Survivor (Destiny's Child album)

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Destiny's Child – Survivor.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1, 2001 (2001-05-01)
RecordedMay 2000 – February 2001
Destiny's Child chronology
The Platinum's on the Wall
Love: Destiny
Singles from Survivor
  1. "Independent Women Part I"
    Released: September 14, 2000
  2. "Survivor"
    Released: February 13, 2001
  3. "Bootylicious"
    Released: May 20, 2001
  4. "Emotion"
    Released: October 8, 2001
  5. "Nasty Girl"
    Released: March 25, 2002

Survivor is the third studio album by American girl group Destiny's Child. It was first released by Columbia Records on May 1, 2001, in the United States. The album features production by lead singer Beyoncé Knowles and J.R. Rotem, with additional production from Poke & Tone, Cory Rooney and Mark J. Feist. Five singles were released from the album: "Independent Women Part I", "Survivor", "Bootylicious", a cover of Samantha Sang's "Emotion", and "Nasty Girl".

In the US, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart on May 19, 2001 with first-week sales of 663,000 copies and stayed at number one for two consecutive weeks. It earned Destiny's Child three Grammy nominations for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best R&B Song, and Best R&B Album. Survivor was certified quadruple Platinum by the RIAA on January 7, 2002. Billboard ranked Survivor at number 70 on the magazine's Top 200 Albums of the Decade.[2] The album went on to sell over 4.7 million copies in the United States.[*] With sales over 12 million copies worldwide, it became the biggest-selling album in the 21st century by a girl group, and one of the most successful albums of all time by a girl group.[3]



In December 1999, LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson tried to split with their manager, Mathew Knowles, claiming that he was keeping too much of the group's profits and that he favored Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland.[4] When the music video for "Say My Name" debuted in February 2000, Roberson and Luckett found out that they were being replaced with Michelle Williams, a former backup singer for Monica, and Farrah Franklin, an aspiring singer-actress.[4] In July 2000, just five and a half months after joining, it was announced that Franklin would be leaving the group.[4] According to the group, Franklin missed a handful of promotional appearances and concerts and was asked to leave the group.[4] Franklin stated that she quit because of negative vibes in the group and her inability to assert any control in decision making.[4]


After emerging as the group's focal point, Knowles assumed more control taking a greater hand in writing the material and even producing some of the record herself.[5] Knowles' intention was not to monopolize the spotlight, however, she did co-write and produce all of the album's 18 cuts. She explained, "I only wanted to do like three songs... The label kept saying "Do another song, do another song, do another song". It wasn't planned. It wasn't like I said, OK, I'm going to take charge."[6] The album was originally planned to be called Independent Women, but was later changed to Survivor because of the turmoil that has coincided with the group.[7]

The song "Survivor" was inspired by a joke that a radio station had made about the fact that three members had already left the group, comparing the band to the Reality Game Show, Survivor.[8] Knowles was inspired to take the negative comment and turn it into a positive thing by writing a song out of it.[8] Knowles wrote the song "Bootylicious" on a plane flight to London while listening to the track "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks when the word "Bootylicious" just popped in to her head.[6] This claim has been highly disputed as Rob Fusari said in a 2010 interview that he alone had the idea for the song and had wanted to use a guitar riff from the song "Eye of the Tiger" but after not being able to find it used a similar riff from the Stevie Nicks song "Edge of Seventeen". After hearing Beyoncé claim credit for the song in an interview with Barbara Walters, he telephoned Mathew Knowles,

And he explained to me, in a nice way, he said, "People don't want to hear about Rob Fusari, producer from Livingston, N.J. No offense, but that's not what sells records. What sells records is people believing that the artist is everything." And I'm like, "Yeah, I know, Mathew. I understand the game. But come on, I'm trying too. I'm a squirrel trying to get a nut, too."[9]

While recording sessions were going on, Rowland recorded the song "Angel" which appeared on the soundtrack of Down to Earth.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[11]
Blender4/5 stars[12]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[13]
The Guardian4/5 stars[14]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[15]
Q3/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[18]

The album received generally positive reviews. Survivor received a score of 63 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 17 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[10] Entertainment Weekly praised the album, calling it "the divas' premature, but inevitable growing pains album."[13] Spin commented that "Survivor is relentlessly inventive in its recombinations."[19] New York was less impressed, saying: "All fifteen tracks are one-dimensional disses and dismissals of scantily clad women, vengeful boyfriends, and the group's assorted doubters." AllMusic commented that the album is "as contrived and calculated as a Mariah Carey record, only without the joy."[11]

The album won the Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best R&B/Soul Album of the Year, the Teen Choice Award for R&B/Soul Album of the Year – Group, Band, or Duo, and the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album. Destiny's Child won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal by Duo or Group for the song "Survivor". Survivor itself was nominated for Best R&B Album.[20]

Commercial performance[edit]

Survivor, entered the Billboard albums chart at number one with the highest first-week sales figures (more than 663,275) of any female group in the SoundScan era and the highest first-week sales figures of any album in Columbia Records' history. It remained atop the chart in its second week with a 49% decline to 358,959, pushing the albums sales past the one million mark after only 2 weeks in stores and remains the longest run atop the chart for Destiny's Child.[8] In its third week Survivor slipped to number 3 scanning 221,884 and held the same position in its fourth frame with 175,237 copies sold. In its fifth week the album climbed one spot to No.2 with 169,487 scans.[8] Survivor spent its first thirteen weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 (2 more than The Writing's on the Wall) and by the end of 2001 had sold 3,718,446 copies in the US and ranked as the seventh best-selling album of the year, the second year in a row that the group had made the top ten best-sellers list.[8]

Survivor debuted at number one in over nine countries, including the United Kingdom where it was certified 3× Platinum by BPI for sales of over 900,000 and went on to sell over a million copies. It also reached number one in Canada, selling over 31,000 copies in its first week (and was eventually certified 4× Platinum, for sales of 400,000 copies), as well as debuting or peaking in the top ten in Australia, Sweden, Japan, France, Italy, Finland and Poland. With Survivor, Destiny's Child became the first US female group to have a number one album on the UK charts since Diana Ross and the Supremes hit the position 24 years ago with a greatest hits package. Survivor is the first album of original studio material (i.e., not a greatest hits collection) by a female American group to hit number one in the 43-year history of the UK chart.

"Survivor", the album's title track, spent six weeks at the number-two position on the Billboard Hot 100, being barred from the number one position by Janet Jackson's "All for You." "Independent Women Part I" (also featured in the remake film Charlie's Angels and on its soundtrack) occupied the number one slot on Billboard's Hot 100 (for 11 weeks), R&B and dance charts. "Bootylicious" served as the album's third single and topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. "Emotion" was issued as the album's fourth single and continued the group's streak of top-ten hits in the United States, peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. "Nasty Girl" served as the album's fifth and final single and only charted internationally, reaching the top ten in Australia, as well as the top 30 in Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

In Europe the album was certified 2× Platinum in recognition of two million albums sold across the continent; its sales have since surpassed the three million mark. The album was certified 2× Platinum in Australia. The IFPI reported that Survivor was the 3rd best-selling album worldwide of 2001 with 7.8 million copies sold during the year.

With sales over 15 million copies worldwide, becoming the biggest-selling album in this millennium by a girl group and one of the most successful albums of by a girl group.[3]


The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[21] This and other notable rankings appear in the table below. The information regarding accolades attributed to "Survivor" is adapted from Acclaimed Music, except where otherwise noted.[22]

Organization Country Accolade Year Rank
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die United States 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die 2010 * [21]
Blender United States Albums of the Year 2001 9
The Guardian United Kingdom Top Albums of the Decade (2000s) 2009 49[23]
NME United Kingdom Albums Of The Year 2001 2001 15[24]
The Face United Kingdom The Face Recordings of the Year 2001 18[25]
OOR Netherlands Albums of the Year 2001 41
Muzik Express/Sounds Germany Albums of the Year 2001 15
(*) designates lists that are unordered.

Track listing[edit]

1."Independent Women Part I"
  • Knowles
  • Poke and Tone
  • Rooney
2."Survivor" (includes "Bootylicious" prelude)
  • B. Knowles
  • Dent
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Moore
4."Nasty Girl"
  • Knowles
  • Dent
  • M. Bassi
  • N. Hacket
  • Knowles
  • Dent
  • Knowles
  • Dwayne Wiggins
  • J. Rotem
  • Knowles
  • Wiggins
6."Apple Pie à la Mode"
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Moore
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Moore
7."Sexy Daddy"4:07
8."Independent Women Part II"
  • Knowles
  • R. Stewart
  • E. Seats
  • F. Comstock
  • D. Donaldson
9."Happy Face" (includes "Emotion" prelude)
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Calvin Gaines
  • Bill Lee
  • Moore
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Calvin Gaines
  • Bill Lee
  • Moore
11."Dangerously in Love"
  • Knowles
  • Errol McCalla Jr.
  • Knowles
  • McCalla Jr.
12."Brown Eyes" (includes "The Story of Beauty" prelude)
  • Afanasieff
  • Knowles
13."The Story of Beauty"
  • Knowles
  • Ken Fambro
  • Knowles
  • Fambro
14."Gospel Medley" (Dedicated to Andretta Tillman)Knowles3:25
15."Outro (DC-3) Thank You"
  • Knowles
  • Fusari
  • Calvin Gaines
  • Bill Lee



  • Mark J. Feist – producer, arranger, programming
  • Tony Maserati – mixing
  • Vladimir Meller – mastering
  • Dave Pensado – mixing
  • Nunzio Signore – guitar
  • Richard Travali – mixing
  • D'Wayne Wiggins – guitar, producer
  • Richard J. Davis – production coordination
  • James Hoover – engineer, vocal engineer
  • Walter Afanasieff – bass, programming, drum programming, arranger, producer, keyboards
  • Tom Coyne – mastering
  • Poke – producer
  • Corey Rooney – producer
  • Jim Caruana – engineer
  • J.R. Rotem - additional Instruments, keyboards, drum programming
  • Dexter Simmons – mixing
  • Poke & Tone – producer
  • Brian Springer – engineer, vocal engineer
  • Flip Osman – assistant engineer, assistant
  • Jill Topol – stylist
  • Destiny's Child – main performer
  • Nick Thomas – mixing
  • Dan Workman – guitar, mixing, vocal engineer, engineer
  • Damon Elliott – producer, engineer
  • Troy Gonzalez – engineer
  • Anthony Dent – producer, engineer, keyboards, drum programming
  • Rob Fusari – producer
  • Beyoncé Knowles – vocals, songwriter, producer, vocal arrangement
  • Kelly Rowland – vocals, songwriter, vocal arrangement
  • Michelle Williams – vocals, songwriter
  • Farrah Franklin – vocals (tracks 1 & 11 on international edition)
  • Michael McCoy – assistant engineer
  • Wassim Zreik – assistant
  • Mathew Knowles – producer, executive producer
  • Tina Knowles – hair stylist, stylist
  • Orlando Calzada – engineer
  • Michael Conrader – engineer
  • Dave Way – mixing
  • Marla Weinhoff – prop stylist
  • Greg Bieck – keyboards, digital programming, drum programming, engineer, programming
  • Pete Krawiec – assistant engineer
  • Kent Huffnagle – engineer
  • Ramon Morales – engineer
  • Falonte Moore – producer
  • K-Fam – producer
  • Errol McCalla – programming, producer
  • Bill Lee – producer
  • Woody Pornpitaksuk – author
  • Eric Seats – multi instruments
  • Robert Conley – programming
  • Terry T. – engineer
  • Thom Cadley – mixing
  • David Donaldson – keyboards, vocal engineer
  • Calvin Gaines – producer
  • David Gleeson – engineer



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[59] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[60] Platinum 40,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[61] Gold 50,000*
Belgium (BEA)[62] Platinum 50,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[63] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[64] Platinum 50,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[65] Platinum 34,121[65]
France (SNEP)[66] 2× Gold 228,900[67]
Germany (BVMI)[68] Platinum 300,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[69] Platinum 200,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[70] 2× Platinum 160,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[71] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[72] Platinum 50,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[73] Gold 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[74] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[75] Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[76] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[77] 3× Platinum 1,000,000[78]
United States (RIAA)[79] 5× Platinum 4,739,000[*]
Europe (IFPI)[80] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  • ^ * As of December 2009, the album has sold 4,300,000 copies in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan, which does not count albums sold through clubs like the BMG Music.[81] Combined, it has sold over 4,739,000 copies in the U.S. with additional 439,000 copies sold at BMG Music Clubs.[82] Nielsen SoundScan does not count albums sold through clubs like the BMG Music Service, which were significantly popular in the 1990s.


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