UNSUNG HEROES of Becoming Beyoncé

Author J. Randy Taraborrelli’s

Andretta Tillman

Andretta Tillman

Without a doubt, one of the most important figures in the professional career of Beyoncé Knowles is a woman has gone largely unrecognized: Andretta Brown Tillman. Popular and well-known in her community, only a few close friends of hers, such as her most trusted confidante, Brian Kenneth Moore – known as “Kenny” – knew the truth about “Ann,” as many of her friends called her. “Sometimes it took every bit of strength she could muster just to get through the day,” said Kenny. “She’ suffered personal and unspeakable tragedies.” Andretta, who was raising two boys – Armon and Chris – was battling lupus disease. Despite the ravages of this progressive disease, she somehow managed to take the reigns of Girls Tyme from Deborah and Denise to then coach the group (which ultimately became Destiny’s Child) to its first level of success. One of my intentions with Becoming Beyoncé was to make certain that Andretta be recognized and acknowledged for everything she did – all of the sacrifices she made – not only for Beyoncé, but for all of the youngsters she so beautifully mentored in her short but fulfilling lifetime.

Brian "Kenny" Moore

Brian “Kenny” Moore

Kenny was not only Andretta Tillman’s business partner, he was also her very close friend. A very good story in Becoming Beyoncé has to do with Girls Tyme’s recording session for “Blue Velvet” on October 10, 1991, the song written by Tony Mo. Kenny recalls that Ashley Davis – the original lead singer – as having a difficult time in the studio with it. Repeatedly, she worked on perfecting the melody, but with little success. Meanwhile, he says that as he and Beyoncé sat on the other side of the glass booth waiting for Ashley to finish, he couldn’t help but notice how fidgety Beyoncé was in her chair. She just wanted to get the session over with, especially if all she was going to do was just sit and watch. “Well, do you think you can sing it better?” Kenny asked her. “Yes, Mr. Kenny,” she answered, “I sure do.” He studied her for a moment and realized that she wasn’t kidding: she believed she could nail the song. Kenny then suggested that they put Beyoncé in the studio and give her a shot. Of course, Beyoncé knocked it out of the ball park …

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