Knowles at the Ruby Lounge, Manchester, November 15, 2008
|Birth name||Solange Piaget Knowles|
June 24, 1986 |
Houston, Texas, United States
|Genres||R&B, hip hop, neo soul, funk|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, DJ, businesswoman|
|Instruments||Vocals, keyboards, percussion|
Terrible Records (2012-)
Saint Records (2013-)
|Associated acts||Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Dev Hynes|
Solange Piaget Knowles (born June 24, 1986), who performs under the mononym Solange, is an American singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, businesswoman, and DJ. Knowles was born and raised in Houston, Texas along with her older sister singer Beyoncé. Showing an interest in music recording at an early age, she eventually broke into the music scene at 16. She has released two studio albums: Solo Star in 2003 and her most successful album to date, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008, which peaked at number nine in the US Billboard 200 chart. Knowles is currently recording her third studio album for an early 2013 release. A new video and single for "Losing You" were released on October 2, 2012.  Knowles worked with Dev Hynes and Pharrell Williams on this album. Solange is releasing her first extended play entitled True which debuts on November 27, 2012 under Terrible Records. This marks for preparation of her third studio album.
Knowles' work has earned her several achievements, including working with Destiny's Child, BET Awards and Soul Train Music Award nominations and three consecutive singles notched at the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. In October 2012, Solange, among other celebrities such as Idris Elba, Nick Cannon, and Pauly D were nominated for Celebrity DJ Of The Year Award from The Golden Spin Awards. The winner has not yet been announced.
Knowles appeared on the big screen in Johnson Family Vacation. She provided a song for the soundtrack, though it was not used in the film. She also appeared in the straight-to-video Bring It On: All or Nothing, which co-starred Hayden Panettiere, of the TV series Heroes. In January 2012, Knowles signed a modeling contract with Next Model Management. She has been honored by the American Society of Culture Critics for her contributions to music and fashion.
Knowles has been compared to her sister by the media, but she dismisses the notion, saying they are artistically different.
Early life 
Knowles was born in Houston, Texas, to Mathew Knowles and Tina Knowles. Solange is the second child of Mathew and Tina, and the younger sister of Beyoncé. Her father is African American and her mother is Creole (of African, French, Irish, and Native American, descent). Her maternal grandparents are Lumis Beyincé and Agnéz Deréon, (a seamstress). She is also a descendant of Acadian leader Joseph Broussard. As a child, Knowles studied dance and theater. At the age of five, she made her singing debut at an amusement park. She began writing songs at the age of nine. At 13, she decided to pursue recording, but her parents initially advised her to wait. At the age of 15 Knowles replaced a departed dancer and performed with her sister's group Destiny's Child on tour. During the group's opening stint for American pop singer Christina Aguilera's tour, Knowles temporarily replaced Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland after Kelly broke her toes backstage during a costume change. When Knowles was 16, her father, who was then also her manager, signed her to his recording company, Music World Entertainment.
2001–03: Early career and Solo Star 
Managed by her father Mathew, Knowles' first foray into the music business was in 2001 as the lead singer, backed with Destiny's Child, on the title theme song for the animated television series The Proud Family. She also was a featured performer on "Hey Goldmember" for the soundtrack to the 2002 film Austin Powers in Goldmember, as well as a backup singer on the track "Little Drummer Boy" on her sister's group's 2001 holiday album 8 Days of Christmas. In 2002, she was featured on Lil Romeo's second studio album Game Time, singing portions of Luther Vandross-penned "So Amazing" on the single "True Love", and on Rowland's debut solo album Simply Deep, for which she also wrote the title track and "Alone". In 2001 she also appeared as Lil' Bow Wow's date in the music video for his single "Puppy Love". She also made an appearance on the Master of Disguise soundtrack and made cameos in Play's video for M.A.S.T.E.R. (Part II) featuring Lil' Fizz.
In 2002, she lent her voice for the character Chanel, the cousin of the protagonist Penny Proud, in the episode "Behind Family Lines" to the animated television series The Proud Family. In June 2003, Mathew Knowles excitedly announced that he was considering adding Solange to Destiny's Child when the group reunited in 2004, thus turning them into a quartet for the first time since short-lived member Farrah Franklin left in 2000. Mathew Knowles said he was testing the reactions, and, judging by what he had heard, "it seems like a good idea". Later in August, however, Beyoncé said it was only a rumor and Destiny's Child would remain a trio. Rowland added, "She's a Solo Star," name-dropping Knowles' debut album.
At the age of 14, Solange Knowles started working on her debut album Solo Star, which involved American producers such as Jermaine Dupri, The Neptunes, Linda Perry and Timbaland among others. The album is primarily uptempo R&B, although Knowles said there are pop, rock, reggae and hip hop influences. Knowles co-wrote and co-produced some of the 15 tracks in the album, including its lead single, "Feelin' You (Part II)". The song failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100, but reached number three on both the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles Sales and Hot Dance Singles Sales chart. Solo Star was released on January 21, 2003 in the United States, where it debuted at number 49 on the Billboard 200 and reached number 23 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Solo Star had a mixed critical reception: William Ruhlmann of Allmusic called it a "state-of-the-art contemporary R&B album", but deemed Knowles "lost somewhere in the mix". As of mid-2008, the album had sold 112,000 copies domestically according to Nielsen Soundscan.
2004–08: Films and Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams 
In 2004, she guest starred in the episode "The Catch" to the sitcom One on One. Knowles appeared as a nubile teenager in the 2004 comedy film Johnson Family Vacation, starring alongside American actors Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams and Bow Wow. She provided a song for its soundtrack—"Freedom", a collaboration with the Houston-based funk-jazz band Drop Trio. Although the reviews were generally negative, Knowles earned praise from Variety magazine: "Solange Knowles is nearly as dazzling as big sister Beyoncé and does little more than smile winningly in her first bigscreen outing." In 2006, she starred as a cheerleading captain in the film Bring It On: All or Nothing, the third installment of the Bring it On series, alongside American actress and singer Hayden Panettiere. What little critical reaction the low-budget, direct-to-DVD movie got was negative, and Knowles was described as an "affordable young starlet". Knowles uses her full name for her acting, rather than just the first name she uses when singing; for Bring It On: All or Nothing, she was billed as Solange Knowles-Smith, reflecting her married state at the time.
After the release of her debut album, Knowles started acting in films followed by a career break. When she was married, her family moved to Idaho, and, while staying there, resumed writing songs including the singles "Get Me Bodied" and "Upgrade U" off her sister's second solo album, B'Day. Knowles earned the R&B and Hip-Hop Song accolade for "Get Me Bodied" at the 2008 ASCAP Awards. She had also written songs for Destiny's Child, and members Rowland and Michelle Williams. In 2004, while pregnant with son Daniel, she made a cameo appearance in Destiny's Child's music video for "Soldier".
After the divorce, Knowles returned to Houston to begin working on her second album. Knowles renewed her management, signing a record deal with Geffen and a publishing deal with EMI. Knowles finished working on her second studio album in 2008 and titled the project Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. It includes production by Cee-Lo Green, Soulshock & Karlin and Mark Ronson as well as an appearance by Bilal. A collection of 1960s- and 1970s-influenced songs, it is seen as a departure from her pop-oriented debut, with what Billboard magazine called "more of a modern twist on hip-hop and R&B flecked with tinges of blues and jazz". The album was released on August 26, 2008 in the United States. By December 2008, the album had sold over 114,000 copies according to Nielsen Soundscan. The album was positively received by critics, some of whom considered it far better than her debut. The album's lead single, "I Decided", was released in April 2008, and reached the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play; Rolling Stone magazine labelled it her breakthrough single. In support of the album, Knowles began the Solange Presents Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams Tour in Britain in November 2008.
Knowles announced, via her blog HadleyStreetJournal.com, that she will be releasing a series of mixtapes, to coincide with the album. The first mixtape, "I Can't Get Clearance...", includes the leaked track "Fuck the Industry (Signed Sincerely)". On this record, Knowles expresses her views on the current state of the music industry. The lyrics to the song name check some major artists such as Mary J. Blige, Ashanti, Keyshia Cole, and Beyoncé, although she made a point of stating that it does not have "a negative light to any of [them]". The mixtape was never released, but Solange released "Fuck the Industry (Signed Sincerely)" as a single in 2010.
2009–present: True, Third studio album and upcoming projects 
In an interview with MTV in 2009, Knowles revealed that she was determining the type of sound for the follow-up to Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. Knowles also parted ways with the Interscope-Geffen-A&M record label group. She will now release her third studio album independently. Early in 2010, Knowles traveled to Australia to work with Australian rock band, Midnight Juggernauts on her third studio album Knowles plans to release the album in summer as revealed on her official Twitter account in 2009 She also revealed on her Twitter account that she rented a house in Santa Barbara, California to get into a certain state of mind while writing and making music On 7 May 2010, Knowles made a guest appearance on the popular children show, Yo Gabba Gabba! for a "Mothers Day Special" where she performed an original song called, "Momma Loves Baby". In an interview with Vibe on 7 July 2010, Knowles said she suffered "a little bit of a breakdown" while recording her new album: "I literally gave up my sanity for a while to do this record. [...] We literally were waking up in the morning and just making music all day and all night. [...] It just started to wear on me in so many different ways. I started having these crazy panic attacks." Knowles explained how she made sacrifices "mentally, emotionally and financially", and continued, "It’s more than an album to me. It’s a transitional time in my life." Regarding the musical direction of the album, she said the inspiration came from New Wave music and stated, "This is a dance record, but the lyrics can get pretty dark at times." The singer has also worked on songs with Chromeo and long-time collaborator Pharrell.
In September 2012, Solange released a teaser video for, "Losing You", the upcoming single from her third album. This release marks Solange's first release as a signee of the independent label Terrible Records. The video was shot in Cape Town, South Africa around early September 2012. Knowles revealed in an interview that her mother Tina Knowles had paid for Solange and her friends to fly out and record the video, as her birthday gift. On October 24, 2012, Knowles held a listening party in New York City for her EP True, set to be released for digital download on iTunes November 27, 2012. The CD and vinyl has been made available January 8, 2013. Following the EP's release, Solange appeared on the cover of The FADER magazine's 84th issue.
On 14 May 2013, Knowles announced that she launched her own record label named Saint Records, which she will be using to release her third full length album and future music projects distributed through Sony.
Music and influences 
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Knowles cites as her influences Motown girl groups such as The Supremes and The Marvelettes, and Martha Reeves, lead singer of Martha and the Vandellas. She also listened to the music of English pop singer Dusty Springfield, and according to Knowles, her "greatest music influence" is her mother, Tina Knowles, who was a one-time member of the 1960s harmony group The Veltones.
Knowles says her first passion is writing songs. Her early writings were vastly inspired by the writing style of French poet Paul Verlaine. She has been doing this since she was nine years old, and has collaborated with a number of songwriters and producers. On her debut album, Knowles had no control over which kinds of music to produce, because "when you're 14, everyone else is older and more seasoned and you trust their decisions". Knowles was more concerned with pleasing her record label by submitting to their desires. Her musical influences were better expressed on Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, when she considered herself mature and was able to write and produce songs as she wished, without worrying about the expectations of others. Knowles' lyrics tackle relationships, world issues, and deceased friends, with her second album focusing on events in her life, such as marriage, divorce, and parenthood.
Aside from recording, Knowles occasionally paints as her hobby: "I think that painting, for me, is such an affirmative expression in that sometimes you don't know what the outcome is gonna be and each stroke and each brush for me is an emotion and, in the end, it comes out as a piece which is the most amazing thing. ... It definitely provides a different outlet."
Public image 
Knowles has always been compared by the media to her sister, Beyoncé, whom she considers one of her role models. She has expressed her opinion of the comparison in the lyrics to "God Given Name": "I'm not her and never will be" — which was purposely set as the album's opening track to show their differences. In his review for the album, Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone magazine referred to the lyrics a declaration of independence. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Knowles commented: "People think there should be this great rivalry between us, but there's never been any competition. There's a big age gap and we are two very different characters." In another interview, Knowles said that she would not live by her sister's level of stardom, stressing that she and Beyoncé are artistically different, even stating that blogger Teddy Birmingham was "disrespectful" for saying she was living in her sister's shadow on his website "Teddytalks" in June 2009. Beyoncé was unwilling to bring her sister into the recording industry, reasoning that it "involves a lot of pressure". Knowles countered by saying, "It's good to have her advice, but we really have different goals".
Other ventures 
Knowles has been promoting Baby Jamz, a hip hop-styled toy line for pre-schoolers. It was inspired by her son, Julez, who is fond of hip hop music. She is the executive producer of the CD, composed of updated hip hop inspired nursery rhymes, which is featured in all of the toys. Also, Knowles has been known for her work in the award-winning children's TV show, Yo Gabba Gabba!. She performed "Momma Loves Baby" during the live performance when it toured the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She also performed "Mama Loves Baby" during a 2010 episode called "Baby". In 2011, Knowles along with Alejandra Ramos Munoz and Zooey Deschanel, was announced as the new face of Rimmel London. In February 2012, Solange became VOGUE.COM's Today I'm Wearing guest blogger sharing a photograph of her outfits daily for one month.
House of Deréon 
Knowles and sister Beyoncé model for their families' clothing line, House of Deréon, named after their grandmother, Agnéz Deréon. She also helped launch Deréon, a junior apparel collection and a sister line to House of Deréon. Both sisters model for Deréon, and are featured in most of Deréon's marketing campaigns. They were featured in a "Got Milk?" campaign ad, while still wearing House of Deréon. In 2008, Knowles was named as ambassador for Giorgio Armani's younger diffusion line, Armani Jeans. Armani said Knowles epitomizes the style, which is a "vision of a young, independent, casual lifestyle with a strong and cool, fashion sensibility".
Personal life 
Knowles married Daniel Smith in February 2004 when she was 17 and he was 19. On October 18, 2004, Knowles gave birth to their son, Daniel Julez Smith, Jr. Knowles has partly expressed regret that she bore a child at an early age, but calls her son the greatest unplanned blessing. A song she wrote for her baby, "6 O' Clock Blues", was included on Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams. After Daniel Julez' birth, the family moved to Moscow, Idaho, where Knowles' husband continued studying in college. In October 2007, Solange confirmed in an interview with Essence magazine that she and Smith had divorced. They co-parent the child. After the divorce, Knowles and her child moved to Los Angeles, California, where they established their new home. As of early 2012, she has relocated to Brooklyn, New York to be closer to family and to raise her son Julez.
- Extended Plays
- True (2012)
- 2003: Solo Star Tour
- 2008: The Art of Love Tour
- 2008: Solange Presents Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams Tour
- 2012: True Promo Tour
- 2004: Simply Deeper Tour
|2001||Intimate Portrait||Herself||1 Episode|
|2002||The Proud Family||Chanel||1 Episode|
|2003||Soul Train||Herself||1 Episode|
|The 30th Annual American Music Awards||Herself|
|The Today Show||Herself||1 Episode|
|The Brothers Garcia||Herself||1 Episode|
|2004||One On One||Charlotte||1 Episode|
|Johnson Family Vacation||Nikki Johnson|
|2005||Listen Up!||Erika||1 Episode|
|2006||Bring It On: All or Nothing||Camille|
|2008||Ghost Whisperer||Singer||1 Episode|
|2008||Lincoln Heights||Herself||1 Episode|
|2010||Yo Gabba Gabba||Herself||1 Episode|
Awards and nominations 
|2009||Solange Knowles||BET Award for BET Centric Award||Nominated|
|Soul Train Music Award for Best New Artist||Nominated|
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