Before there was Beyoncé, there was Destiny’s Child: a trio (and occasionally more) of singers who released still-amazing songs including “Say My Name” and “Bootylicious.” But 10 years ago this weekend, the group’s core, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, and Beyoncé, split up.
They all launched solo careers, and Beyoncé achieved superstar status. To toast the magical years Destiny’s Child blessed us with their music, dancing, and ridiculous outfits, EW is celebrating their existence with the 10 times they wowed us.
1. When they decided on their final name: From the beginning, the group was made up of multiple people—yet they went with the singular “Child” instead of the more sensical “Children.” Destiny’s Child made their debut by proving they are above logic (and by opening up a bible, according to Beyoncé).
2. When they released a Christmas album including the original single “8 Days of Christmas” in 2001: Who really needs 12 days of Christmas anyway?
3. When they all matched in the “Say My Name” video: Before there was 50 Shades of Grey’s Red Room, there was Destiny’s Child’s red room… and their orange room, and their blue room, and their white room. The group’s members were pros at playing with color, and that’s on full display in the 2000 music video.
4. Whenever they made a “Pt. I” and a “Pt. 2” of a song: “No No No,” “With Me,” and “Independent Women” all have two parts. The only thing better than a one-part Destiny’s Child song is a two-part Destiny’s Child song (sadly, they never showed the world what they could do with a third part).
5. When they released “Bills Bills Bills,” a go-to song for anyone dating someone who’s just not cutting it: “Bills Bills Bills” ranks alongside TLC’s “No Scrubs” (both released in 1999) as a gem in the I-don’t-need-you category of songs. The ladies spend the track asking a guy if he can pay their bills, only to reply, “If you did then maybe we could chill / I don’t think you do / So you and me are through.”
6. When they responded to “Bills Bills Bills” with “Independent Women, Pt. 1” two years later: In 1999, they were looking or a guy who could pay their bills—but by 2001, they’re all about providing for themselves: “Independent Women” features the then-trio listing off all the things they bought for themselves (shoes, clothes, diamonds, etc.) before instructing “all the women who are independent” to “throw your hands up at me.” Even the dated Charlie’s Angels references in the song can’t stop it from remaining an empowering anthem to this day.
7. When they used their fame to give inspiration to others: “A lot of young girls suffer from low self-esteem. From child abuse, divorce, peer pressure, all of those things,” Beyoncé told Interview in 2001. “I think we concentrate on making people feel like they can survive different situations and they can be strong and independent and love themselves.”
8. When they were way ahead of the booty trend: 2014 was deemed the Summer of Butts, but back in 2001, Destiny’s Child showed off their backsides with the body-positive “Bootylicious.” Between the catchphrase-worthy lyrics (“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly”) and the bright video, which features women dancing, “Bootylicious” was—and is—the perfect embodiment of Destiny’s Child.
9. When they proved that a breakup isn’t as concrete as it sounds: Destiny’s Child released three compilation CDs after their breakup, and even snuck a new song—the Pharrell Williams-produced “Nuclear“—onto 2013’s Love Songs. Although “Nuclear” is just as much of an R&B ’90s-style jam as any other Destiny’s Child song, it’s not nearly as irresistible as the music they’re known for. But after eight years of no new Destiny’s Child, it was a welcome surprise regardless.
10. When they reunited at the 2013 Super Bowl: Beyoncé headlined that year, but she brought Rowland and Williams onstage at one point to share some of the spotlight. The three, matching in leather leotards, performed a medley of “Bootylicious,” “Independent Women,” and “Single Ladies”—and reminded everyone how great the early 2000s were.