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Know your Knowles: Beyoncé vs Solange

Posted at 4:00 pm, January 16, 2013 in Music & Nightlife
Beyonce and Solange

Who run the world? The Knowles sisters, that’s who. Nicola Meighan sizes up R&B diva Beyoncé and her indie-lovin’ little sis Solange before they battle it out to be 2013’s queen of pop.

Name means: ‘Beyond others’.
Age: 31
Job title: Pop star, actress, dancer, model, clothes designer, perfumier.
USP: Bootylicious pop goddess.
The story so far: The R&B megastar and ex-member of Destiny’s Child has sold over 75 million records worldwide and is the third most-honoured woman in the history of the Grammy Awards. She’s augmented our pop lexicon with the word ‘bootylicious’ (it shook up the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004), spawned a dance craze (‘Single Ladies’ – covered to dangerously cute effect by ‘Sesame Street’s Elmo), and made Obama shake his butt (Barack and Michelle danced to Beyoncé at his 2009 Inauguration Ball).
Lyrical wisdom: ‘We’re smart enough to make these millions / Strong enough to bear the children / Then get back to business’ – ‘Run the World (Girls)’, 2011.
How big can she get?: A self-directed documentary is imminent, collaborations with Justin Timberlake, Ne-Yo, Miguel, Lady Gaga and Azealia Banks are rumoured and – most excitingly – Beyoncé dropped a colossal pop bombshell just last week when she announced via her website that Destiny’s Child are to release brand new material in late January. Will they reunite at Bey’s Superbowl hoopla on February 3? Or will she debut new solo material, à la Madonna in 2012? Either way, the coming months look set to be ‘record breaking… stratospheric.. better than that’ (to paraphrase ‘Survivor’). Custodian of massive secrets; daily provider of shock and awe: on the current, thrilling evidence, Queen Bey still rules the pop world.
Essential trivia: Beyoncé may be a global perfumier, but she is allergic to eau de toilette. Perfume is her kryptonite.

Name means: ‘Angel of the sun’.
Age:  26
Job title:  Singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, designer, DJ.
USP:  Indie R&B superstar.
The story so far: The former Destiny’s Child backing dancer has released two solo albums (2002’s upbeat R&B jaunt ‘Solo Star’ and 2008’s conceptual soul-pop grooveathon ‘Sol-Angel and the Hadley St Dreams’) – not to mention covering Dirty Projectors’ ‘Stillness Is the Move’ and unleashing music biz-baiting track ‘Fuck the Industry’. Oh, and dissing Fox News following an on-air spat during a 2008 interview.
Lyrical wisdom: ‘I’m not her and never will be / Two girls going in different directions / Striving towards the same galaxy / Let my starlight shine on its own’ – ‘God Given Name’, 2008.
How big can she get?: Thanks to a dextrous shift from major label Interscope to indie haven Terrible (run by Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor), and a unique, canny knack for fusing R&B with cult pop, Solange looks set to break new ground as an urban-indie superstar. She reinforced her alternative credentials on the recent ‘True’ EP, which was notably co-penned with Domino Records’ hyper-cool alchemist Dev Hynes (of Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange), and premiered it in The XX’s LA exhibition space – all of which bodes curiously well for her impending third LP. Sol’s kick-ass, genre-busting ultra-pop has the power to win over hipsters and hit-parade fans alike. Bey’s pop throne may yet be usurped by her versatile, visionary, brilliantly lippy indie-pendent sister in 2013.
Essential trivia:  Solange was the face of Baby Jamz, a collection of hip hop songs and toys for pre-school beat freaks.

Solange plays XOYO on Wed Jan 16 and Thu Jan 17.

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