Today brings with it the 20th anniversary of Destiny’s Child‘s blockbuster third studio album ‘Survivor.’
And its title couldn’t be any more apt.
Arriving on May 1 2001, the LP celebrated triumph after the rocky run that preceded it.
The group’s seemingly unstoppable trajectory encountered quite the hurdle when two of its founding members abruptly departed and were replaced at the height of the ensemble’s sophomore cycle with ‘The Writings On The Wall.’
And the musical chairs didn’t stop there because one of said replacements packed her luggage never to return shortly after.
For many, it looked like the end could be nigh for the rising stars amid undeniable chaos.
As history would have it, the drama formed the foundation for what would be the cementing of one of the greatest groups of all time.
‘Survivor,’ which went on to sell 12 million copies worldwide, cannonballed the collective of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams to seismic heights. It also added a number of classics to their repertoire and the music history books more broadly.
In salute, we’ve tallied That Grape Juice’s Top 5 ‘Surivor’ Songs…
5. Gospel Medley
For all the gloss, glamor, funk, and fierceness that defined the album, DC3 was keen to remind that they were a vocal harmony group first and foremost.
Drawing on their church roots, the ladies took harmonious flight together and delivered with this musical ministry.
While some of DC’s most notable songs aimed the lyrical lashings at the opposite sex, this dramatic production saw the ladies vent their vexedness at a female friend turned foe.
Arguably a little elementary in hindsight, it’s of note that each member had just turned 20 around the release of the album. So, the narrative was age-apt. As for the song, it’s a bouncy bop with appeal for all.
3) Independent Women
More than a song, this was emblematic of a movement.
After decades upon decades of women being presented as genteel and submissive, objectified and minified, the 2000s saw a boom of females in the mediascape taking the control of their narratives and celebrating their agency.
This rousing jam, which was actually first issued as the lead single from the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ movie soundtrack in 2000, became an anthem for women worldwide and a cultural signifier of changing times. Its 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 were oh so deserved.
Built around a Stevie Nicks guitar riff, this addictive, infectious ode to the love of one’s curves is a bonafide classic; one that bumps just as hard today as it did upon its release.
It successfully strikes the elusive balance of being a bodacious feel-good bop, while also packing authentic empowerment value – without ever sounding Pop-star preachy.
Instead, Beyonce, Kelly, and Michelle sing of their jelly in a way that encourages the masses to embrace theirs.
Engineered empowerment anthems have a penchant for skewing cheesy and preachy. They often age poorly too.
Yet, ‘Survivor’ functions as the exact opposite.
At the heart of this high-octane juggernaut is the true-life overcoming narrative the ladies experienced as they powered out of the pandemonium that preceded the era.
And while this personalization works brilliantly, the song’s core potency lay in its universal reliability.
Its lyrics tell of weathering the storm, rebounding to higher heights, and being better not bitter. All of which renders the song a magnet to the masses – one that will continue to resonate for generations to come.
What do you think of our picks?