless female groups, Destiny's Child has finally decided to call
it quits after months of denying disbandment rumors.
The popular, platinum-selling female trio headed by Beyoncé
Knowles announced their separation on stage Saturday night (June 11) during
the European leg of their Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It Tour.
The proclamation from member Kelly Rowland came as a surprise
to the 16,000 fans at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain, as Rowland stated
that the European concert would be her, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams'
last group performance in the country.
"We have been working together as Destiny's Child since
we were 9, and touring together since we were 14," the trio said in a statement
released to MTV. "After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching,
we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny's
Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming
gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other."
With a successful solo career and a now public romance with
rap mogul Jay-Z, Beyoncé has been touted as the breakout member of the
group, particularly after her multi-platinum 2003 debut, Dangerously in
Beyoncé's certified star status, however, led fans to
speculate a Destiny's Child breakup, which the group routinely denied.
On the heal of hits like "Crazy in Love" featuring
Jay-Z and a starring role in an Austin Powers movie, Beyoncé returned
to the group to record their latest album, Destiny Fulfilled, which
spawned another hit, "Soldiers," featuring rappers T.I. and Lil Wayne.
Destiny's Child plans to retire their name after an upcoming
U.S. tour, which runs from July 9 to September 10. The group, which has sold
more than 40 million records worldwide, thanked fans for remaining loyal and
supporting them through their success and turmoil.
"After all these wonderful years working together, we realized
that now is the time to pursue our personal goals and solo efforts in earnest,"
the trio stated. "No matter what happens, we will always love each other
as friends and sisters and will always support each other as artists."
The Houston-based group originally came together during the
90s with Beyoncé, Kelly, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett as the original
Roberson and Luckett were dropped from the group after contemplating
dropping Beyoncé's father Mathew Knowles as their manager. The two ladies
later sued Mathew and the group, then came to a settlement.
Farrah Franklin and current member Michelle Williams replaced
the departing pair, though Franklin later disbanded citing that Beyoncé
was regularly favored over the others.
Williams released her solo LP, Heart to Yours, in 2002,
and Kelly released Simply Deep in 2003, neither of which enjoyed the
same success as Beyoncé's solo debut.
The three members
said they expect to shape separate careers in other entertainment fields such
as film and theater.