LaTavia Roberson Discusses New Memoir, Reflects on 20 Years of Destiny’s Child and More

Credit: Shirley Yu

LaTavia Roberson. Noun: “A woman that never stopped believing, and never listened to the ‘No’s.’”

This is how LaTavia Roberson would prefer herself being described in the dictionary, if she had it her way. LaTavia is most known for being one of the original founding members of one of the most successful girl groups of all time, the one and only, Destiny’s Child. LaTavia and Beyoncé were the first to the group, meeting at an audition in Houston for a girls group. The two became fast friends and both made the cut. They were then encouraged to recruit other girls into to the group, leading LaTavia to bring in friend Kelly Rowland after overhearing her sing a Whitney Houston song, and Beyoncé to bring in LeToya Luckett. And, well… we all know what happened next.

The group went through many iterations, initially being called Girl’s Tyme, and included other members, before being molded into what became the original Destiny’s Child. After years of working to establish themselves, they finally landed a mainstream recording contract with Sony and Columbia Records. LaTavia was a part of the group’s first two albums, Destiny’s Child and the now iconic The Writing’s On The Wall — which went eight-times platinum in the U.S. and shot the group to superstardom.

The Writing’s On The Wall scored Roberson and her bandmates #1’s with hits like “Say My Name,” and “Bills, Bills, Bills,” among others. During her time with the group LaTavia sold over 25 million records and even hung out such icons as the late Aaliyah, who she said had “one of the sweetest spirits ever. She would come by some of our rehearsals in LA and grab a bite [to eat] sometimes.” LaTavia also amassed 14 awards including an American Music Award, a Soul Train Award, a NAACP Image Award, an MTV Video Music Award, 8 Billboard Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards — which she got after leaving the group. Not too shabby of a parting gift.

Despite an abrupt and difficult exit from Destiny’s Child in early 2000, LaTavia still respects the time she had with the group and the success that it gave her. And maintains that the hard feelings have softened over time saying, “Being able to travel and perform with your best friends and your sisters [was] the highlight. There’s no other experience like that.” With this year being the 20th anniversary of the formation of the original Destiny’s Child, she even noted that she’d be up for a reunion. “I’m not opposed to it,” she said. “But it has to be the right situation.” Following their exits from the group, LaTavia and LeToya formed another girl group called Anjel, and even recorded over two albums worth of material before disbanding the group in favor of pursuing solo careers.

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