Knowles has often been described as flawless—That voice! That
face! That body!--but that doesn't mean she doesn't flub up
once in a while.  Like today, for example.  "Look
at me!" she laughs, pointing at herself on a monitor between
takes on her new music video "Fighting Temptation," in which
appears alongside pals Free, Missy Elliot and MC Light.
"I don't know the words!"
This, it turns out, is not a new phenomenon.  "During
live shows, Kelly and Michelle have helped me so many times
with lyrics," she says referring to Kelly Rowland and Michelle
Williams, the other two-thirds of the smash R & B trio
Destiny's Child, "because I start just making up my own."
One can forgive Beyonce, 21, for being a little all over the
place considering for the last several months she's been,
well, all over the place
(see sidebar).   Her long-awaited debut solo CD,
Dangerously in Love, has
just dropped and it's catchy first single "Crazy in Love"
(featuring her rumored beau, rapper Jay-Z) is everywhere.
Add to that her heavily rotated video for the song, endorsement
deals for Pepsi and L'Oreal, and a burgeoning movie career
(she star plays a small-town single mom who falls for Cuba
Gooding Jr.'s choir director in this fall's The
Fighting Temptations), and it's lucky Beyonce can remember her own name,
let alone some vocal ad-libs she recorded in a studio months
ago.  During a break in the action, she retreats to her
trailer to talk about her life in the eye of a raging media
storm.  Fortunately, her loss for words was temporary.
Your recent smash single, "Crazy In Love" — was that
inspired by personal experience?
KNOWLES:  Yeah.  The song talks about how, when you're
falling in love, you do things that are out of character and
you don't really care because you're just open.  The song
came from me actually looking crazy one day in the studio.
of a guy?
I said, "I'm lookin' crazy right now," and Rich Harrison,
the producer, was like, "That's the song!"
was the process of making this record different that recording
with Destiny's Child?
time I've written songs for Destiny's Child, we did
it in literally twelve days. We never had a chance to play
with sounds and emotions and all of the things that I had
a chance to this album.  This album I worked on for over
you nervous for people to finally hear it?
like the birth of my baby.  I've put so much into it and
I'm anxious for everyone to see my growth and experience a
more real and vulnerable side to who I am.
there any songs you feel particularly vulnerable putting out
are really sexy, more sexy than anything I've done before.
And some are just so honest and personal, like the song about
my father, "Daddy."  For some songs, I didn't even write
anything down, I just spoke from my heart.  When I'm creating,
I just do whatever's in my heart then after I finish, I'm
like, "Oh, okay, I have to let people hear this!" (Laughs)
do you get your inspiration?
write from my experiences as well as things that I hear from
my friends and family. No one wants to tell me anything about
their personal life because it always ends up in a song.
you ever find yourself, say, in a romantic moment and you
suddenly get inspired and say, 'Hold on a sec, honey.
I gotta write this idea down?'
I don't go quite that far, though most songs I do write at
the most awkward times.  I'm always writing on my hand.
I wrote "Survivor" on a napkin.  "Bootylicious," I wrote
on an airplane. So
many times, people bought me tablets and little digital tape
recorders.  I use them for like one day and then they're
never there when I need them.
said that you wrote "Bootylicious" as a way of embracing your
body, curves and all.  How do you deal with body image
and our culture's obsession with looks and weight?
deal with it by writing songs like that, that say that it
doesn't matter.  I want to be healthy and I want to feel
good about myself, but my whole life doesn't revolve around
dieting.  That's crazy.  I think everyone should accept
who they are and know that they're like that for a reason,
and know that everyone's not supposed to be the same.
It's beautiful that everyone's different.
a spokesperson for L'Oreal, do you feel extra pressure to
pull it together make-up wise beforeyou leave the house?
have to be presentable, because if somebody takes a picture,
I don't want to look, you know, scary.  I might put on
a little lip gloss and mascara.  L'Oreal actually has
this gold shimmer lotion that's really quick and it gives
you a glow.
the pressure to look good gotten worse for you now that you're
are worse, but I'm not complaining because I knew that that
was part of it before I started.  If I want to be an actress,
then that's a part of my job, but I just refuse for it to
consume my whole life.
favorite pig-out foods?
like pasta or a nice steak.
your workout regimen?
the past couple of weeks, I've been rehearsing so much that
I've just been dancing. I love to dance.  It's fun for
me.  And I like running because I can just think.
Yoga, I find very relaxing.  You're taking time for yourself
and it just makes you feel at peace.
new film The Fighting Temptations is a complete turnaround
from Austin Powers in Goldmember.
was a conscious decision. I wanted to play a real person and
see exactly what I can do.
was the most you laughed making the movie?
a scene set at this Gospel Explosion where we had a live band
and an audience and between takes, it turned into a showcase.
Cuba Gooding started break-dancing and did this little mini-strip
far did he go?  Shirt off?
off, yeah, and not pants off completely, but he did a quick
little, uh, flash of back.  (Laughs) He's crazy.
you get up and work it?
was the one instigating, telling everybody to go sing.
I was the DJ.
seem like a very confident person, on stage and off.
Where does that come from for you?
not confident for no reason.
I'm not just fearless. I'm like everyone else.
I like to feel prepared and when I'm not comfortable, I have
no problem saying, "Listen, I'm not sure if I know exactly
what I'm supposed to do.  Can you help me?"
advice would you give to people about going after their dreams?
really think about every aspect of what you want because you
might not want it.  Be focused.  Sit down and think
about how much time you're willing to sacrifice. If you really
want it, when God feels like it's time, it'll happen for you.
the last year, you seem to have reached a whole new level
of fame.  Does it feel different to you?
noticed that I can go less places without people recognizing
me, which is a good thing and a scary thing.  (Laughs)
you ever feel overwhelmed by the attention or by the breakneck
human.  Some days, I want to say, "You know what? I just
want to go for a week to the Bahamas and do nothing," but
now I schedule days off every couple of weeks.  Because
I've been doing this so long--almost seven years--I know my
limits.  I can say, "Okay, in order for me to do it right,
I need to be rested and I need to have these amount of days
off to rest."
there things you just can't do anymore that you really miss,
like going to the mall?
still go to the mall.  When I go to Houston, I drive me
and my sister to the mall. No security. No entourage. We just
go.  We have to walk very fast and I wear a hat.
I only can stay for like an hour, because once word gets around,
you could be anonymous for one day, where would you go?
probably would just go walking on the beach with my friends,
with my music up, doing whatever I would normally do, but
without security and people watching me.
the most uncomfortable place to be recognized?
the bathroom.  I can't go to public bathrooms.  I
get anxiety because I feel like I'm trapped in this room,
and all these people are looking and I'm washing my hands,
and I'm like, "God, I can't wait to get out of here."
your favorite compliment to get from a fan?
I wrote "Survivor", I heard some really deep stuff from people
that were in rehab and people that lost family members or
their homes. Every city on our tour, we'd invite kids from
the Make a Wish Foundation.
We'd sing to them and the eye contact, it makes you feel like
you did something more than just dancing and whatever.
When you write a song like that that connects to people, that's
the hugest compliment.
the craziest thing a fan has ever thrown on stage at you?
night we got a Bible and some men's underwear. In the same
night!  Very strange.
of men's underwear, are you dangerously in love with anyone
at the moment, like say your collaborator Jay-Z?
learned that it's better if I don't talk about my personal
life relationships.  I once said that I needed a boyfriend
and it was everywhere that I was lonely and desperate.
People just take things and twist them up.
you walk about what it's like to work with Jay-Z?
honestly did bond and glide together.  I was really lucky
to have him help me.  All in all, he's just a great person
and he always has so many great ideas.
also sing a duet on the CD with Luther Vandross, who is currently
recovering from a stroke.
actually just heard that he's speaking now, which is wonderful.
I've been praying for him, and I'm just very happy that he's
recovering.  I grew up listening to him and I was so honored
to sing with him.
you ever been star struck by anyone you met?
spoke with Prince on the phone and I love him so much I like
blanked out.  I didn't know what to say, to the point
that I said, "I don't know what to say now, um…" I was in
it hard for you to find time for romance?
think it's important to make time.  It doesn't matter
who you are, your life can't just be all work.
you a good flirt?
I flirt, it's really subtle because I'm a little shy and I
don't want to feel like I'm doing too much.  I feel like
a guy has to kind of decide, you know.
want them to feel like they're in control, even when they're
you're interested in somebody, will you take the initiative
and ask them out?
not.  I would maybe, you know, look at them a little bit
longer than I'm supposed to.
friend of mine calls that, "Giving 'em the green light."
Exactly. I give 'em the green light.
can use that in a song if you want.
think I might.
then I'll sue you.
no.  Don't play. (Laughs)
Child survived its share of lawsuits and line-up changes.
What did you learn about yourself from those controversies?
I look back, I'm like, "I can't believe that I survived that,"
but I came out so much stronger and more knowledgeable about
life, about friendship.  I sat down and really thought
about how everything works; what's reality and what's just
industry hype.  Now I feel like I can take things that
I couldn't before and I don't take things so personally.
been your lowest point?
I was eighteen, I got criticized a lot for things that I had
nothing to do with.  That was hard.  I was a kid and
had these grown people saying, ‘She's this and she's that,'
and they'd never met.  They were just assuming things
about me based on other people, or other groups' histories.
"Beyonce's turning into a diva like Diana Ross!"
had my days where I cried, where I was like, "Why are they
doing this?"  But eventually people started seeing who
I really am. If you say all these things about someone, you have
to have some facts to back them up and no one could ever tell
a story.  No one could ever say that I was mean or unfair,
so eventually it went away.  Once you get a certain level
of success then there has to be some kind of scandal for people
to talk about and if there's not one, they'll create one.
the nuttiest rumor you've heard about yourself or the group?
Michelle sang lead on the last album because she was dating
my mom, and my mom told me that I had to let her sing
lead.  (Laughs)  Crazy.
Destiny's Child over now that you've gone solo, or do you
plan to reunite?
September, we want to start another album.  I'm very curious
to see what we come up with because everybody's been experiencing
so many different things.  When we come back together,
it has to be something incredible.
have you been the most proud of Kelly and Michelle?
was really proud when Kelly got nominated for the Grammy with
Nelly for "Dilemma."  And with Michelle, I saw her performing
on a TV show and you could just see that she was at peace
and happy with herself.
up, you and the group performed at your mom's hair salon.
Did you have to compete with the sound of hair dryers?
made them cut off the blow dryers. It's like, "We're about
to perform! Everything has to shut off!"  Everything stopped,
but then after a couple times, they weren't paying any attention
to us at all.
did you get picked on for as a kid?
ears.  They were really big and they stuck out. People
would put objects like cinnamon rolls up to their ears to
you heard of anyone naming their babies after you?
I called to get my something done to my phone and the lady
on the other end was like, "What's your name?" and I said,
"Beyonce Knowles."  And she was like, "Oh my God, I just
named my baby Beyonce."  I was like, "Are you serious?
That's crazy." And Rodney Jerkins, a producer that I work
with, his brother named his little girl Beyonce.  They
were all in the studio one day and he kept saying "Beyonce,"
and I'm turning around.
do you need Daddy to change your diaper?"
It was the weirdest thing.  I mean, it's an honor when
people do that, but it's strange because Beyonce's a family
name.  It's my mother's maiden name.
something you're good at that might surprise people?
can hula hoop literally for hours.  As a kid, I won hula
hoop contests.  It's great exercise for your waist.
your best habit?
a good listener.
always leaving my keys behind and getting locked out.
I'm just a geek that way.
you ever thrown a good diva tantrum?
sure I have, but usually when I spaz out, I have a reason
for it.  Of course, I can't have too many diva moments
with my mother around. She's not having it.
parents have always been such a big part of your career.
Are they around as much now?
I have something really big, my dad flies out.  My sister
came to see me yesterday, and I just saw Kelly and Michelle
last week.  We don't go too long without seeing each other.
My mom styles me so I see her just about every day.
happens when you don't like what she's chosen for you?
like every stylist, she pulls like a million things so there's
always something that we agree on.
was the last time you went home to Houston?
been months, but I'm going home soon just for a day to go
to church and go eat.  I have to do that every couple
of months.  It brings me back.
recently bought a home in Miami.  Why there?
feel like I'm on vacation there. So every time I go home,
it will be like I'm on vacation. And I love the water.
do you see yourself in ten years?
feel like I'm an old soul, and I've experienced a lot, so
in ten years, hopefully I'd be married, have a couple of kids,
and be not quite retired, but I could just do nothing for
a year if I wanted to.
would you describe this time in your life?
very, very happy with every aspect of life.  My personal
life, my career, everything.  I have things that I worry
about but I also have honest people around me that are like,
"You should calm down."  My goal is to enjoy my
life and I'm doing that.