-- Angela Beyince, Vice President of Operations, Parkwood Entertainment
"As a child, I spent every single summer with Beyonce and Solange. The last day of school, Aunt Tina would pick me up, then they dropped me off home the night before the first day of school. I'd go to watch Beyonce perform, and she was probably 5 years old--beauty pageants, whatever Houston had, she was there performing with a mic in her hand. I mean, she loved it, but there was still something very unique and pretty, something different from all the other 5-year-olds who sang their favorite songs. In some ways, she was kind of shy. I think she understood then that she had a great voice, because I think when you sing, it's something you feel. You can feel your voice box, the vibrations; you can hear it. But she was never overt. She didn't walk into a room, and be like, 'Hey, check this out, look what I can do.' No, she was very humble and quiet. If she was asked to sing, she gladly did it, even if she wasn't in the mood. You know, family is proud. We'd go visit other relatives and she would be playing like a normal kid, and then, 'Hey, come sing this song for my friend.' She'd say, 'OK.' And then she'd go sing to them, and then she'd go back and play. She never reveled in it. She'd went back to being a kid.
"I do believe that if she could sing under a secret identity and still affect people and touch their lives that she'd rather not be famous. That, if she had her choice, she'd rather take off her shoes and do cartwheels in the park. That's really who she'd like to be. But unfortunately that's something you give up when you become as famous as she is. We've tried it many times. We tried it in London a few summers ago--Tina, Solange, and myself. We were riding bikes and just hanging out, and Beyonce was at the hotel and was, like, "I'm coming!" And we waited, and she got there and arrived with a big crowd of people behind her. We tried to ignore it, but even in that moment she said, "You guys enjoy the day and I'm going to go." And she left. But she doesn't complain about it. This is what she was born to do and she's loved it since she was a kid. She never takes it for granted. She appreciates every second of it. It's like she's painting a piece of art. Until the last color is on the canvas, she's not done. Until it's dry and it's amazing and it's finished and it's up hanging on the wall, she's not done."
Photography by Ricardo Nelson