The Story of Pop: 1999 (Chapter 29)

The Story of Pop: 1999. It’s the story of the UK charts, the hits that were in them and the artists that made them hits two whole decades ago. This week – another turn of the millennium R&B classic from the girl group that gave the world one of its biggest female solo superstars….

It’s not unfair to say that up until the summer of 1999, Destiny’s Child were very much still waiting to break through in the UK compared to their Stateside success. Under their original lineup of Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett, they’d already had one huge top 10 smash – ‘No No No’ – followed by a series of lesser, more modest charting singles (including one with former Coronation Street mechanic Matthew Marsden that’s all but been eradicated from their history. Go figure).

With the release of their second album ‘The Writing’s On The Wall’, the R&B divas in waiting were about to get the stratospheric lift they were after – starting with that album’s first single. Co-written with Kandi Burruss and Kevin ‘Shek’spere’ Briggs, ‘Bills Bills Bills’ established them as star players in the girl group field.

With a memorable video set in a hair salon, the girls took their cue from TLC before them, sassily calling out “trifling, good-for-nothin’ type-a brothas” who financially sponged off the ladies in their lives without making attempts to “buy from their own ends”. It was evolving girl power to a whole new level.

It did the trick for them though, as over in the States it became their first Billboard chart topper, and here in the UK, it finally gave them the second of their eleven top 10 hits when it debuted and peaked at #6. Even though their true imperial phase was still a year away (and following several lineup changes to boot), Destiny’s Child were on the way with this turn of the millennium R&B anthem.

Don’t forget to follow our playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 1999. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop1999.

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