The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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- The queen of R&B on owing it all to her fans and being fascinated by Bollywood...

Welcome to India. How was Mumbai'

My fans seem real geared and excited about my India tour. I was equally eager to come to India for the first time. We had a blast!

Despite the great success of Destiny’s Child, you decided it was time to move on. What was on your mind when that moment came' Do you ever regret splitting up'

Growth is something that we needed to do; everybody is pleased with what they’ve done. Being friends even after all this, we still call each other all the time. It’s been a long time but a blessing, you know' Some people don’t even make it this far and I think to still have such great fans that support me and Destiny’s Child is just such a blessing! They all keep us alive. As a band, we’ve just lived each day as it comes.

Your solo debut hit the Billboard No. 1 slot and was certified platinum soon after. Did you expect it to be that big a success from the word go'

I have the reputation of being a workaholic and my celebrity status comes from the success and love and recognition of my fans all around the world. So to the fans I want to say ‘Thank you for everything’... I owe my celebrity status to you!

Tell us about your forthcoming studio album. How’s it shaping up' Will we see any star-studded collaborations'

Well... we’ll see. I don’t want to say anything just yet, but stay tuned. I would love to collaborate with Tina Turner who is an inspiration and an icon — that’ll be one big dream coming true!!

How do you see yourself 10 years from now' Do you want to continue to reign as an R&B diva or are there plans to go the jazz way, to take on more challenging material'

I have been keeping busy doing a lot of things. Films, music, my fashion line — The House of Dereon — which I am very actively involved with and work very closely with my mother on. I will continue doing all this and much more.

By the end of it all, whatever the difficulties there may be, I am grateful for the ups and the downs. I am lucky to be doing something I’ve loved since my childhood and I am especially happy to have my family around me. I am very blessed.

What’s your personal favourite music' Do you keep tabs on contemporary music or are your influences more varied than that'

There are so many artistes that I like listening to. It will be too difficult to pick just one!

The world is grooving to Indian sounds. Any plans to inculcate this in your music' Any Indian artistes you would like to collaborate with'

I can’t say that I have been keeping a track of the industry here in India. However, I do know that Bollywood is filled with stars in their own rights, who are extremely talented and hard-working. My fans in India keep writing to me all the time.

With such an abundance of talent around, it’s not easy to say who I would like to work with, should the opportunity come my way. I’ve heard a lot about Indian performers. They’re all incredibly talented.

Also, it’s amazing the kind of energy that is shown in Indian movies. The constant song and dance does fascinate me a lot, because I know what it takes being an artiste myself. I have the utmost respect for the Indian film industry and all that it encompasses.

Acting, music or designing: which do you enjoy most' What’s the secret to maintaining the balance'

When I’m doing a movie, I have to be fully vested. I totally get into the character and live that role, so to speak. I will continue doing music till I can carve out the time to fully dedicate to a film.

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