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Beyoncé and Solange Knowles were born five years apart in Houston, Texas, and have maintained a close relationship since their individual rises to stardom
Born Sept. 4, 1981, Beyoncé was nearly five years old when her younger sister and built-in best friend was born to Tina and Mathew Knowles on June 24, 1986. The sisters were both born in Houston, Texas, and from an early age showed signs of becoming stars one day.
The two singers went on to create their own careers and families, while still having each other’s backs along the way. Though Beyoncé gained more recognition to start, Solange fostered her own fanbase with the release of her critically acclaimed album, A Seat at the Table.
Through the years, the sisters have been each other’s biggest support systems, rooting for each other’s successes.
“I’m your biggest fan and I’m super proud of you,” the “Break My Soul” singer told her sister as she interviewed her for Interview magazine in 2017. “I remember thinking, ‘My little sister is going to be something super special,’ because you always seemed to know what you wanted.”
And Solange had only kind words to share about her older sister too.
“You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever,” Solange told Beyoncé in the same interview. “In the 30 years that we’ve been together, I think we’ve only really, like, butted heads … we can count on one hand.”
Here’s everything to know about Beyoncé and Solange Knowles’ sibling relationship from their early years as child singers to their respective careers and families.
Beyoncé and Solange worked together when they were young
The two were enrolled in dancing classes and started singing from a young age. Beyoncé and Solange were born and raised in Houston, Texas, and grew up in the Third Ward of the city.
Beyoncé formed the group Girl’s Tyme with her longtime best friend and cousin Kelly Rowland along with LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett in 1990, when Beyoncé was just 10 years old. After losing at a singing competition, Beyoncé’s father Mathew took the reins and renamed the group Destiny’s Child, with the latter two eventually being replaced with Michelle Williams.
When Rowland injured herself while on tour in 2002, Solange filled in for the singer and became a backup dancer for the group at 15 years old.
However, Solange never wanted to join the girl group that helped her sister rise to stardom — even though Mathew, who also functioned as his daughters’ manager, had different ideas.
In November 2022, Mathew shared on Instagram that while he wanted his daughter to join Destiny’s Child, Solange was always determined to “forge her own path.”
“She wanted to trust her own instincts. She loved music, but she just loved it from a different perspective … her own!” Mathew wrote in the caption of his post. “And, Solange’s desires and faith in herself trumped my personal desires for her. You see, I realized then that she had an unmatched character and an unwavering belief in herself.”
The girls’ mother, Tina, took them to therapy from a young age to ensure they were well adjusted to their early fame and treated each other with mutual respect, she told Maria Shriver in a Facebook discussion.
“I took them to counseling so that, very early, the counselor could help Beyoncé be more sensitive to Solange,” she explained. “She couldn’t stand her for a minute. You know, they were little, [Solange] was all in her stuff, trying to hang around her and her friends and Beyoncé was really irritated but it made her more sensitive to who her sister was and what she had to deal with because of her.”
Beyoncé and Solange are both successful solo musicians
After a successful run in Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé made her debut as a solo artist with the release of her album Dangerously in Love in 2003. The album was met with critical acclaim and topped charts around the world.
The “Halo” singer has since gone on to release seven studio albums as well as five live albums and one soundtrack album for the live-action version of The Lion King. In February 2023, Beyoncé broke the record for most Grammy Awards ever won by an artist when she earned her 32nd win for her 2022 album Renaissance.
"Thank you so much," she said as she began her acceptance speech. "I'm trying not to be too emotional. I'm trying to just receive this night. I want to thank God for protecting me. Thank you, God."
The artist has also worked on various creative endeavors, including an acting stint in 2006’s Dreamgirls, an athleisure brand collaboration with Adidas named Ivy Park and a voiceover role as Nala, a main character in The Lion King.
Solange spoke about how proud she was of her sister in a 2016 interview with The Fader, sharing how Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade was an empowering album for Black women.
“I'm really proud of my sister and I'm really proud of her record and her work and I've always been,” Solange said. “As far as I'm concerned, she's always been an activist from the beginning of her career and she's always been very, very Black. My sister has always been a voice for Black people and Black empowerment.”
Solange, for her part, has also led a successful music career, with four studio albums including 2016’s A Seat at the Table and 2019’s When I Get Home. She earned a Grammy in 2017 for best R&B performance of her song “Cranes In The Sky.”
However, Solange’s talents, like her sister’s, extend beyond singing and songwriting. In October 2022, the “Don’t Touch My Hair” singer composed a score for the New York City Ballet.
Beyoncé shared her pride on social media with a rare Instagram post honoring her younger sister.
“My beloved sister, there are no words to express the pride and admiration I have for you,” the pop star wrote in the caption. “You are a visionary and one of one. Congratulations on being the first African American woman to compose for the New York City Ballet. The piece you composed is phenomenal. I love you deep.”
Beyoncé saved Solange in a scary moment during her wedding
When Solange married her now ex-husband, music video producer Alan Ferguson, on Nov. 16, 2014, she was lucky to have her sister by her side. Following the wedding, Tina shared with Entertainment Tonight how Solange had an allergic reaction and Beyoncé saved the day.
“[Solange] went through the wedding and the sit-down dinner and she was just fine, and then they had a second line in the streets of New Orleans and she was dancing so hard, I think she just got overheated," Tina recalled. "And the seafood, I think she had a reaction to it."
Tina continued, explaining that Beyoncé "took her back to the hotel and gave her Benadryl and cortisone creams. She took a shower and in two hours, she showed up at the reception and did the dance with her son and just had a ball."
Solange is a mother to Daniel Julez J. Smith Jr., who was born on Oct. 18, 2004 with Solange’s then-husband Daniel Smith. Julez grew up in New Orleans speaking fluent French, however not much else is known as Solange keeps her only child out of the spotlight.
In 2009, she told Honey magazine that her priority would always be her child over her career.
“I have to say no to a lot of things because at the end of the day I know that no matter how many awards or accolades or praise or money I get, the one thing that really is a judgment of me is what kind of mother I am,” she said.
Solange is fiercely protective of her sister
In her 2022 hit song “Cozy,” Beyoncé sang “Might I suggest you don’t f— with my sis” for good reason — Solange doesn’t hesitate when it comes to protecting Beyoncé.
After the Met Gala in 2014, Solange reportedly attacked Beyoncé’s husband, rapper JAY-Z, in an elevator as the three headed out of an afterparty. Video footage showed Solange yelling and hitting the rapper until Beyoncé intervened by stepping in between her husband and sister.
JAY-Z took a separate limo home while Beyoncé joined her sister. “Usually she’s all smiles,” an onlooker told PEOPLE of Solange. “But she was not feeling it. Her face told it all.”
A week later, the sisters and JAY-Z released a statement addressing the incident. “Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred. They both acknowledge their role in this private matter that has played out in the public. They both have apologised to each other and we have moved forward as a united family,” it read.
While the cause of the argument was never revealed, fans suspect that it had to do with JAY-Z’s affair, which Beyoncé sang about in Lemonade.
“Bey and Jay are thrilled and have started sharing the news with their family and closest friends,” a source told PEOPLE at the time.
In April 2022, Tina posted a tribute to her daughter and son-in-law on their 14th anniversary, sharing a video montage of the two through the years. “Happy Anniversary to one of my inspirations for a couple! They work hard, laugh hard, and love Harder ❤️❤️❤️🙏🏽🙏🏽 14 years,” she wrote in the caption.
They’re both very close to their mom
Solange and Beyoncé have no shortage of praise for their mother — and are happy to share it. On Mother’s Day 2023, Beyoncé shouted out Tina with a photo of her projecting her mom onto the stage of her Renaissance tour followed by a video.
“Happy Muva’s Day. I love you so much Mama and I’m so grateful for all you do for me,” she wrote in the caption.
For her mother’s 67th birthday, Beyoncé posted a sweet tribute on Instagram with a picture of Tina posing in a leopard print jumpsuit.
"Happy birthday to my beloved matriarch!" Beyoncé captioned her post. "You are my Queen, my heart, my strength [and] the bone in my spine. You are my inspiration. I hope you have everything in your life that your soul desires. Mama, I love you deep, deep!"
Solange joined in the heaps of love, posing multiple photos of Tina on her Instagram Stories, writing “Happy birthday mama, you're a legend🌹."
As close as Beyoncé is to her mother, she still gets shy in front of her. Ahead of the release of her 2014 self-titled album, Beyoncé shared how she was worried about her mom hearing the raunchiest songs on the album, like the notoriously sexy “Partition.”
“I was so embarrassed after I recorded the song because I’m just talking s–––,” she said in her YouTube mini-documentary. “I’m like, ‘I can’t play this for my husband!’ I still haven’t played it for my mom. She’s going to be very mad at me.”
Beyoncé is supportive of her younger sister
Whenever Solange releases a new creative project, Beyoncé is right there to support her. While the 32-time Grammy winner doesn’t usually caption her posts, she always has words of praise for Solange to help her promote her work.
Following the release of A Seat at the Table, Beyoncé posted the album cover on her Instagram, writing “Congrats to my sister on creating this beautiful work of art. I could not be more proud of you @saintrecords. A Seat At The Table is available today!”
A few years prior, in 2008, Beyoncé went on The Early Show where she discussed Solange’s album.
“It brings me to tears when I watch her,” Beyoncé said. “She’s grown up so much. She’s like my baby. She’s just an incredible songwriter, so creative. She’s not afraid to be an individual and speak her mind. She had that star quality from age five.”
Beyoncé brought out Solange for her 2018 headlining set at Coachella
The singing sisters’ collaborations didn’t end with Beyoncé’s Destiny’s Child days. The two have worked together since, with Beyoncé bringing out Solange in a surprise appearance during her headlining Coachella set, colloquially known as “Beychella.”
Solange joined her sister on stage for a dance breakdown to “Get Me Bodied,” four years after Beyoncé surprised her in an impromptu dance number when she was performing her set at Coachella in 2014.
During the second weekend of the music festival, Solange came out again and the two performed their dance-off — before taking a small tumble to the ground together. The sisters shared a quick hug before Solange ran off stage as Beyoncé finished her set.
In the hours after the performance, Solange posted a since-deleted clip of the two dancing in matching costumes, writing, “Been making coachella thu thu dance time since 14. Love u so deep sis, my wig slid back 7 inches from your excellence!”
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