Grammy Winning Star Beyoncé Got Her Start in Oakland


Beyoncé is one of the greatest female artists of all time.

Like many other artists, during the course of her career with Grammy-award winning group Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé’s big break in the music industry was made possible in Oakland where she worked with legendary producers D’Wayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone! and Terry-T Butler, aka “Mr. Community.”

In 1994, Wiggins signed the talented group, then Girls Tyme, to his production company, Grass Roots Entertainment. Together, he and Butler worked hard to develop the young singers on their first project, “Destiny’s Child” on Columbia Records – recording, producing and mixing the album in the Lower Bottoms of West Oakland at their House of Music recording studio.

Butler, who is known as a hip hop legend from Oakland, played a major role in the process with his skills in songwriting, leadership, and production. The production duo, both Oakland natives, continued to work with Destiny’s Child, writing and producing songs on their second and third albums, “The Writing’s on the Wall” and “Survivor”.

When asked what it was like working with a superstar, Butler said, “Beyoncé, then age 14, was like a little sister to me who needed some guidance. She was very talented with a great work ethic.”

Wiggins and Butler went on to work with other amazing artists such as Alicia Keys, Jamie Foxx, and Keyshia Cole. Butler has also received much respect in the community for his work with youth sports programs.

Beyoncé later pursued a solo career and is now a Grammy-award winning worldwide superstar in her own right with a series of Number One hits. And, she got her start here in Oakland.


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