Becoming Beyoncé: The Untold Story by J. Randy Taraborrelli, is many things. It's the first major biography of the pop star and a predictable account of her ambition, talent, and intense, lifelong preoccupation with privacy and professionalism. It's also an in-depth chronicle of Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles, and his most horrible alleged sins, from repeatedly cheating on his wife to micro-managing his daughter’s career and bullying her bandmates out of the spotlight.
It's a hilariously written book, featuring such randomly-generated sentence gems as "It’s as if she was born to be a career strategist, as if the idea of ‘branding’ was second nature to her—and that nothing was going to get in her way on the road to stardom." It's also a fairly comprehensive guide to fine dining establishments throughout the Houston area.From reading all 451 pages of Taraborrelli's meh-sterpiece (so you don't have to), I learned a few interesting things that may or may not be totally false. I learned that Beyoncé's relationship with her father ended professionally when she accused Mathew of siphoning off money from her world tour. I also learned that Tina Knowles claims she came up with the name Destiny's Child while reading the Bible (specifically Isaiah, Chapter 65, verses 11-12), that Tenitra Williams was forced to change her name to Michelle in order to appeal to a white audience, and that Beyoncé sent a strongly worded letter to the two members of Destiny's Child who famously quit the band, accusing them of unnecessary drama, laziness, and betrayal. Supposedly.
Also, Jay Z might have spent $8 million dollars on 100,000 white orchids for his nuptials.
Here are the wildest claims in Becoming Beyoncé, as told to Taraborrelli by dozens of dubious sources ranging from Beyoncé's elementary school classmates to her first boyfriend. Take what you read with a grain of salt.When Beyoncé mooned a dog:“I remember the Knowleses had two dogs, one I think was a Rottweiler," a childhood neighbor tells Taraborrelli. "A dare was for Beyoncé to moon the dog. And she did it! And the dog started whimpering as if to say, 'Why is this girl showing me her butt?'"The gross factor:"Throughout her life, Beyoncé has suffered from severe sinus problems…'She would lay a sheet of paper down on the floor and then stand over it. Then she'd put pressure on one nostril with her index finger and blow out. And the snot would just go flying. She'd do the same with the other nostril.'…'Sometimes, before she would practice, she would lay on the couch with her head hanging off it, and she would put her thumb on the roof of her mouth and just wait for her sinuses to drain.'”Ur dream fantasy sleepover with 16-year-old Usher:"'Usher took us down a flight of stairs to the basement level where, at the end of the stairs, was the media room where you could watch movies or listen to music,'" a former friend of Beyoncé's tells Taraborrelli. "It was to be Truth or Dare with one boy and six girls, so you know where this was headed…then it was Beyoncé's turn, and her dare was to moon him! She said 'No way! I'm not doing that! Forget it.' But we pushed and pushed, saying, 'Hey, you mooned your dog back home, why can't you moon Usher?' Finally, she gave in. She dropped her pants maybe halfway down and mooned him, real fast. We all squealed with delight, and Usher's eyes got wide as saucers and he exclaimed, 'Damn, girl!'"The ballad of Lyndall Locke, Beyoncé's first beau:"[Locke] suggests that they did hold off until Beyoncé was eighteen," Taraborrelli writes before quoting Locke directly: "People ask me all the time what my sex life was like with Beyoncé. They want specifics. Still, all these years later, my answer is the same: 'None of your business'…I know what we had, and she does too…and that's good enough."Lyndall also claims Beyoncé wrote her 2003 hit "Dangerously in Love" while the two were sitting in his bedroom in 1998. "'She was sitting on the bed with her legs crossed Indian-style, and I was on the floor, and she sang this song that she said was about us," Lyndall remembers. "'For me, well, she's still the first girl I ever kissed at that Brian McKnight concert so long ago, when we were little kids. That stays with you. I know Beyoncé will never forget about me, and I won't ever forget her.'"A note on breast implants:"Whereas Tina Knowles was able to convince Kelly Rowland to wait a number of years, until she was twenty-eight, before having this surgery, she wasn't able to do the same for Beyoncé, who insisted upon it in her early twenties," Taraborrelli writes.Evidence that Beyoncé once used the slang term "vagitis":“Beyoncé told Kelly backstage, 'Those greasy boys ain't going nowhere near my vagitis.’"Beyoncé's search for "Happy feelings":Taraborrelli writes that Bey only imbibed "from time to time," but once asked a man named Tony Mo if he knew "where I can get some happy feelings from." When asked to clarify, Beyoncé supposedly said, "You know, some...writer's stuff." She was asking him for some herb," Tony Mo says. Beyoncé has only had two boyfriends her entire life, y'all:"Beyoncé would be linked with the rappers Nas, Marques Houston, and Sean Paul, and actor and hip-hop artist Mos Def," Taraborrelli writes. "She was even linked to basketball player Kobe Bryant, as was Kelly Rowland before her. However, Beyoncé would never have any sort of significant relationship with any of those men.""Consider this: Beyoncé was with Lyndall Locke and loyal to him from the age of twelve to about nineteen…Then, at pretty much the same time it was over with Lyndall, another man would come into Beyoncé's life and she would be with him exclusively--as she is to this day."Bey was initially not that into Jay:"For the next couple of months, they talked on the telephone from time, getting to know one another," Taraborrelli claims. "'He's nice,' Beyoncé said. 'But, I don't know…I'm not feelin' him.'"When Jay (probably didn't) have an affair with Rihanna:"So, did Jay Z ever have a romantic relationship with Rihanna? 'I can only speak to what was going on in 2005 and into 2006,'" [publicist] Jonathan Hay tells Taraborrelli. "'And, back then, no. Absolutely not. It was all a stunt. Am I proud of it? No. There was no integrity to it at all. Did it work? Hell yeah, it worked. It totally launched Rihanna's career.’" A titillating story, but probably false: Rihanna's lawyers told Page Six this week that Hay "was never Rihanna's publicist or had any personal or professional relationship with her."Still, Taraborrelli writes he once heard of an argument between Jay Z and Beyoncé at the rapper's 40/40 sports bar that may or may not have been about Rih. "Because it was a whispered argument over loud televised sportscasts, it was impossible to know for certain what they were saying. All that was hear over the din was Rihanna's name uttered several times, before Beyoncé stood up and stormed off."Oh and the elevator fight was also (probably not) about Rihanna:The chain of events that led to the infamous Solange-Jay Z brawl at last year's Met Gala "seems to have begun when Jay said he wanted to attend an after-party hosted by Rihanna," Taraborrelli writes. "He and Beyoncé had words about it--a ‘whispered argument’ according to one source close to the situation--and that was the end of it. It was just a quick marital spat of no real consequence that ended with Beyoncé laying down the law. Jay was not going to be attending that party. Had it not been witnessed by Solange, it probably would have been over and done with. However, because Solange knew that Rihanna was a sore sport for her sister, she pulled Jay aside and had angry words with him. In response, Jay told her to mind her own business…As soon as the three of them were alone in an elevator, along with Jay's bodyguard, we all saw what happened: Solange let Jay have it."