Story transcripts

Bootylicious Beyonce

Sunday, March 11, 2007
Spending a day in a frantic life of Beyonce Knowles is nothing short of exhausting.
Reporter: Liam Bartlett
Producers: Howard Sacre, Sandra Cleary

If you're a fan, I only need to say — Beyonce is next. If you're not, you don't know what you're missing — a prime example of 'bootylicious' for a start. That's how the diva describes herself — beautiful, bountiful, bounceable. And now you can add another 'b' — bankable.

For the uninitiated, here's why. At 15 she formed Destiny's Child. They sold $50 million CDs and won a swag of Grammys.

Then she went solo, and so far sold another 50 million albums. Next stop — Hollywood, where her first three movies grossed half a billion dollars, and that was before she became a 'Dreamgirl'. All that and she's still only 25.


LIAM BARTLETT: Spending a day in a frantic life of Beyonce Knowles is nothing short of exhausting.

LIAM BARTLETT: We're in New York, and it's back-to-back TV shows and appearances, dashing between studios. After one show, she's ushered on to the next. This is what it's like behind the scenes when you are one of the biggest, most bankable stars in the entertainment world. When the entourage let me in on the whirlwind I found a tired young woman who's not at all what I expected. It never stops, does it?

BEYONCE: It doesn't stop. It actually stops today, I go on vacation tomorrow.

LIAM BARTLETT: The Beyonce I met is a study in contrasts. Up close she's very polite, well-mannered, even a little shy. But put her in front of a camera … and wow — the erotic, uninhibited showgirl is unleashed.

BEYONCE: When I'm on the stage I perform and I do whatever I feel on the stage, and I leave that on the stage.

LIAM BARTLETT: Do you have some sort of alter ego when you are up on stage.

BEYONCE: Absolutely. I named her Sacha. Actually, my cousin named her Sacha.



LIAM BARTLETT: Sacha Knowles or just Sacha?

BEYONCE: I guess she's just Sacha, and she's a one-namer.

LIAM BARTLETT: So when we are watching that new video, for example, when we are seeing the leather-clad sex machine, that's Sacha.

BEYONCE: Yeah … basically.

LIAM BARTLETT: Can we interview Sacha?

BEYONCE: No, she's never done an interview. I don't know if she ever will, because I don't really think I'd like her interview.

LIAM BARTLETT: I'd love to talk to her.

BEYONCE: No, no, no, you wouldn't. (Sings) Tonight, I'll be your naughty girl ...

LIAM BARTLETT: It's Sacha who gets all the fun. But behind the naughty girl there's Beyonce doing the grinding hard work — songwriting, recording and performing. Now she's headed to another appearance, this time on MTV, broadcast to millions of kids around the world. Are you conscious of being a role model?

BEYONCE: I am. You know, when I was growing up I loved Prince and, you know, Vanity 6 and everyone, a lot of different artists. And my mum, you know, let me listen to their music, but told me, 'You're a kid, they're adults, I'm your mother, you listen to me'. And she was responsible for me. And I feel the same way now, now that I'm a celebrity, you know, I am aware I am honoured that I'm a role model, but I'm not responsible for, you know, I'm not the babysitter. I'm not the parent, I don't raise children — I feel like your parents should do that.

LIAM BARTLETT: Everyone needs their own mum to read them the riot act.
BEYONCE: Absolutely.

LIAM BARTLETT: Beyonce Knowles grew up in Houston, Texas in a close, church-going middle-class family. There were talent shows and a string of different girl groups before a trio called Destiny's Child struck a chord. The group's destiny was eight number one hits. They sold 50 million albums — one of the most successful female groups of all time. What is that something special that makes someone a star?

BEYONCE: I think it's something that you're born with, and I think it's something that, you know, people are intrigued by you, and it's something that you don't have to try to be, it's just something that you are.

LIAM BARTLETT: It's a presence, is it?

BEYONCE: Absolutely. Usually when I see other artists I can tell, even with younger artists and new artists, immediately if they are going to be a star.

LIAM BARTLETT: They've either got it or they haven't?

BEYONCE: They either have it or they don't. I mean, you can bank it for so long, but you can't have a long career faking it. Eventually people are going to see past the facade.

LIAM BARTLETT: Beyonce gives much of the credit for her success to her parents. Her mother Tina, a hairdresser, become the stylist for Destiny's Child. Her dad, Matthew, gave up his day job to become her manager. Beyonce was just 15 — a schoolgirl by day, a pop star by night.

BEYONCE: When I was in middle school I didn't tell anyone that I sang, I didn't tell anyone I had a record deal. I went to school, I was quiet, I did my job with my grades and then at night I went to the studio, and I would stay there all night. It was like I had two different lives. I was shy, I didn't want people to ask me to sing at school, and I've been that way all my life. I'm fortunate to start at 15 years old. Now I'm 25, and, you know, if I really wanted to I could still be a young woman and do something completely different and have a whole new career and still have, hopefully, my whole life ahead of me.

LIAM BARTLETT: But you could say the same thing about someone like Britney Spears.
BEYONCE: Absolutely.

LIAM BARTLETT: There's only three months age difference between you and Britney ...

BEYONCE: Absolutely.

LIAM BARTLETT: And look at the difference — complete disaster.

BEYONCE: Well, I mean, people handle different things differently, and thank god I've been, you know, surrounded by honesty and thank god I've chosen to still be around people that I trust, and it's really difficult when you're a celebrity to know the difference.

LIAM BARTLETT: As a solo artist, with that sultry voice and those almond eyes, it wasn't long before Hollywood called — first the role of Foxy Cleopatra with Austin Powers in Goldmember and then alongside Steve Martin in Pink Panther. But then came the big break, Dreamgirls, a film loosely based on Diana Ross and the Supremes. Beyonce plays the Diana Ross role.

BEYONCE: One of the reasons I love to act, one of the reasons why is because, you know, I get scared, and it feels like my first time on stage all over again and it keeps my life exciting and it keeps me ambitious and hungry.

LIAM BARTLETT: Beyonce had to lose a stack of weight for the role. But unlike most women she couldn't wait to put it back on. Here's a woman who says it's okay to shake your booty, no matter what the size.

BEYONCE: I think it's unfortunate that there's so much focus on it. You know, there are some naturally thin people. My sister is, you know, nine kilos smaller than I am, and she's naturally that way. She eats whatever she wants and I'm very jealous because I wish I could.

LIAM BARTLETT: Hang on, hang on, hang on ...

BEYONCE: She's naturally that way and I'm naturally curvier, which I'm happy with.

LIAM BARTLETT: You're not trying to tell me you're naturally fat?

BEYONCE: No, no, no, no, no. I'm naturally how I am right now and that's fine, you know? I don't really wake up obsessing about it.

LIAM BARTLETT: That's where 'Bootylicious' came from, wasn't it, your natural curves?

BEYONCE: Yes, it is. It's one of those songs that haunts me for the rest of my life.

LIAM BARTLETT: Now it's in the dictionary, so you can't get away from it.

BEYONCE: Yes, I can't.

LIAM BARTLETT: Success is obviously no fluke. Beyonce is now a brand on make-up, clothing, soft drinks. She's turning heads everywhere. But the flipside to success, she says, is that a lot of people want a piece of you and the first thing to go is your private life.

BEYONCE: I've been rumoured to be engaged, married, divorced, all of them, many times — sometimes both, all three, at the same time. That's just a part of being a celebrity. I look at one paper, I'm single, I look at the next, I'm married — it's crazy.

LIAM BARTLETT: So what is it?

BEYONCE: Well, I'm single. I mean, I'm not married, I'll say that, and I'm in no rush. I'm very happy with everything, all aspects of my life — my career, my personal life, my family, I'm very, very happy.

LIAM BARTLETT: And why wouldn't she be happy? This 'Dreamgirl' has already won 10 Grammys. She's the highest paid black actress in the world, and she heads a multimillion-dollar business empire.

On the eve of her tour of Australia, Beyonce's future is simply bootylicious. Twelve point five million dollars for Dreamgirls, about half that for Austin Powers, $24 million for the soundtrack, plus the record royalties, and you're only 25 years old.

BEYONCE: You know, if that was true, I'm sorry, I love you, but buddy, I wouldn't be here. I'd be somewhere on an island, I'd be somewhere retired, drinking a nice glass of wine, looking at the ocean. It's not true. I wish it was.
LIAM BARTLETT: How would you like me to describe you?

BEYONCE: A legend in the making.



LIAM BARTLETT: That's big.

BEYONCE: I said 'in the making'.
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