Destiny's Child Calls It Quits

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.