In a surprise announcement from the stage during a show in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday night, the members of Destiny's Child told fans they will disband at the conclusion of their current Destiny Fulfilled ... And Lovin' It Tour.
Kelly Rowland made the revelation before 16,000 fans at the Palau Sant Jordi, explaining that the concert would be the last European appearance by the group. In a statement released exclusively to MTV News on Sunday (June 12), the trio thanked their loyal fans and pledged sisterly devotion to one another.
"We have been working together as Destiny's Child since we were 9, and touring together since we were 14," the statement read. "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. After all these wonderful years working together, we realized that now is the time to pursue our personal goals and solo efforts in earnest ... No matter what happens, we will always love each other as friends and sisters and will always support each other as artists. We want to thank all of our fans for their incredible love and support and hope to see you all again as we continue fulfilling our destinies."
The announcement is surprising not least because the trio had downplayed rumors of a split in the wake of member Beyoncé Knowles' multiplatinum 2003 solo LP, Dangerously in Love (see "Destiny's Child Back In The Studio, So 'Shut Up!' Kelly Rowland Says"), although plans did call for the members to focus on solo projects at the end of this tour (see "Destiny's Child Put On A Fashion Show At U.K. Concert").
Destiny's Child — Knowles, Rowland and Michelle Williams — have become one of the top-selling female pop vocal groups in history, with worldwide sales of more than 40 million records. They will retire the name after their upcoming U.S. tour and pursue individual careers in film, music, theater and television.
Despite the announcement, the group's forthcoming U.S. tour — its first in four years — will go off as planned, kicking off on July 9 at the Savvis Center in St. Louis and wrapping up on September 10 at GM Place in Vancouver. Support acts on the tour include Amerie, Mario and Tyra (see "Destiny's Child Map Out North American Tour").
Destiny's Child formed in Houston in 1990 when Knowles and original member LaTavia Roberson were 9 years old, with Knowles' father, Matthew, acting as their manager. Knowles' cousin, Rowland, joined two years later, in time for the trio to make their national debut on the show "Star Search." Fourth member LeToya Luckett signed on 1993 and the group made its recorded debut with the song "Killing Time" on the 1997 soundtrack to the blockbuster "Men in Black."
Their self-titled debut dropped the next year and spawned the Wyclef Jean-produced hit "No No No." Their second album, 1999's The Writing's on the Wall, cemented their reputation as hitmakers, with "Bills Bills Bills" and "Say My Name." But at the peak of their success, Roberson and Luckett tried to drop Matthew Knowles as their manager, and were subsequently replaced in the "Say My Name" video with new members Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin.
The two ejected members sued Matthew Knowles and the group and eventually settled, but further turmoil ensued with Franklin, whose five-month tenure in Destiny's Child ended in July 2000. The group continued as a trio, scoring another huge hit with the song "Independent Women, Pt. 1" from the "Charlie's Angels" soundtrack, following it with 2001's Survivor, which hit with the title track and the ubiquitous "Bootylicious."
Though Beyoncé had long since become the breakout star of the group, Williams was the first to release a solo album, the gospel LP Heart to Yours, in 2002. Beyoncé, who co-starred with Mike Meyers in the third Austin Powers movie, "Goldmember," released Dangerously in Love in 2003, and Rowland released an LP that year, Simply Deep.
Even after Beyoncé scored multi-platinum success off such solo hits as "Crazy in Love" and her face become a regular presence in commercials and print ads, the trio came back together last year to release Destiny Fulfilled.
MTV News will have a full report on Destiny's Child's farewell on Monday's edition of "TRL."
— Gil Kaufman