The Grammy Award-winning singer pays tribute to the strong women who have shaped her life.
DORIS ROWLAND GARRISON
My mum was a Christian woman, very nurturing and a real lover. We had a tumultuous relationship – [and] fought about everything, stuff that’s
way too harsh to mention here – but it was because she always wanted me to be better than her. The one thing I always gathered from my mum was her love. She had so much love to give me and really believed in me. She put me in the choir, took me to rehearsals and always watched me sing, even though it meant sacrificing her own time with me. When I got older, my mum told me that in kindergarten I had written down that I wanted to be a singer and wear a red dress. Reflecting on that a couple of years ago, I broke down crying, thinking to myself, “I’ve worn a red dress, a green dress, a yellow dress and a blue dress.” How incredible. My mother, God rest her soul, passed away two weeks after my son [Titan] was born [in 2014]. It was only then that I realised her strength. My mum taught me to stay humble, and I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job at it.
THE KNOWLES FAMILY
I grew up with Beyoncé, her sister Solange, her mother Tina and her eldest cousin Angie. It was a real sisterhood. I remember the first time I went to Tina’s salon in Houston, Texas, and seeing a strong, black woman with her own business. She was so beautiful and glamorous: a role model. She introduced me to artists, lawyers and doctors and made me feel like I could literally do anything. Solange was five when we met. She was on stage singing “I Love Your Smile” by Shanice and it was the cutest thing. Solange has always walked to her own beat and it was so bomb to be so young and to have that. When it was time for me to do my solo projects [after Destiny’s Child], Solange was right there with me. I was absolutely petrified to do that first project and she helped me write songs and we had the best time. I love her.
Bey and I met at rehearsals for [the girl group] Girl’s Tyme when we were nine. We were both singing our butts o and she was impressed I knew all the words to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Your Baby Tonight”. We grew up in this industry together; we’ve shared ups and downs and we are closer than ever. I can tell her anything and she’ll never judge me. She’s a real friend: genuine, loyal and trustworthy. She’s also one of the sweetest people you ever did meet.
I’m extremely proud of Bey and how real she is. She could have an ego, but she’s the most humble person I know. I admire her passion and hard work. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look up to her as an artist; she has ignited fire inside so many women.
This article originally appeared in the July Issue of marie claire Australia.