With lead single "Crazy in Love" taking off at radio and video outlets, Columbia Records opted to jump the gun for Beyonce Knowles' highly anticipated solo debut. Now due Tuesday (June 24), the multifaceted superstar's "Dangerously in Love" (Music World/Columbia) was rushed forward from its previous July 8 release date. The single, featuring Jay-Z, is No. 6 on Billboard's Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.
"I always thought it was an incredible song," the Destiny's Child principal says. "I wasn't sure that people were going to understand it because it was so different -- it doesn't sound like anything else ... But it's a great song and people get it. I guess they were happy to hear something fresh."
Knowles says she tried not to get tripped up by expectations for what her solo work would sound like. "It affects your performance when you're thinking about other people," she admits. "Some days, it got a little hard. I wondered if people would understand it and like it. I also wanted to make sure that [this album] showed my growth vocally and as a writer. But when I went into the studio, I just vibed and did whatever I felt. Once I finished, then I thought about all that other stuff."